Last fall I injured my foot and knee so no snowboarding at all this season. I'm peg skibike instructor only this season.
It's forced me to up my game and try new teaching techniques on the fly. I've stolen alot from other disciplines. It's somewhere between skiing and snowboarding.
I had five people sign up for the three hour beginner skibike lesson one Saturday about three weeks ago.
One husband/wife couple - downhill mountain bikers, a little experience snowboarding and skiing - now hate snowboarding and skiing
One brother/sister - never been downhilling or any snowsport experience
One guy say 50ish - former motorcyclist but was in wreck 15 years ago. Declared paraplegic and told would never walk again. He showed up barely able to walk and weaving horribly using a cane. He said he used to have great balance. He tried a sit-ski the day before and didn't like it.
I have NO adaptive training. I told the gentleman as much but told him I'd try if he was willing. He wanted to try. He was 6'4" and probably around 220 lb. I was scared.
Everyone else in the lesson didn't mind so I didn't mind. I got everyone to introduce themselves, where they were from, and why they signed up for a skibike lesson.
First challenge - the lift. I rode up with with my adaptive client. I had to ask the lifties for a full stop at the bottom and the top so he could weave down the ramp (and I mean WEAVE) using his cane and push the bike. He insisted on no other special treatment. NSCD uses these procedures all the time on the same lifts.
The other clients quickly rallied around him and shouted encouragement. He struggled on the flats (due to height, weight, and fresh deep powder) and I had to adjust my progressions.
Once we got to the steeper terrain (solid Winter Park intermediate trail) he applied all that he learned on the flats. And rode the bike like a total badass even while holding his cane above the handlebars. He even coached another client on their hockey stops while I was coaching a client.
His stated goal at the beginning of the lesson was he wanted 'to be able to ride on the slopes with his kids. He hadn't been able to do it in 15 years since his wreck'.
We went to the pass office and I got him his skibike license. Everyone in the class shook his hand. He immediately went and reserved/rented a bike for the next day. He mentioned that he wanted to learn moguls in a few days.
The guys in the rental shop asked me how he did. They heard he was a total badass on the bike. They were cheering. These are normally very reserved and grumpy guys.
I'm taking the Strength Based Teaching clinic at Vail Spring Fling. I have to do it on a skibike. Maybe some of your clients need this as an option for snowsliding? I'm willing to share my experiences teaching the peg skibike (not skibob) to fellow clinic attendees. I'm registered and have official permission from PSIA-RM and the clinic leader to use a skibike.
Are you up to the challenge? Join me for this clinic. It's being lead by Leon Littlebird.
Edited by daysailer1 - 3/6/14 at 8:21am