Kayaking

Adaptive Kayaking Program

We provide safe flatwater kayaking for people with disabilities and their companions. We’re happy to serve both new and experienced paddlers. We work with paddlers to fine-tune the best set up for each person to maximize their safety and independence on the water. With know-how, adaptive tools, and a gorgeous location, we help make kayaking a great experience for everyone. Whether you want to exercise, bird watch, or just try something new, BORP Kayaking is happy to help.

ANNOUNCING PRE-SEASON EVENTS!

BORP Kayaking welcomes The Canoemobile! (Click link for flyer)
March 29, 2024, 1 – 4 pm
Cycling & Kayaking Center at 80 Bolivar Drive Berkeley, CA 94710

Walk-ins are welcome, and you’re invited to pre-register at this link to attend. 

Sign Up for Fit Appointments HERE.
We offer two services: Fit Appointments and Paddle Days, both are by reservation only.
You can email kayak@borp.org or leave a message at 510-256-3533 if you cannot use the form or for any questions.

Paddle with us!

We are located at the BORP Adaptive Cycling & Kayaking Center at 80 Bolivar Dr. in Berkeley, on a one-mile long enclosed brackish lagoon in Berkeley’s Aquatic Park. Our season runs from April – October though we offer Fit Appointments year round. 

 
Fit Appointments are an opportunity to see the space, learn about our adaptive solutions, and have 1:1 time to establish the best boat and set up to meet your needs. They may take place on land or on the water and usually last about an hour. For many, a fit appointment is the first step before participating in Paddle Days.  While fit appointments are not required, they are strongly recommended if adaptive kayaking is new to you, your concerns are complex, or if you’d simply like to learn more. Fit Appointments can be scheduled at any mutually agreed upon time. 
 
Paddle Days are fun times when many paddlers kayak independently around the Aquatic Park lagoon. We launch in ~20-30 minute intervals and will help with transfers, adaptive fit, boat moving and more. You can come alone or with companions. In some cases, BORP may be able to provide a tandem paddling partner if you need, please call to confirm. We always have safety boaters on the water.  We will also offer a limited number of destination paddles this season at other locations. 

Balanced Events: In order to serve folks as fairly as possible, BORP kayaking is by reservation only. We will accept reservation requests mostly in the order they are received, but will make adjustments to ensure equal access to our gear, as well as to regulars and newcomers.

BORP Kayaking Center Features:

    • A wheelchair accessible dock with adaptive kayak launch a short distance from parking
    • A number of tools to assist transferring into and out of kayaks including: a transfer slide bench, transfer chairs of varying heights, and a motorized lift
    • Onsite accessible restrooms
    • A fleet of stable kayaks, including pedal-kayaks
    • Stabilizing outriggers
    • Adaptive mitts and paddles

For more information, or to be added to the email list, please contact: kayak@borp.org.

Volunteer with us!

We have volunteer roles for people of all skill levels and abilities. 

What do volunteers do?

On Land Roles:

  • Welcome and check in

  • Life jacket fit 

  • Moving boats and gear for set up and closing. 

  • Assist with boat fitting and launching as well as keeping eyes on the water.  

On the Water Roles:

  • Experienced paddlers can be safety boaters on the water. 

  • Any independent paddler can be nearby to offer assistance as needed. 

  • Experienced paddlers may join another individual in a tandem boat for balance and power support. 

 

Like fixing stuff? 

We can always use support to keep our fleet and equipment working well. 

Group Volunteering? 

At least twice a year we host a group of volunteers to do routine cleaning and organization. We’d love to host your group for a fun outdoor service day!

Training opportunities are provided in the spring and throughout the year.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I kayak? 

We typically hold two paddle days per month from April – October, as well as a few destination trips each season. We offer Fit Appointments year round. 

 

How do I sign up? 

Kayaking is by reservation only in order to ensure safe equitable participation. We offer both paddle days as well as 1:1 Fit Appointments. Sign up at the link above or leave a message at: (510) 256-3533

 

How much does it cost?

BORP Programs rely on individual contributions as well as grants. A membership program will be rolling out in January 2024 and kayak events will be included in that membership. There may be an additional fee for specific events. 

 

Do you paddle other places? 

Yes. While most of our events are at Aquatic Park in Berkeley with our own boats and accessible dock, we try to hold a few destination paddles each season. Check our webpage for specifics. 

 

Can you provide someone to tandem paddle with me? 

Sometimes. While we are lucky to have excellent volunteers to support us, we can’t guarantee we’ll always have enough staff and volunteers to provide a tandem partner. You are always welcome to bring a companion. If you need us to provide a tandem partner, just let us know and we’ll do our best to provide one.  

 

Will you take my child or dependent adult paddling without me? 

While we often have volunteers available for tandem paddling, it is not guaranteed. For minors, it’s preferred for a family member or other qualified adult to be the tandem partner. 

 

What kind of boats do you use? 

We have a diverse fleet of stable plastic recreational kayaks that include solos, tandems, sit-insides, sit-on-tops, and solo pedal kayaks. Our sit-insides have large open cockpits and we do not use spray skirts. Our boats are excellent for our flatwater location. 

Stories and News about the program