Skiing is demanding and a breathtaking sport, even for daring and able-bodied people. The weak-hearted and physically challenged people can’t even think of trying their hands on it. However, I am sure that some differently-abled people with brave hearts do have the courage to take on the adventurous sport, but lack of specially designed equipments often holds them back. However, Ben Thorpe intends to make skiing simple with his innovative ‘Switch & Ski’ even to the skiers with limited physical ability. Designed to enable disabled user’s to gain more independence and freedom on the slopes, the Switch & Ski is based on the principle of weight transfer from ski to ski. Using a cable pulley system, controlled by the handles on the side, rear seat of the ski can easily be turned and pulled backward and forward. While a separate set of handles control the braking system, where the skis are turned into the plough position to control the speed.
Right now, the Switch & Ski is a concept design but it may change the otherwise dull life of the physically challenged ski enthusiasts.
The Switch & Ski help physically challenged skiers to maintain an upright position that gives them similar freedom and experience of skiing as an able-bodied skier enjoy on the slopes.
Winner of the ‘Best in Show’ award at the UCLAN Degree Show 2008, Ben Thorpe has completed the Bachelors degree in Product Design from the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.