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Anyone teach three-track?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I mat be teaching a three-track lesson to an amputee soon. Of course, I have never done this before... I have done some three-tracking myself in clinics and am pretty good at it, but I'm going to need to get some ideas for it. I'm going to borrow an adaptive manual and get some info from there, but knowing EpicSki, somebody here must have taught some three-track before.
post #2 of 21
I have I use to work adaptive sports alot back home. My lesson(s) was intermediate in level and was working on stuff that most alpine skier would be working on.

what level lesson epic?
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
I have I use to work adaptive sports alot back home. My lesson(s) was intermediate in level and was working on stuff that most alpine skier would be working on.

what level lesson epic?
Dunno. From what I gather, she skied before amputation, but has not tried three-track yet.
post #4 of 21
the biggest hurdle for most people able and not able bodies to overcome is how to ski on the inside ski. If she knew how to ski on the inside edge before her accident it will be mostly confindence building.

Also go out and ski with one ski on. and observe the movements that you are doing to make turns happens.

IN some ways this is easy than abled bodied lessons. No steming issues for sure
post #5 of 21
Good day epic,

I have also taught 3-trackers. BushwackerinPA is right about YOU skiing on 1 ski too. Very helpful in figuring out what's going on with your student. 1 legged skiing is very taxing on the leg. Take a few breaks and stay away from the bumps,their real leg burners. See if you can also get some out riggers too. One piece of advice. Don't put your other boot in the Snow while your moving. Bad news. Good luck and have fun.
post #6 of 21
epic,

I have never 3 tracked, but I am helping an examiner at my area who is a 3 tracker prepare for the demo team tryouts. Besides for the obvious differences, the outriggers are something you need to figure out. Not onlu are they a fixed distance to the snow (not like poles), but the ski flipps up for pushing, and down for gliding. Also the outriggers make you use the upper body a little differently to keep the skis on them alligned with the ski on the foot. My advice is to not wing it, but get to an adaptive center and get some training prior to the lesson. It is different than just holding one ski off the snow while turning both ways on one.

Good luck.

RW
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post
Good day epic,

I have also taught 3-trackers. BushwackerinPA is right about YOU skiing on 1 ski too. Very helpful in figuring out what's going on with your student. 1 legged skiing is very taxing on the leg. Take a few breaks and stay away from the bumps,their real leg burners. See if you can also get some out riggers too. One piece of advice. Don't put your other boot in the Snow while your moving. Bad news. Good luck and have fun.
PM sent.

Yes, I would assume that you will 3-track while teaching 3-track.

While it is taxing on the leg, it is less so if your stance is accurate. Keep the hips over the foot so the quad doesn't have to work so hard. It's helpful if you can ski on either foot. Then you can cheat and change feet if necessary.

When the time comes to ride the chair, it's extremely important that you not put the other foot down when getting on and off the chair! If possible, wait to stand up until the ramp drops a little so the chair will help you stand up. Not all chairs are configured to allow this, though.

If you're 3-tracking well, you can do it with poles instead of outriggers, and you'll look like a "normal" skier to an observer who can't see your feet.
post #8 of 21
You might want to PM T-Square. He's a level II adaptive, and does this a lot.
post #9 of 21

whtmt

Hi Epic: I have taught and coached many 3-trackers. First the suggestion to review the Adaptive Manual is a great first step.

Second you must understand the workings of outriggers. An outrigger is treated no differently then a set of ski poles for timing and assisting with turn initiation. The length of the outrigger to start a beginning 3-tracker is that the handle that protrudes horizontally from the rigger vertical pole when put at the side of the skier's hip should have the flip ski tip no more then one inch off the snow to start. This is a very rough guide for fitting riggers. Next, the outrigger cuff must be set in the mid section of the skier's forearm. Not up in the elbow joint or too low near the wrist. In each case injury can occur. If the cuff is at the wrist then no support will occur. If up in the elbow then the joint will not bend correctly and it could hurt the elbow.

Next is ski length. The ski should be no different then a normal skier's ski length. A good shaped ski that is properly tuned is important. Remember the skier only has two edges not four to ride on. Also, it's important that the ski is flat on the snow. Three trackers frequently ski on one edge or the other due to misalignment. Try to watch this by reading the ski track in the snow after a straight run to a stop on green terrain.

