Persons with a spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, post polio and similar disabilities may be prime candidates for adaptive stand-up skiing/boarding. The key to success is their ability to support their body weight while standing. The disability determines which adaptive equipment to use.
Some students with mild cases of muscular dystrophy or multiple sclerosis, amputees, or any disability that effects balance are able to stand (and ski) on one or two legs with slight mechanical assistance. Handheld outriggers, which look like crutches with small skis on the end, can provide the necessary support and balance. Using two skis and two outriggers as pictured here is called 4-tracking.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, it is possible to ski on one ski. In fact, skiing on one ski is required training for advanced ski instructors. In this photo, one of our adaptive instructors (who had lost his leg) is skiing with one ski and two outriggers. This is called 3-tracking. Many instructors practice with the adaptive equipment until they can ski on only one ski without using the outriggers.
Outriggers vary in length to match the height of the skier. We have outriggers appropriate for students of all ages, sizes, and abilities.
3-trackers and 4-trackers learn to use the outriggers to maintain balance, strength, and posture. Students might use outriggers to help initiate a turn or to push themselves through a lift line. The ski tips on the outriggers can be locked into an upright position to function more like “ski crutches.” Getting on and off the lift with outriggers also requires some training and practice.