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New design by Staki provides people with disabilities the joy of skiing

Eva with Staki skis
Eva with Staki Control skis

Eva, who has multiple sclerosis (MS), can now ski easier than walking

Press Release:
Ms. Eva has been struggling with multiple sclerosis (MS) for nearly thirty years. It primarily affects the mobility in her right leg. Although her diagnosis is overwhelming, she has been trying to devote herself to sports in her spare time just like she used to a long time ago.

A special model of downhill skis with a stabilizing foot made by a small Prague company in the Czech Republic has been helping her to achieve just that for some time now.

“It’s an amazing thing. I can now do exactly what standard skis wouldn’t allow me to do and perform maneuvers that would otherwise be too demanding. I feel safe on these skis and I am very happy that I am able to come close to how I used to ski before I was diagnosed with MS” says Ms. Eva, whose ability to walk radically started to worsen about ten years ago. Due to these problems, she eventually had to put her dreams of cross-country skiing on hold, and downhill skiing was very difficult and tedious for her for quite a long time.

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Ms. Eva, whose neurological illnesses cause extraordinary pain in her joints, can now enjoy a week of skiing in the Tatras on Štrbské Pleso thanks to these special skis.

Skiing with a stabilizing foot, as the name suggests, helps skiers maintain stability, even on uneven terrain. They are equipped with a special alloy tip, which not only prevents the skier from flinging backwards whilst skiing on more difficult terrain, but also naturally returns them to a safe position with the help of inertia.

“It actually works as a rehabilitative aid for me that helps me to stay physically fit. Other than bike riding, I just can’t play any other sports right now and I still have to rely on support when I go for a walk,” explains Ms. Eva, who thought she would never be able to get back into skiing ever again.

Not just your average skis

The special skis used by Ms. Eva were made by a small Prague company called Ski Progress and they bear the name STAKI. The skis were invented in 2008 by athlete and physical education instructor Dušan Peterka, who was inspired by a pair of home-made skis that one of his friends used when skiing in heavy snow. The company that manufactures STAKI skis is now run by David Rubek. Primarily under his leadership, the older and less practical models were gradually replaced with new ones, which work better on the slopes and are visually more aesthetically pleasing.

“Our new models were developed based on our customers’ wishes. We already have more than 200 satisfied customers in the Czech Republic. But there is still room for improvement,” says David Rubek.

He adds that these special skis were even appreciated by the mountaineering service and sports specialists from Comenius University in Bratislava. According to Rubek, other than skiers with limited mobility and special needs, the skis are also a favorite for beginner skiers and those who have not skied in quite a long time.

“The latest STAKI model was named STAKI Controls. We have upgraded the stabilizing foot so that it is better attached to the ski and it is equipped with a stabilizing binding that is adjustable for size. We would like to expand our assortment with a range of new color designs so that everyone has a pair of skis to choose from according to their own special taste,” explains David Rubek.

He adds, however, that although the prototype has now been fully realized, the new STAKI model will go into production this August. So the skis will not be available for skiers until the next ski season. The prototype’s development stage lasted for almost two years.Staki Control Skis

America helped with starting up production

One of the obstacles for the development of these special skis is financing. The development of new skis is extremely costly, and the testing process takes a long time.

For this reason, this year the company decided to ask its potential customers to pre-purchase the new STAKI model through a crowdfunding platform. “Speaking from experience, European customers tend to be skeptical about technological innovation. That’s why we tried our luck in the United States on the Kickstarter platform,” explains David Rubek.

According to him, the campaign was successful, and even if the money that was raised only covers campaign costs and the first batch of new skis, he is happy. “Nearly seventy people from all over the world showed interest in our skis and we collected more than forty-one thousand US dollars. This definitely tells us that what we are doing is worthwhile,” concluded David Rubek.

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He adds that these special skis were even appreciated by the mountaineering service and sports specialists from Comenius University in Bratislava. According to Rubek, other than skiers with limited mobility and special needs, the skis are also a favorite for beginner skiers and those who have not skied in quite a long time.

“The latest STAKI model was named STAKI Controls. We have upgraded the stabilizing foot so that it is better attached to the ski and it is equipped with a stabilizing binding that is adjustable for size. We would like to expand our assortment with a range of new color designs so that everyone has a pair of skis to choose from according to their own special taste,” explains David Rubek.

He adds, however, that although the prototype has now been fully realized, the new STAKI model will go into production this August. So the skis will not be available for skiers until the next ski season. The prototype’s development stage lasted for almost two years.

America helped with starting up production

One of the obstacles for the development of these special skis is financing. The development of new skis is extremely costly, and the testing process takes a long time.

For this reason, this year the company decided to ask its potential customers to pre-purchase the new STAKI model through a crowdfunding platform. “Speaking from experience, European customers tend to be skeptical about technological innovation. That’s why we tried our luck in the United States on the Kickstarter platform,” explains David Rubek.

According to him, the campaign was successful, and even if the money that was raised only covers campaign costs and the first batch of new skis, he is happy. “Nearly seventy people from all over the world showed interest in our skis and we collected more than forty-one thousand US dollars. This definitely tells us that what we are doing is worthwhile,” concluded David Rubek.

For more information, stable-ski.com

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