Friday, 24 August 2012

Shopping for new wheels.

On Wednesday I went wheelchair shopping at GBL wheelchairs with Emma. I need a new chair - my current one is, amongst other things, too small and not suited to toe propelling.

My local NHS PCT cannot supply one light enough for me to push, so I have a voucher and am off to find a chair that works for me. Rigid framed chairs with swing away footplates are not easy to find!

So I spent a few hours at GBL wheelchairs. I wasn't playing. Honest!

  So, I need a light set of wheels, but my budget isn't that big.

A more realistic prospect is the Panthera S2. The swing away footplate, light weight, rigid ticks all the essential boxes. And wheeling round both by toe and standard propelling was fun (although I'd have mine set up a lot more 'tippy').

We established that I wouldn't need the full 'swing away' footplates, just 'flip up' - cos they don't get in the way when I transfer. As the salesman commented, I can transfer without problem. Although he appeared a little bemused by my reply.
I could have spent hours in there. It's SO useful to actually see and try out the various adaptations and styles of chair. I found out about pushrims in different grip shapes, and with different coating, and fell in love with the 'dual grip' which means you have the option of using grippy area to push- especially in the rain, then the smooth area to steer/brake/control on hills. 

I was immensely amused to find that Emma, a wheelchair user since childhood, had never discovered the different shaped pushrim tubes. I think she felt a little cheated.

Testing out all these in a small warehouse may possible have made me over-heat....

Overall, the Panthera S2 is definitely in the running as a possible choice, but it doesn't look as sporty as the Kuschal K4 - which I am waiting for further info re the 'swing away footplate' version. And since I'm spending well over £1K of my own money, I want something that looks sporty. I just do.

So I haven't made my choice yet. Not least because I was excessively exhausted afterwards, so a quick nap in my car boot before the journey home accidentally happened.

Which was extremely comfortable, and now it has been discovered I intend to use it a lot more.


  1. Always good to do all the research, before you buy. I don't suppose there is a Compare the Meerkat site, is there?

    Love the idea of sleeping in the boot, might try that myself!!

    Arwedd xx

  2. She literally did scream "WAN!!" when she picked up the chair too... Hilarious

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