Monthly Archives: February 2013

Hokule’a Launch and Adaptive Paddling

2013-02-23_06-19-04_479Had a perfect day yesterday.. Got up at the crack of dawn at 4 AM to go see the Hokule’a, a Polynesian double hulled voyaging canoe, taken out of dry dock at the Marine Education Training Center (METC), and put back into the water in Honolulu Harbor. It will be prepared over the next several months to return to the sea in June. First, a few inter island runs to get the boat and crew all dialed in then on to Tahiti I believe. They will begin their first voyage around the world. The Hokule’a was launched in 1975 and to this day only relies on traditional Hawaiian methods of navigation and wayfinding, using only the stars at night and the wave and current patterns to navigate across the ocean. No modern navigational equipment like compasses are used. It was a very powerful and moving event to be a part of. Truly amazing to see the team work put forth to hand push this giant canoe across the parking lot and down into the water!

IMAG1225 - CopyAfterwards, across the same parking lot, I pushed my wheelchair over to hook up with friends at Pure Light Racing canoe club for Recreational Adaptive Paddling Day. This is a Hawaiian canoe club for people with disabilities and meets every Saturday. It was so awesome! Such a great group of people having a great time at the beach. There was a nice picnic table under a shady tree overlooking the beautiful blue waters of Sand Island. There was a plastic mat rolled across the beach to transverse the sand down to the water. The canoes were parallel parked along the shore where we could easily wheel up along side to transfer into the canoes. Everyone there was so strong and made transfers look so easy, even wheelying across the sand effortlessly. Getting in the canoe was easier for me but getting out I had lots of help. Being in a canoe again for the first time in over ten years since my injury was wonderful! I’ve paddled all my life spending most of my days in the water and it felt so great to be back. We used adapted backrests with supportive torso belts for trunk support. It works really, really good. I had complete balance and didn’t feel awkward or out of balance at all. I had a hard time paddling with my limited hands. I wasn’t able to grip the paddle. But everyone had lots of different ideas on how we could adapt something to fix that. It was a great day meeting new people and reacquainting with old friends. All that sunshine felt great too! :)

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Exciting Day!

Lots of exciting things starting to pick up for me. I was able to reconnect with an old friend involved with Adaptive Canoe Paddling, Pure Light Racing, and am looking forward to checking it out this upcoming weekend. I’m excited to connect with peers and see the kinds of things they are up to as well. Also looking forward to getting back involved with AccesSurf, a program for people with disabilities, and getting them back in the water for surfing adventures. I’ve participated in the past but its been a while since I’ve surfed. Super stoked!

I had a fun time in Sports Authority taking advantage of the Presidents Day sales while I geared up for my upcoming water adventures. While there a clerk cracked me up when I asked if they carried the type of Adidas I was wearing. Without missing a beat they said, “we’re out of SuperStars”. The friend I was with cracked up too and told me, “Wow Damon, you’re a Super Star and you wear SuperStar’s?” Haha!! Shenanigans!!

I also had a great meeting about housing opportunities and how I have been hand selected to pilot and pioneer a brand new program. Housing as well as job placement are integrated. The program works with landlords so the housing is better. And the job placement is essential for making ends meet. This program isn’t usually available to disabled recipients and I would be paving the way for future potential clients. Very exciting!

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RightThisMinute Showcase

National media outlet RighThisMinute saw my skydiving video online and asked to showcase it on their show! Very Cool! It was awesome too, they put my piece as the final clip. I joked with fiends that I got to be “Metallica” and head lined..Gallagher was featured on the same show but was on earlier. Jokes aside, it was a very cool experience. I got to hear from people around the country about watching the show on TV. Much Thanks!

BeautyAbility Podcast 92: Damon Boiser

Podcast with Tiffiny Carlson at BeautyAbility. We talk about my journey post injury and hobbies and interests I’m currently involved in, like martial arts, ocean activity, and skydiving. Take a listen, it was a great interview!

Amazing ending to Kalihi man’s skydiving feat

News interview for KHON Channel 2 with Olena Hue.

Handicapable Tandem Skydiver Jumps From Plane and Lands in Wheelchair

Very cool article Damon Tucker did on me of my first skydive. We didn’t even plan it but from a thousand or so feet up my Tandem Instructor, Papa Dop, pointed out a tiny spec in the landing field which was my wheelchair and said, “Hey lets see if we can land you in your chair!”  And did! From 14,000 ft, at 120 mph, he flew me right into my chair! Amazing!

Skydiving Mash-up

Here’s a mash-up of a couple skydives of mine. Both with wheelchair landings with a great crew at Skydive Hawaii. It came out pretty cool. Please subscribe to my youtube for upcoming events. Enjoy!

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