The Sit Ski

Talan Skeels-Piggins (photo courtesy of
Talan Skeels-Piggins (photo courtesy of

The sit-ski is a device for athletes with more severe lower limb impairments (spinal cord injuries or double amputations) designed to enable wheelchair users to take part in skiing as both a leisure and competitive activity. Sit-skiing is used to great effect by charities such as Back-Up to assist wheelchair users building their fitness and confidence levels and to encourage a greater level of independence.

A sit-ski consists of a moulded seat mounted on a metal frame with a suspension system beneath the seat to maximise ski-snow contact. Sit-skis can be mounted on a single ski (called a mono-ski) or on two skis (a dual-ski). Athletes use two short outriggers to help with balance and turning.

Mono-ski (image courtesy of
Mono-ski (image courtesy of

The IPC rules and regulations for Alpine Skiing state that this equipment meets the following requirements:

Sit Ski

  • A sit-ski consists of a moulded seat mounted on a metal frame.
  • A suspension system beneath the seat eases riding on uneven terrain and helps in turning by maximizing ski-snow contact.
  • A metal or plastic block in the shape of a boot sole is the base that clicks into the ski’s binding.
  • A sit-ski can be used in Uni-Ski or Dual-Ski.
  • A sit-ski needs a braking device on both sides of the seat.


  • Arm crutches with ski tips attached.
  • The system can flip out to allow the ski attachment to rise vertically to be used as a normal crutch.

You will see sit-ski’s in use in a number of events during Sochi 2014 including the downhill, super-G, slalom, biathlon and cross-country.

For a glimpse of what to expect here is a video of Sean Rose taking part in the Downhill in Turin 2006, and for an idea of what the future might hold for Olympic sit-skiing then watch this video of Sean in the 2012 X-Games.


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