Bellyak Announces New Program to Support Team River Runner


Erich Bell of Team River Runner with his service dog Polly on the Nolichucky River.

From May 15-June 15, for every boat purchased through a retailer or, a portion of the proceeds will be used to provide bellyaks for Team River Runner, a non-profit organization serving Veterans through adaptive sports.

Bellyak, makers of personal adventure boats (or lay on top kayaks), announced a new program today to benefit Team River Runner, a volunteer non-profit organization focused on the active, safe and positive support of healing service members and their families. Starting May 15, 2014 until June 15th a portion of the proceeds from every bellyak sale, through a retailer or from the website, will go to supply Team River Runner with bellyaks.

‰ÛÏSeeing the positive changes the bellyak has providedåÊpeople with disabilitiesåÊhas been a highlight of åÊour business. Due to the lay on top, intuitive design of the Bellyak, people with disabilities have been able to enjoy watersports with minimal adaptation required, giving them mobility and exercise in an easy to use format,‰Û said Adam Masters of Bellyak. ‰ÛÏWith our customers and retailers support, we willåÊsupply 14 åÊchapters with two bellyaks each over the next month.”

Longer than a riverboard, more stout than a surfboard and shapelier than a standard SUP, a Bellyak is a boat designed to be ridden lying down, without restricting straps or a confining spray skirt. Bellyak‰Ûªs innovative design lets people of many different skill levels and physical abilities enjoy the water.

‰ÛÏWe have two Bellyaks that we use at Team River Runner Fort Belvoir/Quantico. Many of our participants have experienced Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and have balance issues. This is a fantastic tool for us to get our participants on the road to healing and health,‰Û said a Team River Runner representative.

In addition to providing a therapy outlet for recovering amputees, Team River Runner facilitates paddling therapy sessions for active-duty and veteran service members who are coping with Traumatic Brain Injury, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Spinal Cord Injury, or Emotional Impairment. Team River Runner‰Ûªs motto is ‰ÛÏHealth and Healing Through Paddlesports.‰Û

Bellyaks are designed to be used on any type of water. This is especially great for programs like Team River Runner because their paddling sessions always begin in a swimming pool and later progress to outdoor venues, such as a lake, coastal inlet or river.

About Team River Runner:

Team River Runner believes that every wounded and disabled veteran deserves the opportunity to embrace new challenges. They believe the struggle of physical and emotional recovery needs to be supplemented with activities that spark competitiveness, invoke leadership, and promote camaraderie. Team River Runner provides an outlet to fulfill these beliefs ‰ÛÒ inviting wounded and disabled war veterans and their families to participate in adaptive paddling programs.

Team River Runner was founded in 2004 at Walter Reed Medical Center. They now offer weekly paddling sessions in 45 locations nationally and locally. Programs include biathlons in Washington, D.C. and Colorado, a Kayak Football Tournament at Walter Reed, and many other activities and events. They‰Ûªve placed an increasing emphasis on the development of leadership skills for our participants and host leadership clinics around the nation. Veterans learn the skills to become leaders of their TRR chapter.

Team River Runner is more than an adaptive sports program. It‰Ûªs a program that provides hope and healing to those who have risked so much, yet asked for so little. It‰Ûªs an opportunity to enjoy nature and realize its social, physical, and emotional benefits, whether it‰Ûªs tackling whitewater rapids or paddling on peaceful flat-water. It‰Ûªs an environment that facilitates connection, allowing veterans to reunite with their families and forge relationships with those who have endured similar pain. More than anything, Team River Runner is a program that provides purpose for those who need it most ‰ÛÒ the wounded and disabled war veterans of the United States of America. Our veterans are on the river to recovery.

About Bellyak

Bellyak was founded in 2011 by Adam and Anna Masters. Adam, a lifelong kayaker from a kayak manufacturing family invented and patented the bellyak concept. From his experience he knew that being trapped in a kayak was the biggest deterrent to paddlesports, and wanted to create a watercraft that was intuitive and accessible for all types of waterlovers. Bellyak offers innovative lay on top kayaks for river, surf or lake. Designed to be ridden lying down, kneeling or seated without restricting straps or a confining sprayskirt. With a size to fit everyone, Bellyak offers maximum fun with a minimum learning curve. 100% designed and made in the USA.