Disabled patients water ski at SeaWorld

Special board has special seat for strapping in passengers

SAN ANTONIO - More than 100 people took part in the All Can Ski event at SeaWorld on Tuesday. For those in attendance -- many of whom had disabilities -- it their first time to water ski.

Damien Kasten, 19, hollered with joy as he glided across the water on a specially adapted water ski.

He was born with cerebral palsy and has to use a wheelchair but a specially designed water ski board gave him -- and others -- the chance to experience the freedom of water skiing. 

"My first time and it was awesome!," said Kasten. "It felt like I was flying!"

"He couldn't sleep last night," said his mother, Abbey Kasten, "He was so excited."

The board is a cross between a surf board, snow board and water ski. It's wider than a typical ski board and has a special seat for strapping in passengers. 

Volunteers ski alongside participants to help guide them. 

"It's the first time for a lot of these guys to actually get out and get out of their chairs and get in the water," said Ross Davis, with San Antonio Sports.

SeaWorld has been sponsoring the clinic along with San Antonio Sports for 20 years. Organizers say it shows those with disabilities that they don't have to live with limitations.

For Kasten, water skiing is another activity on a long list of accomplishments.

"I do things like swimming, horseback riding, canoeing, archery," he said. "I don't let anything stop me.

People of all ages are taking part in the water skiing clinic over the next couple of days, including some wounded warriors that are being treated at San Antonio's Center for the Intrepid.



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