Skiing with a Disability
Skiing is possible for almost everyone. Skiing with a disability is possible with the right resort, the right slopes and the right instructors to get you started. Read our brief guide to help you get an idea of how!
It is not uncommon to see disabled athletes participating and competing in several different types of sporting activities. Some of these sports take place indoors while are others are enjoyed in the outdoor environment. At most ski facilities there are opportunities for a disabled ski to benefit from and enjoy taking part in specialized programs and use the modified equipment that is available. Instructors are able to help the disabled skier make the most of their skiing experience and can offer tips and advice on how to ski safely.
It is not uncommon to find adaptive equipment available for use at major resorts. There are unique resorts that also offer programs specifically for the disabled skier. If you look around you will find some of the best ski resorts for disabled skiers in areas you want to visit or where you prefer to ski at. They will either offer you what you are in need of or will likely be able to direct you to the proper facilities that will be suitable for you.
Skiers that have limited or no vision or who have poor balance can take advantage of using specialized equipment to assist them with balance and control. Some equipment allows the skier to balance as they lean on ski poles that have outriggers attached to the ends of them. These outriggers function similar to a crutch and also offer the disabled person support when they remove their skis and need to be mobile on snowy ground. Special gloves and attachments may make holding onto poles easier.
Skis for those who have lost lower limbs
If a skier has lost one or both of their lower limbs, they can benefit from using a type of ski that is modified and can be strapped to the leg. However, the skier must have fairly good balance and be able to sufficiently control the musculature of the rest of their body in order for this to be functional. A skier that is missing a limb may also benefit from using the outrigger type of poles that will offer extra support and control when the skier is going downslope.
Skiing while sitting
People who are in wheelchairs may be able to enjoy skiing if they are able to use a type of sled chair that is mounted onto skis and that has the outrigger poles attached on the sides in order to provide them with a full range of motion. Some of the sleds may have attached handlebars or may strap the skier into the sled. Those who have good control and upper body strength can sit on a seat which is mounted to an individual ski as well as use the outrigger skis; this equipment is somewhat more advanced to utilize.
Ski equipment for the disabled is a developing niche of innovative ideas. Disabled skiers should always wear protective equipment and be properly informed and prepared for their ski experience just as anyone else should be.
Check out www.goski.co.uk for a range of best of resorts including ones for disability.