Tag Archives: WCMX

SCI Superstar: Robert Thompkins

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There is a beautiful thing happening in San, Diego California right now and it’s not the beaches or the beautiful weather. It’s the good vibes Robert Thompkins is putting out, a paraplegic chairskater who’s sharing his passion for his emerging sport in an amazing way.

Why he’s fearless

A San Diego kid through and through, Robert is a certifiable California boy. Growing up, he was all about skateboarding. He admits he may have not been very good, but he had his bag of impressive tricks and he loved hanging out with his friends while doing it.

So when Robert found himself a paraplegic after a cannonball dive gone wrong in 2005, he was incredibly saddened over the loss of skateboarding in his life. A huge chunk of who he was could no longer exist, which is something many people with spinal cord injuries can relate to. “My injury did save my life in many ways though,” he does admit, who was on the wrong road at the time of his injury.

And thanks to his younger brother, his loss was turned into a life-changing discovery. He introduced Robert to chairskating, using one’s wheelchair to do skateboard-like tricks, and he was hooked. But the time was nearly 10 years ago, and chairskating wasn’t popular yet. He searched far and wide until he discovered chairskating phenom (and past SCI Superstar) Aaron Fotheringham, who showed him the ropes.

When he began chairskating, to used his rigid manual wheelchair since no chairskating wheelchairs had yet to exist, and Robert eventually made his own specialized chairskating wheelchair. While he never went on to compete in X Games (yet) or any WCMX-related competitions, what Robert is doing with his chairskating it is even more impressive.

What’s next?

In 2012, after meeting a family with Angelo Sanchez, their little boy with paraplegia, at a chairskating event put on by Life Rolls On, Robert’s life was changed.  He saw how he could introduce chairskating to little kids and knew it was an important mission he should take up.

He decided to partner with the Sanchez family to found a nonprofit called Looking Beyond the Wheels, which brings chairskating to local skate parks all around San Diego. They put on demonstrations, hoping to introduce kids with disabilities to the sport.

Robert is a big believer in making your life into whenever you want, making insanely tasty lemonade from lemons, and we love him for it. “Life is what you make it,” he likes to says. “And always push yourself until it’s over.” Sage advice from Mr. California cool.

Would you dare try chairskating if you had a chairskating chair?

– Visit his nonprofit: Looking Behind the Wheels

– Follow him on Instagram: that615chair_man

Watch the videos!

Fox Sports features Chairskater Robert Thompkins

Robert Thompkins taking on the infamous B St. Hill (a giant hill in San Diego)

Robert Thompkins Presents “PUSH FORWARD” chairskating edit

The “Best of the Best” WCMX Videos

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We’ve talked about the emerging sport of WCMX before. It’s hard not to profile these awesome videos. Whether you’re watching these fearless wheelchair-users throw themselves down steep ramps or precariously balance themselves on a stair rail (yes they do this), this sport is beyond entertaining.  It’s so cool you can’t take your eyes away.

So to celebrate our obsession with this new wheelchair sport, we’ve decided to profile three of the most impressive WCMX videos out there, and we found some good ones you surely will forgot for a very long time. From an epic handrail contest to a throwdown, check them out below.

Video #1: WCMX Handrail Contest on the Beach

While quoting Mr. Miagi from Karate Kid and flying down a handrail, these California wheelchair skateboarders are some of the coolest guys on the planet. In this video, watch several of them compete in the They Will Skate Again Wheelchair Handrail Contest held in Venice Beach, California last year.

In about 2:30 minutes. you get to watch half a dozen wheelchair-users fly themselves off a ramp to catch air and then attempt to land on a handrail (while stay balanced). While some fail miserably and get into some terrible wipe outs and others land like a ninja, it’s an amazing spectacle to behold.

Watch: WCMX Handrail Contest – 2014 They Will Skate Again

Video #2: No Excuses WCMX Throwdown

In this No Excuses Throwdown sponsored by Rise Adaptive Sports, this beautifully insane WCMX extravaganza is something everyone must watch. In less than 2 minutes, dozens of young men show off their best moves in a WCMX obstacle course in Irving, Texas.

And Aaron Fotheringham, one of the best WCMXers in the world, is there and part of the action, showing off his best moves (and making everyone look just a little less talented in the process). Several of the other best WCMXers are there as well however and give him a run for as many.

Watch: WCMX No Excuses Throwdown

Video # 3: The Great Balancing Skateboard Act

Want to see what happens when a WCMXer gets a Go Pro camera for Christmas? A lot of amazing footage strung together in another can’t-look-away montage, and this is courtesy of Katherine Beattie, one of the few females in the WCMX scene. Not only does she make it look easy, she makes it look good.

She starts out on a skateboard while on her knees, dropping in and out of empty pools just like the boys from Dogtown, and then moves on to true WCMX moves while in her wheelchair, skating with the able-bodied boys and keeping up.

Watch: New Year, New Edit

Without guts, there is no glory in the WCMX world. Gathering the courage however remains one of the hardest things about this sport. For advice in this, we recommend contacting WCMX athletes themselves. It’s always best to go straight to the source.

Courage is never easy to find, but once you find it, you’ve got it forever.

What WCMX tricks do you think are the coolest?

Watch the videos!

WCMX Handrail Contest – 2014 They Will Skate Again

Sweet WCMX No Excuses Throwdown

WCMXer Katherine Beattie balances on a skateboard