NOw after all this you're good to go ski. So, first start with some walking in the flats using the outriggers in the up position to push the skier. Then try to do some side steps up hill so the person can feel the edges again. Next try a straight run to a stop down the fall line on a safe run out to a stop using the ski brakes on the riggers. Once the skier begins sliding have he/she drop their elbows and the flip ski brakes will dig into the snow. Do this gently to slow down. Be sure the skier doesn't bend severely at the waist, this drops the hips back and moves the CM too much to the rear and puts weight on the heels. Do a couple of these straight runs for learning to balance on one ski. Have the skier keep the leg not used right beside the ski leg to keep the hips in correct alignment. And never let the other non-ski leg touch the ground while skiing or severe injury can occur. Also you'll need to have the skier practice falling with the outriggers off to the side away from the body or they can cause injury. And lastly you'll need to teach he/she how to get back up independently. You can find this in the manual.

Next, how to turn.

While on very shallow green terrain have the skier start down the fall line slowly and then turn their foot and out riggers (like a bycicle handle) at the same time in the direction they want to go. (Most of their weight should be on their ski leg and not the riggers.)These turns will be very basic easy skidded type turns (think flat ski only here). Be sure there is no high edge angle and carve happening or you'll be stuck with too much edge grip, which will cause a skier at this level to rail out and then sit back.

The turn should look and feel like a sideslip in a turn phase. Now your skier should practice turns in both directions to a stop (think uphill christie) until he/she is comfortable doing them. The uphill / inside edge turn is quite difficult in the beginning, so think about practicing side slipping on the uphill/inside edge side on easy terrain if he/she is struggling here.

Now if turning in both directions has been OK then try to link turns and spend alot of practice time doing controlled turning in both directions. If all goes well you're now ready for the lift.

On the lift load and unload be sure the outrigger flip ski is in the "down" position or the outrigger can catch and throw the skier out of the chair or injure their arms. AS the chair arrives count 3,2,1 sit and the skier sits in the chair while lifting their other leg and riggers off the snow at the same time. When unloading with "flip skis down" the skier gets ready to stand at the unload ramp while placing the ourtriggers on the snow at the same time. We kind of ask the student to throw their riggers ahead of them and the stand up and rock forward at the same time so the lift ride momentum helps them unload.

One last suggestion. If your skier can make linked turns easily, and this does happen often with 3-trackers, then think extension and flexion with each turn. Have he/she extend just like we do forward and diagonally at turn initiation and then flex as the skier goes through the control phase of the turn. This will not only help with initiation but it will keep the leg from tiring as easily as it may otherwise do.

So, best of luck and you're welcome to pm me for any questions. I was a former member of the PSIA Adaptive Educational Team for the Eastern Division for 6-seasons.

whtmt & Mackenzie 911
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whtmt View Post
flip ski is in the "down" position
By down, you mean ski mode as opposed to crutch mode?
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by whtmt View Post
...
Now if turning in both directions has been OK then try to link turns and spend alot of practice time doing controlled turning in both directions. If all goes well you're now ready for the lift.
...
Sorry to hijack the thread with a aside and maybe dumb question (I've no clue about the original question, but the answers interest me) :
How can you practice on a slope without using a lift, if you have only one leg ?
post #12 of 21
with outriggers. the ski portion folds up to allow usage as "crutches" to aid in sidestepping (I've even had students able to herribone using one ski and two outriggers).

but epic, I've only had one client that was a 3 tracker. I've had much more experience both skiing and teaching 4-trackers.
post #13 of 21
This outrigger set-up is designed for Sit-Skiers. Notice the short shaft. A 3 tracker would have a much longer shaft since he/she is standing.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
with outriggers. the ski portion folds up to allow usage as "crutches" to aid in sidestepping (I've even had students able to herribone using one ski and two outriggers).

but epic, I've only had one client that was a 3 tracker. I've had much more experience both skiing and teaching 4-trackers.

Never heard of a 4 tracker......Bi-skier?
post #15 of 21

whtmt

Epic: Yes the flip ski in the "down" or skiing position is correct. Sorry for not being more clear.
post #16 of 21

whtmt

Hi PhillipeR: Thank you for your question. Many times at the start of an adaptive lesson we will use alot of "hands-on" technique to physically assist our disabled athletes in developing basic movement patterns.

For instance in this case with an amputee I will frequently be out of my skis and actually push the participant up a very slight incline to just get some basic sliding experience. Loon Mountain NH, where I teach, has very limited beginner terrain. If I was at Breck I would use the Quick Silver Lift for these same activities due to its gentle beginner friendly pitch and width. Sorry to mislead you on that PhillipeR.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post
Never heard of a 4 tracker......Bi-skier?
all of my 4-track clients have cp. 2 outriggers, 2 skis (sometimes tied together - the skis, that is)
post #18 of 21

whtmt

Hi Slider: If I might take a momemt and share some of the distinctions between our many disable skiers, maybe we can present a clearer image of our participants who might use outriggers both standing and sitting in other equipment.

