What was once seen as an impossible feat—even considered “off limits” to many amputees—is now made possible with the help of technology. More and more amputees are getting into adaptive sports, and with technology like Ottobock’s ProCarve setup, more opportunities are opening up.
In 2014, Ottobock released the ProCarve Knee and Foot, which are designed to provide targeted support for adaptive athletes as they pursue their chosen winter sports. Dubbed as the world’s leading ski prosthesis, the ProCarve is highly preferred by skiers and snowboarders as it provides an alternative to using outriggers while skiing with a single prosthesis.
After undergoing rigorous testing, in partnership with Tyrolia, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of ski bindings, the World Para Alpine Skiing and World Para Snowboard approved the use of the ProCarve in competitions without a ski boot—a first in the world of adaptive skiing and snowboarding.
Winning Procarve Features
Specially designed for extreme carving on the slope when skiing and snowboarding, the ProCarve provides you with better control of your movements and speed. The ProCarve foot can be directly attached to your ski binding, while the use of the foot shell permits snapping into your snowboard.
The Ottobock ProCarve is also equipped with integrated, high-performance dampers that allow your Prosthetist to adjust flexion and extension movements. These dampeners further personalize the experience to better suit your unique requirements.
Many would consider their skiing or snowboarding, when using a ProCarve, to appear more natural and less noticeable than using a mono-ski or similar setup.
ProCarve Knee and Foot
As of this writing, there are two ProCarve components available—the ProCarve Knee and the ProCarve Foot. Each can be used independently of the other or as a unit.
With its all aluminum construction, this high activity sports knee not only controls movements through its dampers but also features a disengagement function for sitting. Inside the ProCarve Knee, you'll find a pneumatic spring that controls flexion and hydraulics to dampen extension movements.
Just like its knee counterpart, the ProCarve Foot is notable for its high-performance and durable damping element that controls movement around the foot's pivot point. A stiffer version is available for advanced riders that Ottobock claims will benefit below-the-knee amputees the most.
With the Ottobock ProCarve, you can now enjoy your favorite adaptive winter AND water sports. Whether you’re just beginning to learn how to snowboard or you’ve been doing it for years, plan on experiencing that visceral feeling you get when carving through fresh powder at high speeds.
Do you have any tips for those who are just beginning to learn how to snowboard or ski? Please leave a comment below.