High H2O adrenaline: Adapted water skiing

adapted-waterski-pyramid

Water skiing may have been invented in Minnesota decades ago, but it’s become one of the most popular water sports in the world, and this is especially the case among people with disabilities. It may seem like a lot of work – getting in and out of the water – not mention the need of a boat and a rather expensive ski, but if you have the help, adapted water skiing can be one of the best ways to have a blast if you’re paralyzed.

Our first video comes from the British Disabled Water Ski Association. In this video, a guy with a great British accent goes over the basics of adapted water skiing; and they show it all.  It starts by showing how they get people ready to ski their first time by letting them practice in the pool first.

They put them on a inflatable tied to a rope so they can practice their balance. I’ve never seen this before, so this is quite interesting.  Where I’m from, they just put you out on the water with an assistant until you feel comfortable on the ski, then you say, “Hit it,” and you take off. But I kind of like this method better, especially if you’re not very comfortable in the water after an injury.

The video also shows how to use a slalom sit ski, and you get to see a great clip of Indy Fahey, a world champion water skier from Britain.  She talks about how water skiing is one of her favorite ways to get out of her wheelchair. Watch the video

Our second video is a fun little 53 second clip of James Hektner, a 35 year old T6/7 paraplegic, water skiing on Okanagan Lake, British Columbia, Canada.  If you’ve ever wondered if it’s possible to wow your friends sitting in your boat as you’re skiing, this fun video will show it’s possible. Watch James ski on a beautiful Canadian lake

In the third video, this video show it’s possible to build a water skier pyramid with disabled athletes. So cool! From Ucanski2, an adapted skiing organization, watch as able-bodied and disabled skiers create a pyramid after a few tries. Quite awesome? You know it. Watch the pyramid come together

And if you love first-person perspectives, you’ll love this water ski video showing Mark “The Animal” Turner, a national water ski champion longtime wheelchair-user, going off a jump. He lives in California and has been adapted water skiing since he was 13. Watch him catch some air from his perspective

Summer is nearly here, and adapted water ski clinics are rearing to open, if they’re not already. So if you’re interested in adapted water skiing and would like to see if any clinics are near you, check out this great link from Adaptive Aquatics to find out.

Have you tried adapted water skiing yet? What kind of adapted water skiing equipment did you use? 

Watch the videos!

An overview of adapted water skiing from the British Disabled Water Ski Association sport

A T6 paraplegic water skiing in British Columbia

A water skier pyramid with able-bodied and disabled skiers

A first-person perspective in a sit-ski going over a jump

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