News Headlines     |     
Sep
12

Email

PARALYMPIC DREAM FOR GB ARMY VETERAN
Thursday September 12, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

A new snowboard binding could help a wounded ex-British Army soldier realise his Paralympic hopes. Go Swifty!




Darren Swift, known as Swifty, is a DAK - a double-above-the-knee amputee.

He lost both legs after an improvised explosive device went off while he was serving with the Royal Green Jackets in Northern Ireland in 1991.

He has been competing in snowboarding for several years and is a member of the UK Armed Forces Parasnowsport Team.

We featured him in an article from the 2019 British Freestyle Championships, The BRITS.

Swifty is hoping to qualify for the 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympics.

The unique bindings, made by a 3D printer and designed by The Centre For Modelling & Simulation (CFMS), could help him do that.

They are the first bindings developed to absorb shock and adjust to different users' positions.

They're said to be the first in the world.

He has already tested them at the indoor real snow slope, the Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead.

 

"For five years I've been competing on heavy bindings put together in a friend's kitchen," Swifty said.

"They gave me permanent back pain and meant I was too slow to qualify for the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games.

"I wanted to create something that could open doors for me and other DAKs competitors.

"With CFMS's help, we've developed something revolutionary and now we're calling on the International Paralympic Committee to help DAKs compete equally."

Darren SwiftSwifty in his earlier bindings at The BRITS 2019 - photo Motionstoppers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is currently no Paralympic category for DAK athletes.

Swifty hopes these new bindiings might inspire others to take up the sport and enable a new category so DAK snowboarders do not have to compete against more able-bodied Para athletes.

CFMS is a not-for-profit digital engineering specialist company based in Bristol in the west of England.

It developed and tested the bespoke bindings using a series of 3D modelling, additive manufacturing and complex high value design techniques.

The company says that more than 500 digital engineering hours have been dedicated to the development of the prototype bindings, which have been 3D-printed using a super-strong material made from nylon and fibreglass.

Darren SwiftSwifty tests the revolutionary 3D printed bindings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"When Darren first approached us with the idea for the bindings, we jumped at the chance to get involved," said Davide Bianchi, Head of Advanced Simulation at CFMS who led the project.

"We've really pushed the limits of engineering to create the world's first 3D-printed snowboard bindings so we're really proud to see Darren on the slopes using this revolutionary new technology!"

CFMS has supported the project free of charge and worked alongside Airbus to 3D-print the bindings.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

Related Articles

RIP FITZI, BRITISH SKI RACING LEGEND (Friday November 15, 2019)
WELCOME TO WINTER (Thursday November 14, 2019)
GB PARASNOWSPORT SQUADS ANNOUNCED FOR 2019/20 (Sunday November 3, 2019)
WORLD CUP SKI RACING IS BACK (Wednesday October 30, 2019)
FIRST €100K SKI RACE WINNER (Tuesday October 22, 2019)
FIS SIGNS UP TO UN CLIMATE CHANGE INITIATIVE (Saturday September 28, 2019)


With thanks to our main sponsors...

Platinum partners

Bronze partners