Nothing goes together worse than curbs and wheelchairs. Well maybe square wheels and wheelchairs, but that’s another blog post entirely. The thing about curbs – they’re everywhere.
They’re a beacon of modern-day society, keeping pedestrians and vehicles safe from one another, but they weren’t exactly created with people in wheelchairs in mind. Some wheelchairs, or rather wheelchair-users, can do a bang up job of popping curbs, but for most wheelchair-users, curbs are as limiting as a 2 foot thick steel door.
There are however several tricks wheelchair-users can learn to no longer let curbs hold them back. Some may be tricky, but they all work. Check out our curb-traversing videos below.
Video #1: Wheelchair up and down curb
Our first video comes from Gaby Bonano, a paraplegic who’s new at putting his hat into the “how-to” disability video world. One of the first videos he made is all about wheelchairs and curbs, and how wheelchairs can overcome them if no curb-cut is around. This how-to is definitely for people with full upper-body control.
Gaby first shows how he gets down a curb, which is the easier trick of the two. The trick for getting down a curb is about mastering the wheelie, and being able to balance yourself as you drop down the curb. It definitely takes some finesse, and of course Gaby makes it look easy.
He has a stunt double demonstrate the up-curb method because if he wipes out and lands on his back, it can injure his severe scoliosis. This method heavily relies on momentum and getting a head start, then popping a wheelie right before you hit the curb (it is only ideal for cubs 7″ or shorter). Watch his curb-climbing methods
Video #2: Wheelchair Child Rides Her New Trackchair Over the Curb
Our second video shows the beautiful things that can happen when people with kind hearts and a little bit of extra money come together. It shows a young girl receiving her first ever Trackchair, a wheelchair on tank tracks that allows the user to go wherever they want. But the kicker – it’s quite expensive; upwards of $6,000.
In this video, a mysterious stranger donated $5,700 to procure this amazing wheelchair for a young girl with cerebral palsy, and boy is the smile on her face worth watching. You get to watch as she is shown how to drive the Trackchair, and boy does she look happy when she goes over a curb her first time (I want one goshdarnit!). Watch her try out the Trackchair
Video #3: Paraplegic in a Wheelchair Ascends a High Curb
If you live in an older city, there are sometimes going to be curbs you encounter that are archaically high; I’m talking 8 inches or higher. When dealing with curbs this tall, you have to use a different method vs. the gaining momentum and popping a wheelie method.
Erik Kondo, a paraplegic from Boston, has your best option – the Railing Side Control Method – where he uses anything from a parking meter pole to a bike rack to grab onto and pulls himself up a curb. He’ll even grab onto a small tree if nothing else is available. This method is definitely for the buff wheelchair-users of the world. Watch Erik’s steep curb-climbing video
There are a lot of things in life that limit us as wheelchair-users. It’s nice to know those pesky curbs can be out-smarted, even out-muscled with the right technique or wheelchair. Just remember to be safe. The last thing you want to deal with is an egg on your head and a bruised ego while trying to get somewhere.
What tricks do you use for climbing curbs?
Watch the videos