I'm a journalism student and I'm writing a feature story about adaptive waterskiiers/wakeboarders/sitskiiers. I am an able bodied rider, and my coach has been working with adaptive skiiers for 25 years. We regularly ride with a paraplegic sitskiier and a blind wakeboarder/kneeboarder, and they inspire me to push through my struggles with my own riding.
I will be working with them on the story to learn what it's like to overcome disability to pursue wakeboarding, but I would love to learn what I can from y'all as well.
Below are some of the things I want to learn about adaptive skiing/skiiers, but these questions are just suggestions. Feel free to answer any, all, or none of them. Tell me your stories, fun facts, jokes, or some things I might not know about adaptive skiing. I'd be extremely grateful for anything you're willing to contribute!
If you're not an adaptive skiier, but you know someone who is or know something about the sport, I'd love to hear from you too!
If you're willing to have your full name published, please give it. If not, that's fine too! If you'd be willing/rather to talk to me via phone/email/pm, just let me know! If you're in the St. Petersburg/Tampa area, I'd love to talk to you in person or maybe even ride with you! Thanks so much!
1. Were you an athlete or an extreme sports athlete or a risk taker before you were disabled? How/when did you become disabled? How did this initially affect your confidence/personality/world view? Did it make you a stronger person in the long run?
2. When and how did you first hear about adaptive skiing/wakeboarding? Did you think you could do it? Who or what inspired you to try? How hard was it to learn? Did anyone teach you?
3. What gets you out on the water? What’s fun about skiing/wakeboarding? What does it feel like to ride a sitski/do what you do?
4. What is the name you use for what you do? Adaptive skiing? Sit skiing? Wakeboarding? Is there a difference or a correct term?
5. What can you tell me about your equipment? Is it custom made? Where did you get it? What are some of the good/bad things about it? Is it comfortable? How could it be made better?
6. What are some of the unique challenges about adaptive skiing or personal challenges that you face? What are some of the pains you have to fight through on a regular basis? Have you ever been injured skiing/wakeboarding? Have you ever doubted yourself or wanted to quit? How did you find the strength to keep going?
7. What do your doctors think of what you're doing? What about your family and friends?
8. Do you have any other adaptive skiers who you regularly ride with? Are you involved in any local/national adaptive skiing communities or organizations? Have you taught any of your friends to do what you do?
9. Have you progressed from sitskiing to something else, like kneeboarding? Do you hope to?
10. What are your goals for the future? Where do you see yourself as a skier/as a person x number of years from now? Are there competitions in adaptive skiing? Do you aspire to compete?
11. What about the future of adaptive skiing? How would you like to see the sport grow/change?
12. Got any funny stories?
13. Is there anything else I should know about adaptive skiing/skiiers?