Winter is an exciting season for most athletes because it means being able to enjoy winter sports. And for adaptive athletes, there is no better time to fully engage in extreme winter sports as we are witnessing another golden period for prosthetics. Emerging prosthetic technologies now address a wider range of needs outside of what is required by the general amputee population. So, let’s have some fun and explore what’s available on the market.
Image courtesy of Biodesign Prosthetics & Orthotics
B-Peg Snowboard Prosthetic Leg
The B-Peg, a prosthetic leg project sponsored and fabricated by Boers & Co at the cost of approximately $14,000, was designed by Jos Zaal, an above-knee (AK) amputee, and LiangTi Tan, a mechanical engineer and part-time snowboard instructor.
According to Zaal, what makes the B-Peg’s design so revolutionary is the connection between the knee and ankle which allows the wearer to keep their balance while snowboarding. This design bypasses the performance of other systems that use either fixed or limited movement.
When asked to describe his experience using the B-Peg, Zaal told The Telegraph: “The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of snowboarding with the B-Peg is the feeling that it’s not the prosthetic, but my snowboarding skills that are holding me back.... That gives me a tremendous feeling of freedom.”
With the B-Peg Snowboard Prosthetic Leg, you can plan on carving down the mountain with greater balance and more natural movement.
CrossOver Hybrid Knee
Another noteworthy prosthetic system is the CrossOver Hybrid Knee, which is lauded for its ability to meld two very different needs of active above-knee amputees—walking and extreme sports. The CrossOver Hybrid Knee is akin to a street legal race care that you can drive to the track.
On your next ski trip, you can simply wear your CrossOver Hybrid Knee to the mountain and set aside 3-5 minutes to transition your setup from walking to extreme sports. The setup is equipped with a patented adjustable tendon and Three-Position X/CAMTM System, which allows for a wide range of adjustable and tunable resistance and return mechanism.
Furthermore, every athlete differs in body weight and shape, not to mention skill level, and what makes the CrossOver extremely adaptable is its ability to make finding the perfect combination of flexion resistance and extension assistance balance easier.
All these impressive features make sense as the objective of the CrossOver Hybrid Knee is “helping, but not hindering” your athleticism.
The Bottom Line
While this article barely scratched the surface of the full capabilities of the B-Peg Snowboard Prosthetic Leg and the CrossOver Hybrid Knee, their ability to push the envelope technologically and provide a “platform” for you to push your limits as an athlete is exciting. Both systems are definitely worth checking out.Comment below if you have tried either system and share with us what features you think are awesome.