Married to the Chair: Adaptive Water Skiing

Married to the Chair: Adaptive Water Skiing


[music] Today we’re out here at Lay Lake at Adaptive Aquatics and
my husband and I are gonna go water skiing! I have probably been teaching sit skiing for the last 10 years or so. I’ve watched dozens, if not more, injured military spouses get to
watch their injured spouse ski for the first time, but I’ve never gotten to experience it for myself. So today’s the first
time that I’m gonna get to take my husband water skiing. So we hope to go out in a little
bit and we’ll see how it goes! [music] So, if you’re not familiar with the sit ski this
is the basic ski that they use. So, it’s just like a normal ski but you’re gonna obviously be on one instead of two and
they’re gonna use a wider board just to give it a little bit more balance. Once they do that they’re gonna fit my husband on
a ski. So this is called a cage. And this is what he’ll ski in and it’s gonna sit right on here
and they will actually screw it right on to the ski. And it’ll be really sturdy and secure. His feet will come over
the edge and they’ll put them right in there. And so it’s just a real low center of gravity so as when an able
body is skiing and our center of gravity is a little bit higher because they’re so low, their center of gravity stays really low
and it’s just a really safe way to ski. Um, they actually can turn left or right by adjusting their heads.
So when we would turn our shoulders or our hips to change directions, they’ll just use their head to change
directions. So that’s why someone regardless of injury level can ski independently and, you know, jump a wake or hop or do whatever
they want in a ski and have a lot of fun. So this is the rope they use when they do the sit ski and they’re
gonna use this ball is actually gonna be what holds the rope to the ski. So the person doesn’t even have to hold
it. They’re gonna place it right in here. It locks right in, the boat is gonna pull from this direction. This is
gonna rest between the persons legs until they’re ready to pull it. So once the ski gets up and they’re up and going they can pull the
rope, pop the ball out, and then they’re skiing independently on their own. Takes a lot of force out of the arms. So, if
someone has really weak joints in the shoulders or just um, doesn’t have a lot of muscle power there, they are
able to do the hardest part which is starting without having to use their own musculature and get the boat going. So they don’t even have to grab. So a double arm amputee could ski and never have
to hold the rope himself and be able to do all the same things. So it’s really an adaptive piece of equipment. They make it able
for all abilities to be able to ski and so they can come out and have a lot of fun. So these here are what they call outriggers. What they’re gonna
do, they’re basically like training wheels for the ski. They’re gonna place this in between the cage and the sit ski and
then it’s gonna protect the person from ever falling over. So if someone doesn’t swim or they’re just really fearful of getting
in the water, once they put these outriggers on there’s just basically no possible way they can flip over. So
it’s just a real safety measure for a high level injury or someone that’s just a little bit more intimidated. Um, but they work really well in keeping that balance. [music]

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