Bi-ski

Overview
First and foremost, there is almost nothing that one can’t do without determination.  There is also an exception to almost everything known.  So don’t accept this as the way, the truth, or the only right.  You need to discover for yourself what is right or the way for you.  We are all different in our personalities, as we are in our bodies.  Find what works for you.  Every skier, able bodied or challenged, adapts to enjoy a day of skiing.   

As far as equipment used for assisting people to ski, the bi-ski can be one of the more involved.  After all, people who use the bi-ski can have some of the more difficult physical and emotional issues to deal with while skiing.  Yet given the right training, coupled with persistence, the bi-ski is one of the most liberating.

The typical bi-ski student has quadriplegia.  Skiers with amputations, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, spinal cord injury, stroke survivors, traumatic brain injured, and others, can use the bi-ski as well.  The design of the bi-ski with its options, lends assistance to people with strength and /or balance issues.

It is the job of the instructor to adapt this piece of equipment to the skier.  Assessment plays an important role in determining what options of the ski are to be used.  Does the student have good hand strength?  Are her core muscles tone enough to lean forward then back?  If a bi-skier can’t use his arms well enough to balance, maybe the handlebar should be all that he needs to hold.   These are examples of some of the questions that need to be asked while assessing.  The Gunstock Adaptive Sports Center uses two different bi-ski models, the Bi-Unique and Mountain Man.  

The Bi-Unique bi-ski  can be skied with little assistance from the instructors or ski buddies.  This includes loading onto the chairlift and the dismount at the top.  It is a ski used by people that may have difficulty with the Dual Ski or the Mono Ski because of strength and balance issues.  The Bi-Unique was designed to be somewhat of a sports model. Its low center of gravity lends to sharply carved turns on fairly steep terrain.  It can be used to ski a variety of turn shapes and pressures to push back against the gravity skiers experience.  It truly is a remarkable ski.  The Bi-Unique includes several components that can be added to the equipment to best meet each skiers individual need.  Some of the additional components that can be added include adjustable outriggers and handlebars.

The Mountain Man is a popular bi-ski that helps an individual with more prominent issues with skiing.  The Mountain Man bi-ski is a choice of equipment that typically is not for an independent skier.  Yes, it has setup options to afford a person the freedom of skiing with hand held outriggers, much like the Bi-Unique.  However, a Mountain Man skier may have slightly more balance and strength issues.  If the skier has these issues, the Mountain Man bi-ski has setup options to help the most involved skier obtain their goals.  There are adjustable fixed outriggers for balance, a handlebar can be set up for the skier to stabilize his or her hands and arms, and a head restraint.  When a skier is using the Mountain Man it is necessary for a team of instructors to assist the skier in loading and dismounting the chairlift.

People are enjoying the sport of skiing in record numbers.  You may now understand better that accessibility to the ski terrain is possible for nearly everyone.  Why shouldn’t it be?  Using this type of equipment, a person can experience a wonderful winter day of skiing on the mountain of their choice.  Everyone is given the choice to find their personal limits of mind and body.  The question is are they going to challenge themselves to find that limit. 


Bi-ski at Gunstock Adaptive Sports Center