Freedom Kayaks


Chris L .

Chris L. is a 27 year old from Va Beach. Chris was in a auto accident when he was 4 years old and suffered lower T-complete injury. But, he's full of energy! I was introduced to Chris through a mutual friend of my brother’s Erica, who lives in Virginia Beach. She is a recreational therapist at a local hospital. I meet Chris the night before at my brothers home for a meet and greet. He was excited and enthusiastic about Freedom Kayaks' EM1 concept. As we were getting acquainted, he told me a story about his first exposure to kayaking.

He went on to explain how he and his wife (ex-now) signed up for a kayaking venture on a summer vacation (years back). All was well. Then, he got into his kayak and was soon with the group on their way. A ways into the trip, Chris flipped and it took a couple of people to get him back into his kayak. He said that it was embarrassing and he was physically exhausted after getting back in. Still a bit from shore they tied a rope to the front of his kayak and towed him back. At that time, he said that kayaking was probably not going to be a sport for him!

Well that has all changed for Chris now! He did very well in the pool session with our EM1 and was soon paddling around the pool, flipping over and getting back in under his own effort. It was still early in the day and my brother and I invited Chris to go on a open water paddle with us. The rest of the day was a blast! We joked around and paddled. When the paddle was over and we were all sitting around the dock talking, as he was stretching his arms and trunk when Chris said, "I used muscles today that I did not even know I had!!!" That's quite a message!

This story does not end there. A couple months later, I received a call from Chris. He asked me when I will be back in Virginia with my kayaks. He said I need your kayak!! "What’s the urgency", I asked. He explained how he met a girl at the bar and he really liked her. He said, "We started talking about kayaking and she wants to go!!!" “I need your kayak. I like her a lot and she’s really cute!!!!" he said. ‘When are you coming back down here?" I have told this story countless times of how Freedom Kayaks is also a “dating service “ .. The true meaning of this story is not just about the physical attributes that kayaking has to offer, but the social as well.
Jeff and Karen

Jeff and his wife Karen, Jeff is a police officer injured on the job. He went in to the hospital for back surgery and rolled out weeks later with a T-10 paralysis. I learned of his story through mutual friends. The work of my kayak spread to his therapists, they recommended to him that he give me a call. It was some time later that I received a call from Jeff, a little awkward at first but after a couple more conversations he wanted to see what Freedom was all about. I scheduled a pool session for him and his wife, I told him all’s he needed was a pair of shorts and a towel, he commented back, “I’m not sure if I want to get in the pool just yet”, I was a little confused by this but, kept the session date. What I did not know at that time that, Jeff was falling into a state of depression, and his therapist where trying everything to combat this and encouraged him to call me. The day came and I met the two, I did a pool session with Jeff and Karen at the side of the pool watching and asking questions. When all was over, at the side of the pool I asked, why did they want to see this? Karen responded with a lump in her throat, we just wanted something to look forward to in the future, something that we could do together, something in the outdoors. They went on to explain a little of their past and their mutual love for the outdoors and eagerness to get back in it. To this day it’s still hard for me to describe, helping this couple through a tough time, receiving inspiration from someone that inspires you is difficult to put in words.