Fieldlab UPPS

Design of an Adjustable SitWake Seat

Willem Hooft Foundation


This project focuses on the design and development of an adjustable sit-wake seat for beginners with physical disabilities. The aim is to create a seat that is easy to adjust, optimized for manufacturability, and extends the lifespan of the product. The project builds upon the research and concept design of an adjustable sit-kite seat by Marinke Callens, incorporating ergonomic data and anthropometric measurements to improve fit and pressure distribution. The switch from sit-kiting to sit-waking was made to create a more controllable test environment and to target a broader market. The design process follows the double diamond method, involving phases of discovery, definition, development, and delivery, with extensive user testing and rapid prototyping to ensure functionality and usability.

Problem definition

The current problem is that cable parks need to purchase multiple seats of different sizes to accommodate beginners with various anthropometrics, which is financially burdensome. Additionally, the time required to switch seats for different users is too long, and the existing design by Callens requires further improvements in functionality, strength, usability, and sustainability.

Workflow description

Collect phase

Analyse phase

Design phase

Parametric Modelling

The design phase began with extensive parametric modelling to adapt the sit-wake seat to various user anthropometrics without the need for complete redesigns. By leveraging data from previous research and 3D scans, the design could be adjusted to fit a range of body types, ensuring comfort and safety for all users .


Co-creation was a key element in the design phase, involving collaboration with stakeholders such as the Willem Hooft Foundation and potential users. This participatory approach allowed for the integration of user feedback into the design process, ensuring that the final product met the needs and preferences of its intended users. The iterative process included multiple design sprints focusing on the sliding and adjustability mechanisms.

Produce phase

Production Technique Selection

Additive manufacturing was selected as the primary production technique due to its ability to create customised components efficiently. This method was particularly suitable for producing the lightweight and adjustable parts necessary for the sit-wake seat. The use of advanced materials like fiberglass and epoxy was also explored to ensure durability and strength.


The production phase involved creating several prototypes for testing and evaluation. Initial prototypes were made from materials such as wood and aluminum to quickly iterate and refine the design. These prototypes were tested under real-world conditions to gather feedback and identify areas for improvement. This iterative prototyping approach ensured that the final product was both functional and manufacturable.

Use phase


The final phase focused on evaluating the sit-wake seat in real-world settings. Extensive testing was conducted at cable parks to assess user satisfaction and gather feedback. Additionally, virtual environments were created to simulate various scenarios and refine the design further. This comprehensive evaluation process provided valuable insights that informed the final adjustments, ensuring the seat was user-friendly, safe, and durable.


The research concluded with the successful design and prototype of a fiberglass sit-wake seat adjustable in width, optimiSed for usability, and with a minimized footprint to extend its lifespan. The design process, guided by the double diamond method, included extensive desk research, interviews with the target group, and rapid prototyping. The final product is tailored to the user, ensuring safety and ease of use for both beginner sit-wakers and sit-kiters. The project demonstrated the importance of iterative design and user feedback in developing a functional and inclusive product. The resulting adjustable sit-wake seat lowers the barrier to entry for adaptive water sports, making them more accessible and affordable.

No items found.