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Adaptive Paddling Gear Designed by Local Youth 

At Venture Outdoors we remove barriers and create outdoor experiences. This includes barriers of mobility. We work with adaptive paddling groups to make sure anyone who wants to kayak with us can!

This past Fall, we were thrilled to partner with several elementary school students across Allegheny County on team Gold & Black ImPACKt as they developed an accessible piece of paddle equipment for the FIRST Lego League Pennsylvania State Championship. Their idea; to combine e-bike technology with paddling to create a more accessible kayaking opportunity.  And their goal; to expand technology in adaptive kayaking.

Through several meetings with our team, surveys, and trial runs, these innovative kiddos designed both the RuddOAR and PropelOAR. Both paddles reduce the stress of paddling so those living with disabilities can more easily enjoy our local waterways.

Their efforts brought them home second place within the “Innovation Project” category, and 10th overall in the state. Consequently, the team has been invited to compete at an invitational event in New Jersey in May. Huge congrats, team Gold & Black ImPACKt! We can’t wait to see what you do next.

We are incredibly impressed with this small yet mighty team and look forward to supporting them in their journey. Keep an eye out for them this summer at Kayak Pittsburgh. We’ll be taking these kids out one last time to celebrate and test out their latest rendition of RuddOAR.


Samone Riddle

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