Do you have a mobility disability but still crave an outgoing and energetic lifestyle? Would you benefit from having an all-terrain wheelchair and are routinely searching for information on that very topic? We recommend that you read on as this article may be of interest and use to you!
Despite being amazing facilitators in getting a disabled person from point A to point B, wheelchairs can often be limiting when it comes to taking the less beaten track and going a little ‘off road’. This can result in many activities with family and friends being slightly limited if you’re a disabled person that relies on the use of a wheelchair. Examples include strolls in the forest and jaunts along a sandy beach. For the most part, outdoor use for wheelchairs goes as far as using paved roads and urban environments.
Many of these more ‘hard to reach’ places rarely have any wheelchair support infrastructure, resulting in the accessing of these places becoming all the more challenging. However, you may find a solution to some of these issues in the form of an all-terrain wheelchair. Using an all-terrain wheelchair can be an amazing way to overcome many obstacles and limitations that most other ‘every-day’ wheelchairs would likely face. Given that all-terrain wheelchairs are specifically designed for use in extreme outdoor settings, they are often perfect for scenarios such as when needing to use a wheelchair on a sandy beach, in rocky conditions, or in snowy climates.
What type of (all-terrain) wheelchair could I get?
Oftentimes, all-terrain wheelchairs are custom-built and therefore come in an array of different shapes and sizes, depending on the user’s needs. The following is a list of some of the types of all-terrain wheelchair you may be likely to come across in your search, as well as an overview of their intended uses and functions:
- Sports wheelchairs
Sports wheelchairs tend to be ultra light-weight and made from either Titanium or Aluminium. The reason for their low weight is generally to offer the user improved performance from an athletic point of view. Sports wheelchairs, in respect to being ‘all-terrain’, tend to be adapted wheelchairs which are customizable for disability sports such as wheelchair tennis, wheelchair basketball, track racing, trail riding, and numerous other popular wheelchair sports. They are designed to be tough, safe, and highly responsive when maneuvering.
- Off-road wheelchairs
Perhaps the most ‘all-terrain’ of the three examples of wheelchair is the ‘off-road’ wheelchair. These bespoke wheelchairs are designed so that the user can get around on uneven surfaces, such as on forest trails, or walking paths that have many rocks and stones on the surface. Off-road all-terrain wheelchairs are also wonderfully adaptable for crossing hilly areas, with some of these preferred wheelchairs operating with a pulley-system, enabling the user to get more purchase on their propelling motion, and angling their way across otherwise inaccessible pathways. Off-road wheelchairs may be either manual or electric powered, and they are specifically designed to allow the user greater freedom of movement, without the need for additional assistance. Ultimately, they afford the user a much greater sense of independence.
- Beach wheelchairs
Beach wheelchairs are another form of all-terrain wheelchair, designed with maneuverability over sandy beaches in mind. In principle, beach wheelchairs are similar to other wheelchairs, the main difference being their balloon type wheels which allow them to traverse over any type of sandy surface without the wheels sinking into the sand. Beach wheelchairs are also almost always waterproof, allowing the user to be pushed to the water’s edge, and even submerged slightly into the waves.
Beach wheelchairs almost always require the assistance of one other person, as their design does not generally allow for any form of self-propelling – given the nature of their enormous inflatable tires.
Grab your all-terrain wheelchair and discover those hard-to-reach places!
Given that there are a variety of different forms of wheelchair and all-terrain wheelchair, disabled people with motability options have a number of options when it comes to selecting one that’s right for them. Of course, finances and funding play a role in the type of wheelchair a user may go for, but so long as you can afford it, it’s a worthwhile investment to select a wheelchair which will fulfill as many of your wants and needs as possible. Whether that be a sports wheelchair to facilitate your athletic nature, or an all-terrain wheelchair to accompany you on your outdoor adventurous lifestyle.