1) An above the knee amputee a/k/a an AK. This person is a typical candidate for Stand-up skiing using outriggers. This person is a three tracker (1-ski and two arm held outriggers). Other disabilities include Post Polion where one leg is affected.

2) A 4-tracker - is a stand-up skier who uses two skis and two outriggers. A candidate for this application is a participant who might be a person with Cerebral Palsy or someone who can walk with support, but balancing on skis remains difficult. Our most famous skier in this category is someone many of you might know or have seen ski. He is Jimmy Heuga. Jimmy is a miraculous person who overcame all odds to go back to skiing. Jimmy has Multiple Sclerosis and is the inspiration behind the Heuga Center for MS.

3) Mono-skiers - Many spinal cord injured participants (Thorasic 6 or below generally such as para plegia), use a seat or bucket type arrangement to sit in, which is positioned over a single ski (Mono-ski), to navigate ski slopes. The skier uses shorter outriggers, which allow for enhanced mobility and balance. The mono-skier can go most anywhere the stand -up skier can including black diamond trails and bumps. Outriggers for this application are much shorter but work the same as stand-up outriggers. If you're interested check out the web site by going to: Crested Butte Extreme Limits and you should be able to see an amazing video of double black diamond mono-skiing. It's unreal. See what you think.

4) Bi-Skiers - These are participants who frequently have greater involvement in higher spinal cord injury such as above T-6 as noted above. These participants have increased balance instability, therefore standing up is not usually an option. Some have use of their arms and hands and can hold outriggers, but need equipment to further add to a better balance platform. The Bi-ski accomplishes this task. It has two severely shaped shorter skis under it and when the Bi-ski is simply tipped laterally to one side or the other the ski immediately begins to turn.

A friend of mine, Paul Speight was the key person for the development of a higher performing Bi-Ski. Paul is from New Zealand and Colorado and is the President of Enabling Technologies, a company that develops sporting equipment for the disabled (especially skiers), including Bi-skis and outriggers. Paul is another amazing skier and lives in the Denver area.

So that's the overview. I hope it helps make some of the previous discussion more clear and inspiring. Check out adaptive skiing it's awe inspiring.

whtmt & Mackenzie 911
post #19 of 21
Thanks whtmt for your time and detailed information on the different types of Adaptive ski equipment. I have been out of Adaptive Teaching for sometime now and had forgot/never been around a 4-track skier. Mostly sit-skiers. Have you ridden in a mono/bi ski lately? Do you think a suspension system on the Outriggers would be beneficial? ICFM do you use a plastic ski strap with clamps to tie the skis?
post #20 of 21

whtmt

Hi Slider: Due to my ACL injury in March of 2005 and spending a good part of the 2006 season off the slope, I haven't been in a Mono since just prior to that incident. Personally, I love the mono ski as it provides great freedom for spinal cord injured participants and many others with weaker leg musculature.

I also believe that it allows those skiers with permanent weakness in their legs that as the ski day goes on and they begin to tire they can have another method of continuing their fun on the ski slope with their family and friends. Why should they have to bag only a 1/2 day for instance when they could continue enjoying the mountain environment. Just my philosophy and two cents.

In reference to your question on tying the ski tips together with a ski strap & clamps, we do.

In most 4-track lessons the ability of the 4-tracker to control the abductors and adductors is not well defined, so keeping the ski tips in a parallel relationship is extremely important for both skiing efficiency and safety. As you know keeping the ski tips from crossing or diverging from their parallel position provides a wider and more stable ski platform. In addition to tying the ski tips together we will frequently place a short length of bungy cord through a short (6 to 8 inch) cut off ski pole shaft and tie a knot on each end. Then we place it between both ski boots with the bungy stretched under each boot heel and held in place by the knot on each end, so it doesn't pull out from between the skis. This provides some ski width separation and yet allows for the skis to articulate (ie-tip) sideways and provide better edge grip as oppose to the skis sliding in toward each other and locking up like the closed stances of the 60s and 70s.


whtmt & Mackenzie 911
post #21 of 21
Need info on outriggers, check out www.superlite.org. Been building them since 1991. (See the picture posted in the thread above)

Superlite
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