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Adaptive Hobbies: Being Active and Enjoying the Great Outdoors

Posted in: Accessible Activities

adaptive hobbies

It’s easy to pick up a lot hobbies from the comfort of your own home. Some could include video games, card games, board games, puzzles, reading, and watching TV. But what if you want to go out and enjoy the great outdoors, or meet people on a team? There are a few hobbies worth exploring that may not be immediately obvious, especially if you haven’t tried them before. Continue reading for a few adaptive hobbies to try for anyone with disabilities.

Pick Up Fishing

Fishing is a great way to experience the beauty of the great outdoors, the serenity of being near the water, and the thrill of the catch. Adaptive fishing rods to assist with holding the rod, baiting the hook, casting and reeling in, and removing the hook.

One of the best parts about picking up fishing is that it’s so flexible. You can enjoy the peace of fishing independently, or friends and family can join in for a bonding experience.

For anyone who want to head out onto the water for their next fishing trip, do some research first. If a person with disabilities is able to transfer from wheelchair to a boat, he or she can sit in a regular seat, with or without a lap belt for support. Many of the newer boats have fairly flat front decks that may help with the transition from pier to boat.

A public access pier works just as well. Optimally, piers should be 8’ wide. This ensures there is plenty of space to allow a wheelchair user to maneuver the pier safely.

Whether you live near a river, lake, or ocean, adaptive fishing has never been more available thanks to adaptive fishing equipment, Disabled Sports USA chapters, and organizations ready to teach you how to fish properly. Get a disabled fishing license before you get out there and fish.

Bring the Garden To You

Being able to plant your favorite flowers, pick fresh herbs for a delicious dinner, or simply enjoy the great outdoors are all possible when gardening from a wheelchair. With proper planning, you can enjoy it all from the comfort of your backyard.

The key to gardening is to match your garden’s design to your individual needs. Before getting started, think creatively with where your garden will be located. For instance, you can use raised beds to bring the ground closer to your elevation. They should also be narrow to provide convenient access to the whole garden.

Gardeners with disabilities should consider vertical wall gardens or tabletop gardens. Large pots or containers on caddies should also be considered due to their flexibility with movement and placement. If you’re using a pot, ensure it’s at least 24 inches across to prevent soil from drying out. To make it easier, you can even have your garden on the deck or even the patio.

Join a Wheelchair Basketball Team

Adaptive sports are an interactive way to meet people as both a competitor, recreational player, or spectator. Basketball is likely the most well-developed sport for people with disabilities in the U.S., and for good reason. The game has been played for almost 70 years to date, originally created by World War II veterans.

Today, the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) has since grown to over 200 teams. The NWBA has given birth to hundreds of teams from North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. The U.S. now competes against teams from all over the world at the Paralympic Games and the World Championships. It’s an exciting spectator sport.

At a recreational level, there are teams like the Ability360 Phoenix Wheelchair Suns all over the country for men, women, and juniors. Some colleges have university hoops teams too.

Winter Ski and Snowboard Lessons

Achieve Tahoe provides winter sports instruction at all ability levels for adults and children with disabilities. With the proper preparation and training, you’ll have a lifelong winter adventure skill down in no time.

Based in California, the organization teaches people with disabilities how to ski and snowboard. It’s a great way to reinforce healthy activity, explore the outdoors, and push boundaries as you meet new people.

Pack snacks and bundle up! Run through this checklist before you plan your next ski trip. Buying lessons make great gifts for family members and friends.

Give Quad Rugby a Shot

Quad rugby is a combination of soccer, keep-away, and demolition derby. Rugby fans say it’s the fastest growing wheelchair sport in the world. For anyone looking for an action-packed hobby, this could be for you.

Quad rugby is a simple game with complex strategies for playing both offense and defense.  It is played with a volleyball on a basketball-size court with goal lines marked by cones and a lined-off key area. The idea is to cross the end line on the court and score a point. The other teams do what they can to stop you.

Each player has 15 seconds to advance the ball into the opponent’s half-court. The player with the ball must pass or dribble every ten seconds or a turnover is awarded.

There are dozens of competitive rugby teams in the U.S. Each team is comprised of four players, mostly quads. Players must have all four limbs affected by disability. Amputees, post-polios, and those with other disabilities may also be eligible to play. Most players have sustained cervical spinal cord injuries, so keep that in mind.

Whether you have any experience in these hobbies or not, all you need is interest and commitment to get started. No matter what hobby you decide try, the most important part is to have fun.