Guiding Skiers With Visual Impairments
Guides for skiers with visual impairments must be strong skiers comfortable on double skis. If available, jump skis are preferred. Single skis should not be utilized for guiding.
Introduce yourself to the student and discuss the goals of the session i.e., wake crossing, single ski instruction, recreational, etc. Together, decide how far apart you should ski after you are both clear of obstacles, hazards or tight boat turns.
Before starting verify that both ropes are of the same length. In the event a specialty handle is used (i.e., a deep “V” handle) the overall length of the towline may be affected. It may be necessary to change your handle to be in concert with your student.
Review the pre-determined boat path and place yourself on the side of your skier which will place you on the outside of the turns (i.e., the guide is on the outside of the turn). It is your responsibility to assist the skiers during a turn and keep them from being whipped outside the wake. Until you are comfortable with a skier’s ability to negotiate a turn, stay close and place your hand on his/her shoulder or waist throughout the turn. Talk to your students and inform them of their position within the wake relative to the turn.
In the event that your student falls, drop off immediately and assist the skier to locate his/her skis and upon the return of the towboat, his/her handle.
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