How do you prepare for winter adaptive sports?


Hello, with winter and winter weather coming, I am concerned about staying active.  How do you select an activity or adaptive sport?  How do you prepare for winter adaptive sports? - Wayne G.

Eric Flynn tries on his adaptive skis.


Good question, especially since it has already snowed here in Maryland and it is not even the first day of winter yet!  There are many types of sports in the winter – skiing, snowboarding, hockey, and others. You may be wondering – can I use my orthosis or prosthesis? The answer really depends on how you want to participate in the sport. Many sports can be done either with or without adaptations. For example, you can ski the traditional way with two skis while wearing your device, or if you aren’t comfortable with that, then give sit skiing a try, and you don’t have to wear the orthosis or prosthesis. Same goes with hockey – you can try sled hockey if you don’t want to wear your device, or you can participate with it!. There are many community resources available that can provide more details about your interests, so check them out. 

Eric Flynn using his skis last year.

In fact, here is an excellent link to a document from the latest issue of CHALLENGE Magazine.  It is published three times a year by Disabled Sports USA, Inc. The magazine includes a lot of good information about adaptive sports for all seasons.  Click here to read the article.

Here are a few Maryland organizations to contact for local adaptive sports as referenced from CHALLENGE Magazine. You can click on the link:

Baltimore Adapted Recreation and Sports  Parkton, MD 478-227-7386

Bennet Institute Physically Challenged Sports Program of Kennedy Krieger                    Baltimore, MD    443-923-7844

Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating  Annapolis, MD 410-266-5722

Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba (SUDS)  Bethesda, MD 202-341-9750

Team River Runner, Inc.  Rockville, MD 703-532-6070

You may also be wondering, if I do use my device for sports, is there anything I should be worried about or watch out for? Try to keep any metal parts from getting wet. If the device does get wet, don’t use a hair dryer or any other drying product with it. Let it air dry and call your orthotist/prosthetist for advice. Also, watch out for any skin irritation from extra sweating in your device, or wear socks if appropriate to maintain fit or for skin protection. If your sport is high contact or if you fall, it could cause damage to the device. If you think your orthosis or prosthesis may be damaged, or if you have any questions or concerns, please call your practitioner! We are always happy to help.

- Kristen Beltran, CO Board Eligible Prosthetist

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