Ambassador Spotlight - Susan Seipel, Australia’s Kayaking Marvel
Say hello to the Australian Paralympic Bronze Medalist whose remarkable passion moves us.
Susan Seipel is a multi-talented athlete whose passions include swimming, kayaking, equestrian sports and canoeing. She is a triple World Champion and Paralympic Bronze Medalist in Para-Canoe.
Born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex (a rare congenital condition affecting joints and muscle development), the limited use of her legs presented Susan with challenges. They were challenges that she faced and handily overcame.
She started swimming early in life and, by 2001, captured six Queensland State Game Records and three Australian National Age Records in freestyle and backstroke.
She also became a decorated champion in equestrian sports (specifically Dressage) in 1998, 1999, 2006 and 2008.
Finally, in 2012, Susan discovered Para-Canoe. In 2014, she competed in the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Moscow, where she won her heat and placed 6th in the world for best time. In 2015, she won two national titles and was chosen to join the Australian Para-Canoe Team. And, in 2016, she won the Bronze Medal at the Rio Paralympic Games -- the first Australian to do so.
Between canoeing, outrigger canoeing and kayaking, Susan has an incredible fondness for paddling and for adventure. When she’s not competing, she finds herself attracted to flat water outings and is happy getting lost in natural surroundings.
She told us she appreciates the foldable design of her Oru Bay ST kayak and finds it more manageable than the traditional hard shell kayaks she uses in competition. With its lightweight body, Susan has also found that getting her Oru kayak from the car to the water is much easier than other models.
At Oru Kayak, our goal has always been making the water more accessible to everyone. Susan’s experience with her Bay ST from Oru helps underscore our commitment. Being the first kayak she was able to pack, transport and launch on her own, Susan has a special fondness for her Oru.
One of Susan’s favorite outings is the Brisbane River, the longest river in southeast Queensland, that runs through the center of the city to Moreton Bay. Brisbane being her hometown, Susan enjoys spending leisure time with family and friends and taking trips down the river. She also hopes to ocean launch her Bay ST very soon. Being in Queensland, she’s sure to have plenty of amazing options.
With COVID-19 impacting every corner of the globe, canoeing championships in which Susan had hoped to compete were non-starters in 2020. But, that isn’t getting her down. She told us that, as soon as new schedules are announced, she’s ready. Ever the competitor, Susan is looking forward to getting back on the circuit, with her eye on the next Paralympic Sports. She continues to work and practice with her hopes set on winning the Gold.
With her indomitable spirit and true love of competition, Susan Seipel is a real inspiration. She proves that passion can overcome adversity and that a winning attitude can take you virtually anywhere.
You can learn more about our friend, Susan Seipel, at her personal website www.susanseipel.com. And, be sure to give her a follow on Instagram here - https://www.instagram.com/susanseipel.paralympian/.
And, be sure to check out Susan's Oru Ambassador profile video. We know you'll be just as inspired by her as we are.
If you’d like to learn more about the Bay ST kayak from Oru, be sure to check out the product page here.