Water skiing was introduced to the disabled community in 1983 with the invention of the KanSki by Royce Andes. Royce was involved in a bare footing accident that broke his neck and left him paralyzed. He took a whole new look on his beloved sport water skiing and how he could adapt it to the disabled community. Royce was hurt in July of 1982 and had a prototype on the water by May of 1983. He drew the design with a stick pen in his mouth and his good friends took his design from paper to a real prototype. With the help of Royce’s KanSki disabled water skiing has exploded into an international sport with people competing in slalom, jump and tricks.
The main differences between a sit ski and a able-bodied ski is the board is generally wider and longer and the skier sits in a padded “cage”. Beginners would start on a ski such as the Freedom that has a block in the front where a knot would be tied and placed in so the ski can be pulled out of the water without any strength from the skier. For those with less mobility, “outriggers” (small ski shaped devices that bolt underneath the cage) are used to keep the ski stable. For those who need more support because of a lack of trunk control, a “quad back” is used to keep the skier upright.
To get skiing instruction from former US Disabled Water Ski Team Members visit DSUSAs Far West’s website at: www.dsusafw.org
For information about competing locally, nationally or internationally, visit the USA Water Skiing’s official website at: www.usawaterski.org
Check out one of our campers, Jacyln Schmidt, waterski on YouTube! youtube.com/watch?v=q9Nui_ADbQ0