It’s possible to go skiing and snowboarding with just about any disability…
The level of assistance you will need will be entirely disability related. Special adapted equipment is necessary for some people.
Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK) is an organisation that works to make sure that anyone with a disability, may it be learning, sensory or physical, can ski or snowboard alongside other people. They cater for complete novices to snowsports all the way to advanced participants with both snowsports schools and local groups scattered around the country.
For more information please call 0845 521 9338 (local rate) or 01479 861 262 – both for the lessons team or firstname.lastname@example.org . For all general enquiries please call 01479 861 272.
GB Snowsports manages British Parasnowsport and is recognised as the UK National Governing Body for disabled snowsports by the British Paralympic Association. For further information about Parasnowsports at a competitive level please visit our Parasnowsports page or contact one of our pathway coaches:
Fern (Nordic) – email@example.com
Alastair (Snowboard) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Euan (Alpine Skiing) – email@example.com
Want to get involved?
Check out the list below of all the facilities that offer parasnowsport lessons and services
|Midlothian Ski Centre||Disability Snowsport UK operate adaptive ski and snowboard lessons at this venue for all types of disability. Contact DSUK for more information.||https://firstname.lastname@example.org , 01479788770|
|Snow Factor||Disability Snowsport UK operate adaptive ski and snowboard lessons at this venue for all types of disability. Contact DSUK for more information.||https://email@example.com , 01479788770|
|Adventure Aberdeen Snowsports Centre||BASI qualified adaptive instructors trained to teach individuals with Learning Disabilities and Visual Impairments. In addition they have been awarded The Autism Friendly Award by the National Autistic Society. Ski only.||https://firstname.lastname@example.org , 01224810215|
|Ancrum Outdoor Centre||Ski and snowboard lessons available for people with learning disabilities. BASI qualified adaptive instructor.||https://email@example.com , 01382 435911|
|Bearsden Ski Club||Ski and snowboard lessons for people with learning disabilities, assisted needs, visually impaired, hearing impaired and physical disabilities. Please contact the centre for more information.||https://firstname.lastname@example.org , 01419431500|
|Glasgow Ski and Snowboard Centre||Disability Snowsport UK operate adaptive ski and snowboard lessons at this venue for all types of disability. Contact DSUK for more information.||https://email@example.com , 01479788770|
|Glencoe Mountain Resort||Ski and Snowboard lessons for people with cognitive disabilities and assisted needs. Contact centre for more information.||https://firstname.lastname@example.org , 07917638353|
|Nevis Range||Ski lessons available for people with learning disabilities and assisted needs. Some physical disabilities also catered for but please contact centre in advance.||https://email@example.com , 01397 705825 ext 227|
|Cairngorm||Independent providers Free Ski provide adaptive lessons in ski and snowboard for those with learning difficulties, visually impaired and some physical disabilities (contact for more information)||https://firstname.lastname@example.org , 07495028578|
|Huntly Nordic Outdoor Centre||Welcomes adaptive Nordic skiers (funding proposal in place for permanent Mountain Board equipment)||Nordic Skiing | Huntly Nordic and Outdoor Centre | Scotlandemail@example.com
|Fife Rollerski club||Welcomes adaptive Nordic skiers||Fife Roller Ski Club – Home | Facebook|
|Highland Nordic||Welcomes adaptive Nordic skiers||Highland Nordic – Home | Facebook|
Types of Adaptive Snowsports
A mono ski is a seat mounted on a single ski through a spring suspension system. Outriggers are used for balance and propulsion on flat snow. Mono-skis have a mechanism for getting onto a chairlift. They are designed to be skied independently. Mono-skis are used by people with lower limb impairments with reasonable balance. People with these impairments might mono-ski: Brain Trauma, Double amputee, Post-polio, Muscular dystrophy, Cerebral palsy, Spinal cord injury, Multiple sclerosis, Spina-bifida.
Outriggers are metal elbow crutches with the tip section of a ski pivoted on the bottom of the crutch. Some outriggers have adjustable brakes attached to the back edge of the ski to give some speed control. Outriggers are used to aid balance and/or to give support. Outriggers are used by mono-skiers, bi-skiers and standing skiers needing aid with balance
A bi-ski is a sit ski with a moulded bucket seat and two skis that can be skied independently like the mono-ski with hand-held outriggers, or can be skied with the assistance of an instructor using stabilizing outriggers and tethers. The skier moves his or her head, shoulders or hand-held outriggers to turn the bi-ski. The bi-ski has a lift mechanism for getting onto a chairlift. It can also be used to accustom a new sit-skier to the snow before moving to a mono-ski. Bi-skis are used by people with upper and lower limb impairments and with poor balance.
People with these impairments might bi-ski: Cerebral palsy, Multiple sclerosis, Muscular dystrophy, Amputees, spinal cord injury, severe epilepsy, Spina bifida, severe balance impairment.
Two Track Skiing
Two Track Skiing is suitable for any skier who stands on two skis and does not require outriggers. The skier can stand and maintain balance while in motion, although adaptive equipment such as tethers and ski bras may be used to aid in leg strength. Two tracking is best suited to students with developmental and cognitive disabilities, visual impairment, and hearing impairment.
Three track skiers
Three track skiers have one sound leg and two sound arms. They are generally individuals who have amputations, post polio or hemiplegia. Three trackers use a full size ski and outriggers giving them three points of contact on the snow. These skiers usually progress quite rapidly.
Four track skiing
Four track skiing is stand up skiing using two skis with two hand-held outriggers for balance. In addition, students may use a variety of other stabilising equipment. Provides student with four-points of contact with the snow. Designed for those with leg strength and/or stability issues. People with these impairments might use four track skiing: Cerebral palsy, Multiple sclerosis, Post-polio, Spinal cord injury, Stroke, Muscular dystrophy, Spina bifida, Amputees.
Snowboarding is suitable for anyone who can stand unaided whether using prosthetics or otherwise. The equipment used in adaptive snowboard is the same for most disabilities: Boots, bindings and snowboard. Adaptions are sometimes made to prosthetics to improve their interaction with the board such as heel wedges and padding in the shin. Sometimes tethers may be used to aid with steering in the learning phase and for those with double leg amputations special bindings are used.
Para Nordic has Paralympic classification categories for sit-skiers and those with leg, arm, combined and visual impairments. The discipline is comprised of two types of events- cross country skiing, which ranges from 2.5km to 20km in classical and freestyle techniques and biathlon, which combines shooting 5 targets from 10m between skiing laps. In the summer Para Nordic skiers can practise and train on rollerskis.
There are currently 4 Nordic ski clubs in Scotland, SSS supports these clubs to provide opportunities for adaptive skiers. There is also a rollerski race series across the UK to get involved in for those that would like to compete.