Anyone who uses a wheelchair knows how hard it is to get around. From buildings that don’t have accessibility ramps and poorly paved sidewalks to rough terrain and foul weather, a lot of hurdles exist when trying to navigate a wheelchair through everyday life. With fall in full swing, another hazard is on the horizon: snow. When winter blows in and starts dusting the ground with snow, ice and slush, it’s hard enough for able bodied people to trudge through the mess much less someone pushing along in a wheelchair. Luckily there is a new device that is designed to aid traction and give wheelchairs a boost when plowing through snow, Wheelblades.
Wheelblades, designed by Swiss inventor Patrick Mayer, are essentially mini-skis that lock onto the front wheels of wheelchairs and help spread the weight over a greater surface area. Once the front wheels of a wheelchair are securely locked into the skis users will find that wheelchairs can float and glide easily over snow and ice allowing for greater mobility. A pair of channels on the base of the skis compresses the snow, which also increases stability. Though the Wheelblades won’t be able to work in snow that reaches certain depths it can be paired with winter tires on the main wheels to get through snow as its falling and sidewalks that are covered in ice and slush.
Mayer himself was involved in a snowboarding accident that rendered him a quadriplegic but the event didn’t deter his love of snow. However, he was frustrated to find out how difficult it was to get around in his wheelchair during the winter. His design is now available for pre-order and deliveries are expected to start in October, just in time for winter. At HDS Medallion® we love to see new accessories for wheelchairs. We’re currently working on various designs for an attractive, durable denim winter wheelchair bag to accommodate those who love a good stroll through the snow and for anyone else who wants a stylish wheelchair bag. We’re aiming to introduce the bag at the San Jose Abilities Expo November 16-18.