Adaptive Alpine Skiing

 For downloadable guidelines PDF:  Adapted Alpine Skiing
For screen reader friendly PDF version: Adapted Alpine Skiing Guidelines
For downloadable flyer PDF:  Alpine Skiing Poster


Adaptive skiing started in pre-World War II Europe and is now highly developed throughout the world. It involves individuals with mobility impairments, including amputees and paraplegics, and also those with visual impairments. It began as a rehabilitation/recreation program that evolved into well organized national and international competitions. Often referred to as: adaptive skiing, adapted skiing, disabled skiing, para-skiing, and Paralympic skiing.

Alpine ski coaches need to consider the following when beginning to work with athletes with disabilities:

  • Advances in equipment technology and training have allowed varying ability levels to be highly competitive in ski racing
  • Sport for persons with a disability is organized into classes. This is called classification and is similar to weight classes in wrestling
  • As is the case for any other participant, sport represents a vehicle for personal achievement, development, health, enjoyment, etc. for persons with disabilities
  • You are a coach and they are athletes; do not change your coaching philosophy or the way you deal with the athletes or their parents because you are now coaching athletes with disabilities
Additional Online Resources

Contributing Authors: Canadian Ski Coaches Federation, Disabled Sports USA, Professional Ski Instructors of America, United States Ski and Snowboard Association, U.S. Paralympics

Guideline Table of Contents
Training and Equipment
Competition and Rules
FAQs & Resources

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