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Learning to Sit Ski

Taking a look at this technical wizardry

Learning to Sit Ski

By George Shelton on March 18, 2020

“It’s like a massive ski boot but for your butt” is a phrase I say often to those who look bamboozled at this piece of technical wizardry. It’s no surprise. The sit skis on the market right now are incredible feats of engineering – many moving parts, motorcycle shocks, lift loading mechanisms and different buckets (seats). Like snowflakes, each one is different.

When beginning the process of fitting a sit ski, our aim is to make it a comfortable, safe and supportive experience, while allowing the guest as much independence as possible. For best success, we look at mobility, goals and physique to select the ideal set up, from a range of sit skis. Our biggest aim is to keep the guests safe and balanced.

Guest is fitted into a sit ski with the help of RMA volunteers dressed in blue

And aren’t we all just trying to find balance? Whether we are sit skiing or stand-up skiing. Forwards balance, backwards balance, and side to side. And then comes alignment…head over shoulders, shoulders over hips, hips over the ski. Easy, right?

Rocky Mountain Adaptive instructors work with the participant, adding padding and support which allow the shoulders, hips and ski to be stacked on top each other – whilst also adding side to side padding to adjust lateral posture. Other support comes from the height of the back rest which can be as much as an inch above the hips or as high as the head and neck.

2 sit skiers raise arms and smile while travelling up a ski lift

What should you expect on your sit ski lesson? For a never-ever skier we say you should expect the first hour to be spent setting up the sit ski. This is a continuous but super important element of learning how to sit ski. You’ll find your instructor constantly adjusting outriggers, padding and  straps. This will continue throughout your skiing career as you learn more about the sport and technology changes. Be patient – the sit ski fitting will set you up for a successful day.

As always safety is our number one priority. This year, given COVID-19, a huge amount of thought and planning has gone into keeping participants, volunteers and instructors safe and healthy. As you can imagine there may be times where it is necessary for instructors to be in close contact with participants especially when fitting a sit ski. To mitigate risk if our staff and volunteers are in close contact with you, they will firstly always ask consent. Instructors will be wearing PPE which includes a face mask (not just a neck warmer/buff) as well as gloves and sanitized hands. If you expect other precautions, please let us know. As always, we are adapting to the world around us and your needs.

A collection of sit skis stand in a row outside a brown shed on the ski hill

Inspired by this Story?

If this story has inspired you to get involved in adaptive sports, we have a large range of accessible adventures available to you.

Join In the Fun

Want to join the fun and give back? Volunteering with Rocky Mountain Adaptive is a great way to support your community while assisting others.

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Make a Difference

You can make a difference to the growth of adaptive sports by donating to the Clairey Lou Memorial Fund & Matthew Hamer Legacy Fund. Thank you.

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