Adaptive snowsport is now more accessible than ever meaning skiing and snowboarding is more accessible for anyone who wants to have a go.
An Overview of Adaptive Snowsports
Individuals use one ski and two outriggers (forearm crutches with ski tips mounted to the bases). Suitable for individuals with leg amputations, post-polio or trauma that affects primarily one leg.
Individuals use two skis and outriggers (forearm crutches with ski tips mounted to the bases) or a walker. A metal "ski bra" or a bungee cord between skis gives more control to feet and legs. Suitable for individuals with the inability to walk without assistance, for example people with cerebral palsy, post-polio, spina bifida, arthrogryposis, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, congenital defect or traumatic injury.
Individuals ski in a rigid seat mounted to two asymmetrically cut skis and use hand-held or fixed outriggers (forearm crutches with ski tips mounted to the bases) that attach to the bi ski. This technique is more stable than a mono-ski and is used by people who use wheelchairs or walk with difficulty using assistance, for example people with cerebral palsy, brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, spinal cord injury, multiple amputations.
Individuals sit in a moulded seat that is mounted to a single ski and use hand-held outriggers (forearm crutches with ski tips mounted to the bases). The mono-ski is the most difficult seated equipment to use because it requires the greatest balance and strength. It is designed for people with double amputations and spinal cord injuries including people with spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy.
For individuals that are visually impaired, a sighted guide is needed – guides may ski a short distance in front to show the way or can use a Bluetooth headset to give audible instruction, depending on the severity of the impairment. Visually impaired skiers and guides are advised to wear high-vis bibs marked with "Blind Skier" or "Guide" to alert other skiers on the mountain and to also aid the skier to be able to spot the guide on the hill.
Adaptive Snowsport offers physical, mental and social benefits, regardless of disability, injury, or experience.
Contact Disability Snowsport for more information on the current opportunities available.
Specialist equipment is required dependant on the discipline.