Ski Types For Disabled Athletes


Don't know what ski types are available to purchase? Doing a little reading about the basic type may make your choice easier. Whether young or old, male or female, novice or veteran there is a ski type for you. It doesn't matter if you are skiing for fun or competition, at the local slopes or around the world, you can find the right ski for you. There are a few different skis designed for different types of skiers and different types of skiing.

Mono Ski

A mono-skier should have good upper body strength, balance and trunk movement. An individual with double lower extremity amputations, spina bifida, or with a spinal cord injury of T-6 or below is a good candidate for the mono-ski.

Bi-Ski

The bi-ski was developed for individuals who ski in a sitting position. This may include those with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, brain injury or individuals with spinal cord injuries.

A bi-skier sits in a molded fiberglass shell above two specially designed skis. The two skis give a wider base and better balance than a mono-ski. The bi-ski can be controlled by the skier with the use of two outriggers for balance and turning.

For beginning skiers and those needing more assistance, fixed outriggers and a handlebar can be used. The bi-ski must be tethered by a ski instructor whenever the fixed outriggers are used.

Sit-Ski

The Sit-Ski was one of the first sitting position skis developed for individuals with lower extremity limitations. This may include those with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, lower extremity amputations, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, brain injury or spinal cord injuries.

The Sit-Ski is usually preferred by people with significant physical limitations. To turn the Sit-Ski, a skier can drag very short ski poles in the snow and lean in the desired direction.

Three Track

These athletes have one good leg and two good arms. They are generally individuals who have amputations, are post-polio or hemiplegia (weakness on one side). Three tracks use a full size ski and outriggers giving them three points of contact on the snow. These skiers usually progress quite rapidly.

Participants include both men and women with several different disabilities from blindness to spinal cord to amputees.

If you are interested you can take lessons with many ski schools across the country. Most alpine ski resorts have adaptive ski schools.

To find a local program in your community or learn more about skiing visit the US Paralympic Organizaiton.

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