Paranordic Programs 

Strathcona Nordic Ski Club (SNSC) has a program for everyone – including people with disabilities! 

Sit skiers on Mount Washington. photo: Brent Reid

What is paranordic (also sometimes called adaptive) skiing ?

Paranordic skiing is a winter activity that allows people with disabilities to practice  nordic skiing, sometimes using specialised 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 whose balance is too poor to ski standing. 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
  • Competetively
  • 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

SNSC owns 2 sit skis. Registered SNSC members can become approved sit ski users and take the sit skis out either on their own or with friends or family. See Membership for membership fees info and Programs for program fee info.

It may be possible for your child with a disability  to take part in the SNSC Rabbit program with the help of a volunteer from VISAS.

A good way for people with disabilities to get started with Nordic skiing is through the Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Skiing (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

For more information on Strathcona Nordics Para programs contact

Strathcona Nordic Ski Club