the need

Many people with mobility limitations enjoy participating in winter recreational activities. In order to enjoy the alpine ski slopes, wheelchair users and others who have lower limb limitations need skiing equipment that can be used in a seated position.

the first sit-ski

how it all began

how it all began

the original downhill sit-ski

the original

downhill sit-ski

Peter Axelson designed the first ski that people could use in a sitting position in 1978, while he was a product design and mechanical engineering student at Stanford University. He developed the Arroya sit-ski to its present configuration while a rehabilitation engineer at the Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Center in Palo Alto, California.

two inward-facing edges are located on the bottom of the sit-ski

The Arroya sit-ski features four inward-facing stainless steel edges that allow seated skiers to traverse, turn, and stop by shifting their center of gravity. A tunnel section between the runners reduces surface friction and increases traveling speed. Since 1979, people with disabilities have used the Arroya sit-ski in slalom, giant slalom and downhill competitions at the National Handicapped Ski Championships, sponsored by the National Handicapped Sports and Recreation Association.

Beneficial Designs manufactured the Arroya sit-ski from 1981 to 1985. Molds and tooling for the original Arroya sit-ski are still available to interested manufacturers. Other companies are now commercially manufacturing sit-skis similar to the Arroya.

People seeking adaptive skiing programs where they can use the Arroya sit-ski should contact:

Disabled Sports USA
451 Hungerford Drive, Suite 608
Rockville, MD 20850
p 301.217.0960


This project was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Design Center and Beneficial Designs, Inc.