Paranordic Connections

What is paranordic (also sometimes called adaptive) skiing?

Paranordic skiing is a winter activity that allows people with disabilities to nordic ski, sometimes using specialized equipment. 

Who can ski?

People with many different disabilities can nordic ski including those with: Cerebral palsy, Multiple sclerosis, Spinal cord injury, brain injuries, visual impairment , amputation, autism – and more. 

How is it practiced?

Standing – Some people will be able to ski standing using the same equipment as able-bodied skiers or with slight modifications. Nordic skiing is especially suited to people with visual impairments – with the help of a guide and the tracks. People with autism or brain injuries often enjoy the repetition and the tranquil environment of Nordic skiing.

Sitting– Sit skis can be used by people who either cannot use their legs or who might find it more comfortable to ski in a seated position. Reasonable upper body strength is required. The sit ski is a chair- like sled with cross country skis underneath. Short ski poles are used for propulsion.

You can enjoy this sport:

  • Recreationally

  • Competitively

  • As a means of cross-training for a summer sport 

The benefits of Nordic skiing include: 

  • Improvement of your cardiovascular fitness

  • Improvement of strength and flexibility

  • Development of new motor skills

  • Building self confidence and self esteem

  • Enjoyment of the outdoors in winter

  • Opportunities to ski and socialize with friends 

How to get started

The club owns two sit skis. Registered club members can become approved sit ski users and take the sit skis out either on their own or with friends or family. For more information on sit skis contact

It may be possible for your child with a disability to take part in the Jack Rabbit Skill Development program with the help of a volunteer from the Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports (VISAS). 

A good way for people with disabilities to get started with Nordic skiing is through VISAS. VISAS volunteers offer one-on-one instruction in Nordic skiing or sit skiing for people with a wide range of disabilities.

For more information about VISAS, visit their website

2019 Winter Snowsports Festival and Have-A-Go Program Offerings from VISAS

The festival has been running for 20 years+.  In 2016-17, VISAS introduced a new program called Have-A-Go in response to feedback that some students may need a gentler entry into Snowsports (maybe finding a 4-day program like the festival a little too much).    Have-A-Go has succeeded in eliminating most of the financial barriers.

 VISAS Snowsports Festival Cover Letter for New Students

2019 Application Form

Have a Go Cover Letter

2019 Snowsports Festival Image.jpg