The wind is a mighty force, and it can be a crazy fun too. Some of the coolest wheelchair-users out there are using it to fulfill their fun-ratio…and how exactly? Why with kite-chairing, a low-impact adrenaline rush sport that’s been around since 2005.
Kite-chairing is when a wheelchair-use will attach a smaller parachute with very long ropes to their wheelchair, and let the parachute either pull them across a field, over the ocean or down a ski slope. You get a ton of energy from the wind and it can be a blast getting pulled at high speeds. There are all sorts of adaptations for this sport too, and new ways to go kite-chairing are constantly evolving.
But you need to make sure you have the right equipment. When kiting across a field (my personal favorite), many wheelers like to use a Freewheel attachment; this adds a front/center fourth wheel to the wheelchair, giving the paralyzed rider unparalleled stability in their chair as they go flying. Watch three wheelers from Iceland practice kite-chairing on a field (they’re planning on crossing a glacier this way) using a Freewheel
Wheelers here in the United States too have been getting in on kite-chairing fun for awhile (I know a paraplegic in Idaho who’s been doing it since 2009). Check out this awesome video of a guy going kiting with his family
But the sport is still much more popular in other parts of the world. Britain, Iceland and especially Finland (where it was invented).
And there’s a famous paraplegic in France by the name of Christophe Martin who’s made kite-chairing his own personal dominion. Check out this video of him kite-chairing on the ocean (in a sit-ski) the island nation of Mauritius (jealous). This guy knows what’s up. He’s sure figured out how to have a ball despite his paralysis. Where’s his gold star?
But my favorite video of a wheelchair-user going kite-chairing is this video
So if you’re looking for a new sport to get into this Spring, this may be one of the most fun options you’ve yet to try. All you need is a wide open space and some basic equipment (check out the link below to see what you need).
Get out there, have fun, and remember, if the wind picks, make sure you let go before you get pulled to Oz.
Have you tried kite-chairing?
- For more info about kite-chairing, visit the Power Kite Forum