Current sit-ski technology fails to provide the dynamic controls required for riders of all levels of disability to achieve skiing technique comparable to that of their non-disabled counterpart.
The approach addresses the need through a power-assisted adaptive sit-ski device that provides the user fluid and simultaneous control over four degrees of freedom (vertical ski extension/retraction, horizontal ski extension/retraction, ski yaw, and ski roll) on each ski, independent of the other. These four degrees of freedom, combined, allow the rider to carve and stop the ski with the ease and technique comparable to non-disabled skiers.
Through this approach, not only does it provide the rider a true and enjoyable skiing experience, but its power-assisted controls and stable dual ski footprint allows for many more individuals to have the opportunity to ski. As an alternative to traditional skiing, the device has the potential to appeal to groups outside of the physically disabled community, including the elderly, acutely injured, or individuals seeking a different skiing experience.
No existing approaches on the market provide the number of degrees of control combined with power-assist. The DynAccess Hydra mono-ski suspension system claims to provide horizontal ski extension/retraction of the ski while carving, and the Tessier Snow’Kart gives the rider control over ski roll and slight yaw while providing a wide ski base. The Hydra is specific to mono-skis, limiting its user base, and the Snow’Kart is limited in its speed and maneuverability due to its design.