Gnar is all about freedom – it is a novel outrigger designed to reinforce and enhance the freedom of skiers with lower body disabilities.
Freedom: the power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity.
Adaptive skiing, or sit skiing, offers skiers with lower body disabilities the exhilaration, speed and enjoyment of the slopes. Like all other sports, adaptive skiing involves challenges; pushing physical limits, making mistakes, getting up and trying again. Falling down in a sit ski currently presents an almost insurmountable challenge. After a fall, skiers have to right themselves. This is difficult due to not only the weights the skier must lift using only their upper body strength, but also the distance they must be lifted.
Most sit skiers currently wait for passing skiers to help right themselves. We believe this shouldn’t be the only way.
It is natural for a fallen skier to try and use their outriggers – stabilising skis – to try and get back up. However, if they have fallen on flat or gentle terrain, the outrigger is not long enough to allow the skier to right themselves. Furthermore, the single handle on existing outriggers means the skiier requires greater individual arm strength to lift themselves.
The Gnar outrigger allows adaptive skiers to right themselves after a fall unassisted. It incorporates a telescopic section and two handed grip that increases the rigger’s length and gives the skier enough reach and power to push themselves all the way back up after a fall. Additionally, it features a redesigned mechanism that utilises the skiers natural movements to lock and release the rigger’s ski from a pushing position, to a skiing position and back again.
The handle and cuff’s ergonomics received particular attention as they are key interaction points for the skier when recovering themselves. Finally, Gnar addresses the fundamental visual language of assistive devices by trying to break the mental association with crutches. Gnar evokes the feeling of performance and ability.
Gnar aims to provide adaptive skiers with a more enjoyable, natural, and seamless experience on the slopes.