Finding The Right Sports Wheelchair

If you’re in the market for a sports wheelchair, you know there are a variety of considerations to be made with any wheelchair purchase. Sports wheelchair purchases aren’t that different from other wheelchair purchases. You need to make sure the wheelchair will suit your needs, your size and your lifestyle.

Here are some purchase considerations:

*What size wheelchair do you need? If you are very tall or very short, that will factor into your sports wheelchair buying decision. If you are heavy, you’ll need a heavier-duty chair than someone who is smaller and lighter.

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*How much do you want to spend? Sports wheelchairs are not cheap, and can cost anywhere from about $1,000 to $10,000 depending on a variety of factors. Be sure you know what your needs are and how heavily you’ll use the chair before making this relatively large investment.

*What’s your sport? Sports wheelchairs are generally designed for a specific sport. If you play basketball, you’ll want a sports wheelchair for that sport. Those who like to race buy handbike wheelchairs. It’s all in your need and how to feed that need.

Now, once you have your needs figured out, how do you purchase? There are several options. When purchasing a wheelchair, if you can try it out, that’s better than buying sight unseen. Try to head to a few local wheelchair stores and try one out. There might be a brand or style you find more or less comfortable.

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Buying locally might be more convenient for you and certainly faster, since you can bring home your wheelchair sooner rather than later, but buying online has one decided advantage: price. There are several online wheelchair stores that will sell you a good sports wheelchair at a deeply discounted rate. If you know what you want in a wheelchair (and have perhaps already done a quick trial in a local store), this doesn’t have to be a scary, unknown purchase; simply search for the brand and model you have already seen in person.

If you do choose to shop online for your new wheelchair, be sure to keep in mind that shipping can add quite a lot to the cost. Search for an online site that will give you free shipping – many offer this regularly, while others have special promotions. This can save you up to more than $100.

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Thinking of buying used? This is certainly an option. There are many wheelchair sports leagues and through them, you could purchase a good quality used chair at a fraction of the retail price. This is an excellent way to try out a sport without too much investment. Also check locally to see if you can find a used chair through any mobility impaired groups. Check your local Craigslist and classified ads as well.

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Is purchasing a used chair a good idea? Certainly, if you avoid certain pitfalls. First, know the retail value of a new, similar chair. Don’t overpay for a used chair. Check the condition of the chair carefully (in other words, don’t purchase sight unseen). If it has a lot of wear and obvious use, be sure the price is in line with the chair’s condition. Finally, make sure the chair you are buying is appropriate for your sport. If you’re new to sports wheelchairs, you don’t want to make an inexact purchase that will end up being a waste of space or money.