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Saturday, 27 August 2016

3rd adaptive skiing lesson

Just got home from my 3rd lesson and it finally feels like I'm beginning to be able to do it independently. We started off with one bucket run from the top - Adam, my teacher, holding onto the back and steering. After that we did several runs from half way, with me doing the steering and Adam holding tethers. I asked how much he was controlling my speed and he said about 80% is me and 20% is him. Well that's better than my first lesson where it was 100% the teacher and 0% me.

Picture of me in a sit-ski, holding myself up with outriggers.
Towards the end of the lesson, Neil braved the cold and took a photo and some video of me. This one was at the bottom of the slope. Adam needed to untangle the tethers, so I had to hold myself up and steady while he sorted them out.

In this picture, you can see that I'm quite low to the ground, which helps with my balance. The first bi-ski I used, at ChillFactore, was higher and I got the feeling that I would never be able to balance in it. I like the design of this one better. It's a bit minimalist - just three straps holding my legs in place - but it's reasonably comfortable. I'd prefer a more padded seat really but you can't be too picky with borrowed equipment.

In each hand, I have an outrigger. This is rather like crutches with little skis on the end. If you squint and look very carefully, you can just see a string going from near my thumb to the pole. If I pull that string, it flips the skis into the straight position. They have little spikes on the end that I can dig into the snow to hold myself still. When I'm skiing though, I have the skis down flat and use them to push myself from one side to the other. This helps me steer.

Sit skiing has some things in common with regular skiing. Because the two skis are fixed, you're basically parallel skiing the whole time. Snowploughs are not possible. Turning is done by leaning to the side you want to turn towards. This makes each ski go onto its edge and that's when you turn. Last time, I was turning too sharply and I kept falling over. This time, I got the hang of it and by the end of the lesson, I could ski from halfway (the gentle part of the slope) on tethers. On my next lesson, Adam wants me to learn to do the top of the slope, which is steeper. And eventually, he wants me to progress onto a monoski, but I'm still not sure about that one!

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