Adaptive Paddling

USCA’s Adaptive Paddling Program

Download the USCA Adaptive Paddling Travel Grants Application Form. (PDF Document)

Read about the new Travel Grants program in this article: Travel Grants for Paddlers with Physical Disabilities. (PDF Document)

Outrigger canoeing, canoeing and kayaking are excellent recreational, fitness and competitive paddle sports for individuals with physical and/or intellectual disabilities.

USCA’s Adaptive Paddling Chair, Jan Whitaker, began working with paddlers with disabilities in 1997 and continues to promote new paddle sports opportunities as a USCA chairman and also as President of Cape Ability Outrigger Ohana, Inc. (CAOO), a chapter of Disabled Sports USA. CAOO’s mission is to provide the opportunity for individuals with disabilities to gain confidence and dignity through participation in paddle sports, recreation and related educational programs.

Jan helped USCA present its first adaptive paddling event at the 2001 USCA National Championships at Lake Lanier, Georgia where a local adaptive clinic and exhibition outrigger canoe races were held. USCA offers national championship sprint races for adaptive paddlers as part of the annual USCA National Canoe & Kayak Championships. Jan continues to provide clinics and presentations to promote adaptive paddling and assist groups in starting new programs.

Paracanoe (both Para kayak and Para va’a) will be contested in 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games; Para va’a will make its inaugural appearance at that time. Jan serves as Vice-Chair of the American Canoe Association’s Paracanoe Committee.

Contact Jan Whitaker at for information about adaptive paddle sports and/or interest in representing the United States in ICF events.

International Va’a Federation Presents Adaptive Paddling

December 6, 2015

Jan Whitaker

Adaptive Paddling Committee Chair, Jan Whitaker is the key speaker in this video