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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

Lake bellyak workouts

Do You Remember Your First Time?

By Sara Weidemann,

“My workouts are boring!” Said no one ever that owns a Bellyak. My first time on the Bellyak was an unforgettable experience. And by unforgettable, I mean my muscles felt the workout for days so I literally couldn’t forget about it. To be honest, I haven’t stopped talking about it either. So, I bought a bellyak.  Since I can walk out my front door and go 10 miles in any direction and run into a lake, I bought the Frequency bellyak because it’s best for open water – and let’s be honest – it has a built in hatch to hold a couple cans of my favorite beer.

Lake bellyak workouts

A New Kind of Workout

I’ve been a personal trainer for over 10 years and I was amazed by the number of muscle groups involved when using the bellyak. While paddling down the French Broad Section Nine River in North Carolina (first time ever on a bellyak!), I told myself how thankful I was that I incorporate Pilates into my fitness routines. I found myself engaging certain muscle groups that I would in prone Pilates exercises on the bellyak. The only difference was that the next morning I felt as if it was the first time ever doing Pilates. Hell, I felt like it was the first time I’ve ever worked out! My muscles ached, specifically my core muscles. It brought a smile to my face and I thought to myself…”I have to be a part of Team Bellyak, and I need to do so immediately because the world needs to know about the bellyak”.

Exercise buddies on the Frequency

Mixing Up Exercise Routines

I get bored easily with workouts and even the classes I teach, which is why I’m certified and able to teach so many different fitness formats; Yoga, Mat Pilates, PiYo, Barbell, Kettlebells, TRX, Water Aerobics, HIIT are some, but not all the formats I teach on a weekly basis. The bellyak gave me new hope that there IS something out there for me that will keep my workouts fun, fresh, and different. My goal going forward is to show you all, the Bellyak users, different fitness routines you can incorporate into your life to not only help with being better at the Bellyak and possibly surpass the man himself – founder Adam Masters – but to increase your overall strength, help with posture, decrease risk of injury and to spice up your workouts!

I look forward to putting on fitness challenges, creating workout videos, and writing blogs.  If there is anything specific you’d like me to write about please e-mail me at sara@bellyak.com!

Psst – have you completed my first fitness challenge? The bellyak burpee? Check it out below!

 

Accessible for All: Bellyaking with Paralysis

Kyle Morgan is a C5-6 quadriplegic due to an automobile accident in 2010. Pre-injury he was an outgoing young man seeking a career in the U.S Army. After one night of celebrating, his life was torn into pieces.

“The most challenging part about dealing with paralysis isn’t that you can’t walk anymore, it’s not being able to do any of the things I used too,” Kyle said. “I was always outdoors and involved in sports, after my accident I thought all those days were over.”

Moving On

After two years of being bound to a fully power assisted wheelchair Kyle had had enough. He moved from a small town in Western North Carolina to the state’s capital: Raleigh, NC. He began physical therapy and pushed himself daily. He graduated to a power assisted manual chair and didn’t stop there. He began playing Murder Ball (Wheelchair Rugby), but due to the cost of the sports equipment and travel expense he had to put it on hold. That set back didn’t stop him though. He came across a new sport called Bellyaking and reached out to the CEO Adam Masters.

“When I saw the Bellyak I knew I could use it,” Kyle said. “I always loved swimming pre-injury but afterwards being a quadriplegic I felt as if swimming was a thing of the past.”

A Partnership is Formed

Adam liked Kyle’s attitude so much he lent him a Bellyak to try out.

“The moment I got on the Bellyak and was pushed into the water I felt comfortable and actually very safe.” Kyle said, “Due to the Bellyak having a low center of gravity the boats are incredibly stable. I was unaware of the workout I was getting until after about 30 minutes when I got into my chair I couldn’t push myself back to my van. It was by far the best workout I’ve ever had.”

The Best Bits

The best part about the Bellyak stepping into the adaptive sports community is it’s cost efficient. Sports such as Handcycling, Murder Ball and wheelchair basketball cost around $3,000 to start. A Bellyak – complete with paddle gloves and a rear skeg (fin) – is $695 out the door. On top of it being new to the world of adaptive sports, Adam Masters is making minor adjustments to make it more comfortable for those with skin issues. These boats are ready to use right off of the shelf.

Kyle’s new motto: “I may not have 100 percent, but I use 100 percent of what I have.”

Kyle Morgan is on Team Bellyak as an adaptive athlete and an active ambassador to help the differently-abled get on the water. Kyle is also “Chief Motivator.”

See Kyle’s story on video here.

happy Bellyak rider

A Dozen Reasons why I love the Frequency: A Novice Whitewater Girls View

I love the Frequency because…

1) It makes me feel safe

2) I see sections of river I’ve never seen before

3) I feel way more awesome than when I’m in the ducky

4) People think I’m cool and courageous going “head first” through whitewater

5) I can learn water flow and current better by removing some of my fear

6) I can sit up, lay down, or kneel without the boat tipping over

7) I carry the beer and snacks in my hatch

8) The integrated toe cups allow me to “hook myself in” when the current gets gnarly

9) I haven’t had to learn how to roll a kayak (yet

10)The graphics are freaking bad a**

 

 

 

 

 

 

11) It makes me look more talented than I actually am

 

12) I have more fun on the water than ever before