Adaptive Snowsports Making Waves on the Slopes

It’s been an incredible season for skiing and snowboarding, and it’s been even more amazing for our adaptive athletes, students, and instructors who have been taking advantage of the historic snowfall and expanded resources this season.


What is Adaptive Skiing/Snowboarding?


Adaptive snowsports allow individuals with mental and/or physical disabilities to enjoy winter recreation. Using specially designed lessons, techniques, and equipment, individuals are able to experience the thrill of skiing and snowboarding with assistance or even independently!

With the help of Northern Arizona Healthcare Foundation, Arizona Snowbowl and Northern Arizona Adaptive Sports Association were able to provide over 738 lessons this season (and counting!). Learn more about our adaptive snowsports program below:

Adaptive Athlete Spotlight: Patience Beard


Our adaptive skiing and snowboarding programs are suited for a wide range of ability and experience levels, and while beginner and intermediate level lessons are popular, we are proud to offer lessons and coaching to help athletes reach the next level of their competitive careers.


Patience Beard is a 24-year-old graduate from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Communication. She was born with Proximal focal femoral deficiency which resulted in having a below-knee amputation. She moved to Phoenix last year from Colorado and heard about the adaptive program at the Arizona Snowbowl through a friend.

Coming up most Fridays to train with coach Alex Davenport and instructor Tom Jones, Patience was able to make her way to the USASA National Conference in Copper, CO recently where she took 1st place in the Giant Slalom women’s adaptive snowboard category.

This was a huge accomplishment, made more impressive by the fact that she doesn’t have a sports specific prosthetic limb. Congratulations, Patience!



This is just the beginning of Patience’s racing career, and we look forward to seeing her progress in the adaptive racing world!