Kapiti Observer : January 3rd 2013
5045488AA * FREE making Plus FREE installation of drapes and tracks resumes on January 7th ANNUAL FURNITURE SALE ON FROM JANUARY 7th UNTIL 31st (Our Once A Year Sale) ~ ALL STOCK REDUCED BETWEEN 15% - 50% ~ No Exceptions Cushions ~ Settees ~ Accessories ~ Coffee Tables ~ Bookcases ~ Hall Tables ~ Chairs, etc. ~ All Stock Reduced! Quality Furniture & Furnishings Quality Furniture & Furnishings Phone (04) 298 5927 for FREE MEASURE and QUOTE or call at 17 Seaview Road PARAPARAUMU BEACH This offer applies to all lined and thermal drapes Just phone and we will call! 5 THURSDAY, JANUARY 3, 2013 Making waves for disabled surfers Making a difference: Marcus Thompson is working on a wave ski design for the disabled after crafting a surfboard, right, and wave ski left. By RANDALL WALKER ' Opening up the ability for people in chairs to have an adventure, break boundaries, or go beyond their comfort zones, in settings that interest them. ' Being unable to stand up should be no barrier to surfing, para- plegic Marcus Thompson says. He is working on designs to make the sport accessible to the disabled. The Otaki resident says sports like wheelchair rugby and basket- ball have helped disabled people back into recreation but water- sports can remain outside their capabilities. Mr Thompson is working with board manufacturers on two designs for a sit-on wave ski, which he hopes to have on the water this summer for testing. Once a keen river kayaker and windsurfer, Mr Thompson was working as an outdoor education teacher when he had a high-speed skiing accident in 2003 and exploded a vertebra . He has found his way back into sport through wheelchair rugby and basketball, but said that though they provided pathways for the disabled into sport, every- day recreation could still be a challenge. As a board member of Parafed Wellington, which supports sport- ing and recreational activities for physically disabled people, Mr Thompson is hoping to change that. Parafed traditionally has been looking after team sports, and now that we re moving into individual-based activities it s sort of overlapping into that social area for people, opening up the ability for people in chairs to have an adventure, break boundaries, or go beyond their comfort zones in settings that interest them. Parafed was looking to buy adaptive gear to rent out at nom- inal fee, he aid. The wave ski was a pilot project. The father of four said he was inspired by building a surfboard for his son Pedro last summer. Watching his kids surfing had motivated him to design some- thing so he could join them. Through Parafed, he was work- ing with Auckland s Tsunami Boards to develop a 2.4-metre (8-foot) wave ski. Parafed had secured funding of $4500 for the project. Wave skis are a short board with a surfboard hull. The rider paddles the ski out and then surfs a wave back in. The core movement on the wave is surfing, so once they initiate turns they don t have to do as much with the paddle. For us without much hip move- ment we re going to have to rely more on paddle and hull design to work the wave, so that s part of the shaping experimentation that we are going through now. Alongside the Tsunami exper- iment, Mr Thompson was working on his own 3-metre (10-foot) design using plans from board manufacturer Roy Stuart of Future Primitive. He said Stuart crafted surfboards from lightweight, strong paulownia timber, with a teardrop shape and displacement hull. With the rail shape of the board it means . . . you can essen- tially stand in one sweet spot in the middle and turn, you don t have to go up and down the board, and that makes a lot of sense to me to translate that through to seated surfing. The wave ski would need a sup- portive seat offering hip control, and a quick release strap for when the rider tipped over. [On standard wave skis] when they get tipped over in a wave, they normally put one leg down and then do an eskimo roll [to right themselves], but you can t do that if you haven t got your legs working. He hoped in time to come up with a design that enabled the disabled rider to roll. Meanwhile he aimed to build his board and have it ready for testing this month, and expected the Tsunami prototype to be ready for testing by February. Safety would be a big part of the testing, and he would have help from keen surfer, fellow Otaki College teacher and surf lifesaver Daniel Riggs. Paraplegic Paul Fal- lon, of Waikanae, who last year swam from Kapiti Island to Wai- kanae, would also take part. I m picking that in good weather, a strong person in the water will become very indepen- dent and some people will always need someone close by.
December 27th 2012
January 10th 2013