Kids and bellyaks

Bellyak and the Boy Scout National Aquatics Conference

By Adam Masters,

Let’s face it, the places we get to go are awesome. Meeting water lovers around the country and seeing all the places people play is a great perk of owing a watersports company.  This year, Bellyak was a title sponsor of the National Aquatic Conference in Islamorada Florida at the National Sea Scout Base, which brought together over 100 Aquatic Directors from around the country to discuss best practices, the future of scouting and to see the newest gear in watersports.

Bellyak at the National Aquatics Conference

The National Sea Scout Base

This Sea Base runs multi-day sailing trips, teaches Scuba, and allows scouts from all over the world to experience the beauty and adventure of the Florida Keys. I took an early flight to Miami, rented a sweet Toyota minivan, drove to the Southeastern Shipping Terminal where I picked up two Bellyak Frequencys, easily loaded them in the back of the van, and headed south. I arrived and it was go time, where we all took turns paddling the bellyaks and discussing applications for scout camps. After dinner we saw a presentation about the future of scouting and how to get more families outdoors to teach them the love of camping together. This is something we’ve always known with paddlesports: it’s more fun when you share it with people you love!

Little girl on a bellyak

Why Bellyak? What makes it a good craft for Boy Scout camps?

  • Bellyak combines the best elements of swimming and boating. It is easy for the youngest of campers to develop confidence and plenty challenging to engage the older campers. They also allow the less confident swimmers to gain confidence.
  • Made in the USA and will last basically forever.
  • Innovative and versatile: from lakes to the ocean and beyond, prone, kneeling or seated

Kids and bellyaks

Looking for something new for your camp?

Do you have a a scout camp or summer camp that would benefit from bellyaks? Contact us today, we’ll send you our camp pricing!

For more info, check out our Camp Games blog: BELLYAKS AND SUMMER CAMP: FUN WITH A PURPOSE

Bellyaking at Camp PossAbility

Summer Camp and the Bellyak: A Perfect Pair

By Lauren E. Harmison

 

In 2015, I began a summer camp called Camp PossAbility. The camp is a one week adapted summer camp in Martinsville, IN. It serves young adults who are 18 to 35 with physical disabilities, who use a wheelchair, and have a typical high school diploma. We are the only camp exactly like us (that we know of) because we are longer than a retreat weekend, are not sports-only, and serve only adults with high cognitive function.

About our Campers

Most of our campers have physical disabilities that have affected their ability to participate in outdoor activities. At Camp PossAbility we change all of that. Campers participate in everything from canoeing, to bellyaking, swimming, adapted biking, playing sit volleyball, climbing adapted ropes courses, doing adapted climbing towers, ziplining, and more.

 

Camp PossAbility and the bellyak

One resource we were introduced to early on was the bellyak.  A staff member at the outdoor facility that we rent shared an article with me about bellyak and Kyle Morgan. Kyle is a bellyak adaptive-athlete ambassador who was using them. I was very excited about the possibilities and additional adapted opportunities for our campers, so I looked into purchasing our own bellyak. Luckily, we had some sponsors come forward in 2016 to purchase two of them. Our campers loved them and they are now a main activity at the camp. Campers look forward to using them each summer. Several campers have even done fundraising to purchase their own bellyaks because they loved having the feel of freedom on the water!

Bellyak Testimonials

Mason, a camper who is affected by a spinal cord injury, said:
“I like using the bellyak at Camp PossAbility because I get to be in the water without having to rely on someone for help. I get to be out of my wheelchair and can still move around! Being paralyzed, I was cautious at first about getting on the bellyak, but soon realized they were very stable. The bellyak gave me a good workout maneuvering around on the water. [It] was like I was floating on clouds and I didn’t want to get off.”

This Year at Camp PossAbility

By the time July comes around and camp week begins, Camp PossAbility will own 6 bellyaks and will have completed our mini fleet. We are so excited about the adapted opportunities that our campers get to have. Bellyak is a big part of those!

 

If you want to find out more about Camp PossAbility, please check out our website: www.camppossability.org. We would love to have more campers and volunteers join our camp TRIBE!

 

If you want to donate to help support this amazing place, please check out: www.camppossablity.org/donate. Camp PossAbility costs approximately $82,000/year and we have no paid staff, including my CEO position. Campers only pay $450 with their actual costs being $2100/camper. The rest of the funding is raised with donations and grants. We would love to have your support!

 

Thank you so much! See you on the Water!

 

Lauren E. Harmison
CEO, Camp PossAbility

 

Bellyaks vs Prone Paddle Boards

Why go prone, you ask? Why lay down and use your hands when you can sit, stand or kneel and use a paddle? Why get water in your face and subject yourself to such a workout? Read on.

Read more

Bellyaks and Summer Camp: Fun With A Purpose

Why Summer Camp?

Developing Life Habits

The worst part about summer camp is that it often creates a lifelong obsession with the outdoors. I have always loved to swim and after learning to kayak at a summer camp in Vermont, I’ve based most of my major life decisions around access to lakes and rivers. From playing kayak games on the lake to running rivers around the country, summer camp planted the seed. Who knows how my life could have turned out had it not of been for summer camp!

Read more

Got Camp?

No Rapids Necessary…Frequency Fun on Flatwater

Just add water! Pure Fun

You don’t need a river or a wave to have fun on a bellyak. Like to swim and be in the water? Then the bellyak will enhance your aquatic experience by helping you become one with the water. Are you a resort owner looking to add another activity for your guests? Do you have an adventure center that is looking for something that is new, easy to do yet challenging?

DSC_2368

Perfect for kids of all ages, guaranteed to make you smile!

Stackable!

 

 

 

Don't you want to be this happy?

Don’t you want to be this happy?

LaurenSurf

Lightweight and Portable, easy to take to wherever the water is!

As always, Designed and Made in the USA for the World!

As always, Designed and Made in the USA for the World!

What You Need to Bellyak

What you need to Bellyak

Bellyak – Play or Frequency

Shred Ready Standard Half Cut Helmet – Shred Ready Standard Half Cut

Astral Buoyancy PFD – Astral Buoyancy

NRS Propulsion Glove Hand Paddles – NRS Propulsion Gloves

NRS Kicker WetshoeShoes are optional…but we like NRS Kicker Wetshoe

That is about it folks!

Depending on the water temp and time of year, you may also consider –

*Adam’s Note

Because you are exposed to water more than in a regular kayak, a wetsuit offers the best combination of warmth and flexibility for being in the water, without extra resistance from extra fabric of, for example, a drysuit. In the heat of summer, shorts and/or bathing suit and a rashguard are usually enough, unless it’s really cold water (ie: the Nantahala). Be sure to sunscreen the back of your legs–that’s not a fun sunburn! Also, a lifejacket and a helmet are essentials. So far, the PFD’s by Astral work best. Many kayaking vests are made with extra thick padding in the abdomen area and/or pockets which, unfortunately, can be somewhat uncomfortable to lay on. The Astral vests“Norge” or “Abba” with Kapok foam seem to be best, as they conform well to the body while laying down. NRS Propulsion Gloves are used for speed and direction. We are also developing an area on the boat for storing a dry bag. As of now, there is a sizeable hatch in the bow. We love Watershed Dry Bags in general for toting gear.