View Full Version : Disable Skiers?

08-21-2012, 01:13 PM
Hey guys, my cousin was in a bad motocross accident almost 4 years ago and broke his back leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. After I got my 2000 X-STAR he came over and he and I started talking about an air chair. He really wants to get into the sport but we have a few issues. 1. He does not like being picked up or carried so getting into the boat would be one feat we would have to figure out how to overcome. 2. Air Chairs are pretty pricey, Do any of you know where I could find a cheaper or maybe even used Air Chair/Hydrofoil? 3. Do I as the driver need to do anything differently while getting him up on the water or once he is up? I would really love to help him acheive this goal and it would give us a chance to catch up as we have somewhat lost touch over the years and any input would help greatly. Thanks in advance for your input.

08-21-2012, 01:34 PM
My ski club hosts and partners with a good friend, Blaine Bridgeford at www.youcanski.org an adaptive ski clinic each year on our site. Blaine has been putting this on for years and I think would be the best person in the country to talk to you about it. His contact information is on the website Tell him Mark Cohen from MSC sent you.

If you are in North Texas, the clinic date is September 15th, 2012 here in Ft. Worth

08-21-2012, 01:42 PM
I don't know where you are in the south, but I suggest you contact these people: www.adaptiveaquatics.org
They can help you get started and hook you up with other disabled skiers in your area.
I was heavily involved in hosting the 2011 World Disabled Waterski Championships and I can say you will never find a better group of waterskiers than the skiers of the WSDA of usawaterski.

08-21-2012, 01:45 PM
Assuming he's in a wheelchair right? How about this for loading into boat. Launch your boat, spin it around get your swim platform as shallow as the prop will allow. have a ramp or long piece of plywood that he can run the wheelchair down concrete ramp & on your swim platform. From there can he muscle his way into a boat seat? And store the wheel chair in bow or in the truck bed on shore.

As for getting in the water, again. is it feasible that he can arm crawl his body back to the platform and get in the water with air chair? Might need someone in water to help stabilize. for the launch.

08-21-2012, 02:01 PM
I have a friend paralized from the stomach down, we built a swinging arm on the dock and he holds onto it and swings himself onto his jetski or in the boat... he also kneeboards.. he used floaties attached to his wrist to help stabalize himself untill he got good enough to not need them.

08-21-2012, 02:13 PM
Look on the www.foilforum.com site.

There is a young man on there that is disabled and several members donated wings, t-bar, tower, seat, and board for this young man to foil.

I don't remember the level of his disability but I can assure you that he is a member on that forum. I would probably ask him questions directly due to the reason he is disabled and knows first hand what works and what probably won't work as far as brainstorming goes.

I'll try to find his profile on FF

08-21-2012, 03:29 PM
awesome feedback in only an hour of post time..... TEAMTALK ROCKS


08-21-2012, 04:03 PM
Here is the thread


Whoever follows the thread can figure out the young man who is now into foiling with his disability.

08-21-2012, 11:27 PM
I have volunteered with a group in East Tenn for years teaching adults and kids with disabilities to water ski. One or two ride a wakeboard. Can't offer any advice with the hydrofoil.
If you have any questions about adaptive water ski let me know.

For loading... If you have access to a dock, have them ride the wheel chair on the dock to the edge of boat, slide out of chair on to dock, if you have a cheap foam pad or something helps, then let them slide but over onto rear sun deck of boat, then slide into boat. We offer help during loading, and stand by, but try to let the person be as independent as possible.

We generally assist in the water during starts by holding the ski straight and tip up, the starter floats behind the skier, and releases the skier during the start. For advanced skiers, they self start.

When we run adaptive ski events, we use a ski boat or jet ski as a safety chase, and they ride behind and to the side of the skier. This is only needed for beginner skiers or those who have trouble righting themselves or getting out of the ski cage that grips the hips.

After skiing and trying to get back in boat, we generally assist with lifting the person first onto platform, then second up onto rear sundeck.

Hope this answers some of your questions. Let me know if I can help any more.

08-21-2012, 11:34 PM
Here is a sister program we work with, they are in Florida, lots of photos on here.
U Can Ski 2 - Florida

And one of our adaptive programs in Chattanooga, TN

08-21-2012, 11:38 PM
The air chair is a good idea. He should be able to ride and fly, but jumping will be a bit of a challenge.

They're expensive, around $750-$1000 in the used market, but they hold value well. You'll be able to sell it for what you bought it for two or three years down the road. You can find them on Ebay, Craigslist, foilforum, skiitagain, etc.

I'd strongly suggest hooking up on foilforum with someone in your area to learn how to ride/pull one. There's a skill and an art to driving; if you don't have it, it makes it real hard on the rider.


08-23-2012, 08:37 AM
Thanks for all of the advise and info. I talked to my cousin the other day and I realized that he is really wanting to wakeboard instead of "air chair/hydrofoil" He has a friend who found a company that makes the necessary equipment to convert a wakeboard to and "adaptive" wakeboard, and he has contacted them to get a price on a cage and binder. Hopefully we can get him on the water before the season ends. But I do have one more question for you wakeboarders. What type of board would you suggest for him? I was thinking something like a 140 fairly "tight" board with a continuous rocker. He is about 170lbs and I don't think he ever wakeboarded before his accident. Thanks again for your input