Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Sno-Limo: an unexpected discovery at the Winter Olympics

While lounging on the couch watching events at Day 3 in Vancouver, a special little commercial popped up on the Sno-Limo, a seated downhill ski designed for those who don't ski or snowboard and want to experience the slopes. Looks to be quite a solid piece of equipment, designed for parents or grandparents of skiers and snowboarders, those who have disabilities that prevent them from moving independently, or anyone who wants to try it out.

The seated and bundled rider is "chauffeured" by a standing person who rides the back of the Sno-Limo, much like a kicksled driver but minus the kicking. Looks like a blast and definitely my preferred way to enter the world of downhill skiing! Too bad, but I don't think there are any in New England yet!

Exploring their website, it appears the Sno-Limo has been used only in British Columbia, Canada on a small scale at a few ski resorts since the winter of 2005-6. I'm guessing it has been under development. The website indicates that broader distribution is under way. I made an inquiry, but haven't heard back on where people might be able to try the Sno-Limo outside Canada or how much they cost. How about though - anyone else interested in this new possibility?


paul said...

thank you for the great web content sorry if we have not contacted you yet but we are very busy with the games.I can be reached via email at paul@sno-limo.com or 604-902-6701.
We will be intouch soon.
Again thank you.
Paul Auger

sandyinabox said...

Hi Marcy,

There is a very similar piece of equipment called the Tandemski. It is manufactured in France by Tessier (www.dualski.com). The Tandemski was designed and is used specifically for people with disabilities. These adaptive skis are used widely in Europe and also by adaptive ski programs throughout Canada.

There is one operational Tandemski in the United States. It is used by Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country (ASPNC) as part of their adaptive alpine ski program at Cannon Mountain in Franconia, NH(www.adaptivesportspartners.org). ASPNC is a non-profit, year-round adaptive sports and recreation organization, headquartered in Easton, NH.

I happen to run that program and am a trained tandemski pilot. The Tandemski is a wonderful, wonderful piece of adaptive ski equipment, that gives people of all abilities the opportunity to experience the joy of skiing.

You can check out some recent photos by Bob Misuraca on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wasabibob/sets/72157623226756009/

Let me know when you're ready to give it a go!

Sandy Olney
Executive Director

Marcy said...

I had a very informative phone conversation with Sandy from Adaptive Partners recently. It seems the Sno-Limo and Tandemski are very similar and neither is sold to the US by their respective companies.

There are a few in the US though, and a controversy around their use at Bretton Woods. If you are interested in following up on this, read on at http://www.concordmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100125/FRONTPAGE/1250304

Those who are seeking an experience on the Tamdemski can contact Adaptive Partners.