as in snow skiing, water skiing can be adapted. The single most
significant factor influencing the participation of mobility-impaired
individuals in water skiing was the development of the sit ski,
or adapted water ski. There are a variety of models, such as the
mono-ski or single-ski types: the E-ski, and Kan-ski.
The increased popularity of water-skiing has led
to the establishment of the Annual HomeCARE U.S. National Disabled
Water Ski Championship, a sanctioned event of the American Water
Safety for All Water Skiers
- Beginners should first consult their
physicians with any questions regarding their ability to
- A wet suit should be considered to protect
against extreme heat loss, or cuts and bruises.
- Beginners should receive a complete
on-land introduction to ski equipment.
Guidelines, depending on your ability
- It's important to get deep-water practice
mounting the ski from the side or rear. You need to find your
skis' balance point.
- A "beginner
ski" has a notch at the top with a rope attached. It
allows a skier greater stability. (When using the towline, a quick
release at the boat is mandatory for safety.)
- An assistant
can provide some stability by riding the tail of the ski until
the skier is up and appears to have established balance.
- A second boat
can be used as the pick-up boat; a slower start/pick-up boat is
used for a sit skier.
- A wider ski will
plane more easily out of the water.
- Boats with stern-mounted
platforms make transfers easier.
- Removable seat
cushions can be used as flotation devices and are a good idea
for any boat.
- Ski Booms are
not to be used if the towline is attached to the ski, but can
be used effectively with a short V-line held by the skier.
Sit-Skis: These let you enjoy water skiing
from a sitting position which will require less balancing. Outriggers
can be attached to the main ski, ideal for someone who is unable
to balance a Sit-Ski.
Saucers: Some skiers may find ski discs
or saucers, such as the Ski Master Knee Board, easier to use in
the beginning. Wider and more stable than conventional skis, saucers
can be used in the prone, kneeling or standing positions.
Ski-trainer: Most water ski shops carry
a device called a ski-trainer which incorporates wide tails, flat
bottoms, and a training harness to make learning easier.
Ski-bra: This device provides additional
stability to skiers who do not have the leg strength to prevent
lateral movement of the skis.
Delgar Sling: A person with a missing limb
or an inability to use one arm will benefit from using the Delnor
sling, as it helps compensate for the uneven pull of the rope they'd
experience while water skiing. If the skier falls, the handle is
easily dislodged to prevent injury.
Dual Ski Rope Handle: For those with visual
impairments, the use of dual ski rope handle with a sighted partner
is the best alternative.
Tons of adaptive sports equipment.
Each year from April to October, Adaptive Aquatics provides instruction
through comprehensive clinics and workshops. With the use of specialized
equipment and expert instruction Adaptive Aquatics opens avenues
to greater independence and allows people to experience the excitement
and thrill of water sports that many person's with disabilities
did not think were possible.
American Water Skiing
Courage Duluth-Adaptive Sports &
map with directions
Disabled Sports USA
U. S. Adaptive Recreation Center
Special thanks to Jeffrey A. Jones and Michael
C. Paciorek for technical information, and resources excerpted from
their book, "Sports and Recreation for the Disabled."