If you’re among the 3.6 million wheelchair users over 15, accessibility is s key issue when navigating transportation, public spaces, and at home. If you participate in sports, living an active lifestyle can be tough on your chair. Whether you play basketball, tennis, or any other sport, prepping your chair for the season ahead is key.
Wheelchair bearings can take a beating over time: sports, day-to-day excursions, dirt, water, and grime all can take a toll on your bearings’ performance. Wheel and caster bearings can be replaced as a DYI project, or you can take your chair to a trusted tech. If money is tight, the bearings can be pulled, cleaned with a mild cleaner, and re-lubricated. Be sure to use agents that are in line with the manufacturer’s specific cations for best performance and safety over time.
Like the brakes in our cars, wheelchair brakes are prone to wear and tear and need to be replaced on a regular basis. Check the brakes excessive wear on a regular basis, and replace worn brakes quickly.
Don’t play basketball or volleyball without these. If your calf straps are worn, consider replacing them before your season starts. Adjust as needed for the best support; the last thing you need is loose or worn calf straps in the middle of a match or game.
Bearings that are well-maintained will ensure smooth-rolling casters over most surfaces. Choose casters that are appropriate for your chosen activities. It goes without saying to replace casters that are worn or damaged from the elements or from sports.
Hand Rims, Grips, and Side Guards
If you’re new to sports, these components can take a beating, even in a sport-tuned chair. Before your season starts, check all of these items and replace any that show signs of wear.
Greater accessibility means more opportunities to travel and to participate in wheelchair sports. Get your chair ready for the season with some essential maintenance for bearings, rims, brakes, and other components, for both your daily use chair and your sports chair. If you’re new to a team, get some money-saving DYI tips from your league or teammates so you can tune your chair and save money at the same time.