We offer water skiing for people with a wide variety of physical disabilities. All of our participants that join us for water skiing get the same hands on approach from all of our instructors and volunteers as well as a variety of specialized adaptive equipment to make it all possible.
For our first time skiers - you will undergo an evaluation to determine the specific adaptations that need to be made to make your skiing safe and successful. From there, we will select the equipment, go over the specific things you will need to do and know before we begin. From there it is just a matter of having fun and enjoying this fantastic sport.
What is required to be a participant
This is a sport that has a few specific requirements to be able to be a participant. The most important thing is the participant needs to be able to hold their breath if under water for a short time. If they are not able to hold their mouth shut and keep from sucking in a bunch of water than we will NOT be able to get them out onto the open water. At some point in time the skier can and usually will end up in the water, we need to make sure anyone participating can hold their breath long enough for us to get to them.
For participants that have a recent history of Seizures, it is always a possibility that the excitement of the activity can bring on a Seizure. We need to be aware of any medical condition or Seizure activity that may pose a danger while participating. If there is a medical condition that may cause a concern we request the consent of a physician for any participant to participate. Beyond this, anyone is welcome to be a participant. We take all students with a wide variety of physical disabilities and of all ages.
Adaptive Water Skiing
What to Expect
This is a very labor intensive activity. For each participant to ski it requires roughly 7 volunteers. The volunteers are extremely important and valuable to the safety and success of the water ski program.
The participant is fitted into a specialized adapted water ski on the beach by several volunteers, once ready, the participant is taken out into the water where a tow rope from the ski boat is attached to a special holder on the nose of the water ski called the "Block". As a volunteer steadies the water ski and participant in the water the ski boat takes up the slack in the rope. When ready, the volunteer gives the ski boat a signal and the boat begins to accelerate, pulling the water ski with the participant and the volunteer holding on in back ahead in the water. As the ski begins to move in a positive direction the volunteer lets go of the ski and the participant continues on. Once moving, there is a chase boat that will follow closely behind and off to one side of the participant. Inside the chase boat is another volunteer referred to as the "jumper". In the event the participant tips over or needs assistance the chase boat will carefully come into range of the participant where the jumper will quickly get into the water to give assistance to the participant.
In the main ski boat towing the participant there is a volunteer known as the "spotter". The spotters job is to monitor the participant and notify the boat driver if there is a problem. More importantly, the spotter has a quick release device that will be activated if the participant gets into a skiing position that could be dangerous. In this event, the spotter will activate the release device and the tow rope is cut away from the ski boat immediately. From this point on, the chase boat has the jumper in the water and the spotter has notified the ski boat driver of the situation so the driver can quickly circle back around to the participant.
As for the ski rope, well, if the participant does not have the strength to hold onto the rope it can remain in the block on the front of the ski for the entire water skiing session. On the other hand, if the participant does have the strength, the rope can be pulled up and out of the block by the participant and then hold onto the handle of the ski rope in the same manor as any able bodied skier.
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As with all of our events we do need to collect a nominal fee to cover expenses, insurance and equipment costs. Fee's for water skiing are kept as low as possible and will vary depending upon a few things. For each water ski event, the details of the event including location, times and costs will be listed in our "EVENTS" page.
Dedicated to the promotion of adaptive recreational sports to persons with physical disabilities.