I’ve always thought that snowstorms are pretty, but they’re always better looking from the inside out than vice versa. The wind is rough, the snow looks great until cars and snow boots stomp all over the pristine, white fluffiness, and your face feels like it might fall off from the cold. Imagine that experience for a person relegated to a wheelchair. Now combine that with the added difficulty of other travel elements such as icy hills and slopes.
Wheelblades wants to fix that navigation problem by attaching small skis to the bottom of chair to make getting around more smooth. By simply reducing traction from the bigger control wheels, the skis prevent wheels from sinking and lets the wheelchair slide through snow. Designer Patrick Mayer says the Wheelblades does so by redistributing the weight so the pressure isn’t just on the larger wheels. The blades also install in just one click at the front of the chair.
“The Wheelblades are also extremely manageable, lightweight and can be attached to all common wheels in a matter of seconds,” says Mayer. What he means is parents can add the mini ski to their baby strollers so taking children around won’t result in getting stuck in snow and ice. A personal shopping cart could also use some help if you use those with grocery shopping or laundry.
Obviously, the added skis won’t mean those in wheelchairs can go and slide down snowy mountains though they can certainly try with supervision. It might not be the complete skiing experience, but it’s definitely an achievement not previously possible. This solution to snow immobility is a fantastic and simple answer for the disabled.
The Wheelblades are expecting to hit the market in October of this year, starting at 224 swiss francs, or approximately $246 USD, per pair. Mayer says he hopes to generate more interest from investors so the Wheelblades could be even more accessible to those in need around the world, and for a more affordable price with the opportunity to take it to mass production.
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