The advancement in technology has made sports wheelchairs much lighter and stronger than ever before allowing those with mobility issues to push the limits of sports while in a wheelchair. If you have been looking for the best sports wheelchairs this guide will be for you.
We are going to cover all types of different sports wheelchairs, what they are best for, and what to consider when choosing one. Let’s dive in and take a look at some of the top sports wheelchairs on the market.
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Differences between a sports wheelchair a regular manual wheelchair
When looking at the difference between a sports wheelchair and a daily use wheelchair you will quickly find major differences. These wheelchairs have different designs and functionalities.
Sport wheelchairs are typically determined by the person’s weight, height, age, and what type of sport is played by the person using the wheelchair.
Another major difference is the back wheels. On sports wheelchairs, you will notice that those wheels are angled differently than a daily wheelchair. The wheels are angled outward relative to the floor.
This is done to help the wheelchair stay upright during hard and faster than normal turns that are performed when playing sports.
Most common types of sports wheelchairs
Just because you are in a wheelchair does not mean you can’t play sports. in-fact sports wheelchairs make it possible to play some of the most popular sports while using a wheelchair.
Unlike a standard type of wheelchair sport, wheelchairs are designed differently. They are designed to be faster, turn tighter, and allow for much more strenuous use than your standard chair.
Wheelchair basketball is one of the most popular para-sports. These types of wheelchairs are able to turn very quickly and tight without flipping. These types of chairs function very similar to tennis wheelchairs because a lot of the same movements are used.
For those who race wheelchairs, these athletes are looking for a few key features. They want a wheelchair that is designed for speed, streamlined, and extremely balanced. Having these features allow for a lightweight wheelchair that is much easier to maneuver.
Models will allow for both sitting and kneeling. Unlike other types of wheelchairs, the tires on racing wheelchairs are air-filled. Racing wheelchairs must meet racing regulations and part of that is having air-filled tiles.
Tennis wheelchairs much like basketball wheelchairs are used to make quick and sharp turns. Because of this tennis, wheelchairs use slanted wheels so flipping is greatly reduced. The best tennis wheelchairs can give you an edge over your competition and help you dominate.
Comparing the best Sports Wheelchairs
Quickie Titanium All Court Sports Wheelchair
Quickie Match Point Tennis Sport Wheelchair
Invacare Top End Excelertor Handcycle
Quickie GP Sports Wheelchair
Quickie All Court Sports Wheelchair
Invacare Top End Pro BB Basketball Wheelchair
30 lbs. -35 lbs.
23.5 lbs. -24 lbs.
12" - 20"
12" - 18"
Seat to floor height
13" - 21"
Rear wheel size
24" - 26"
1. Quickie Titanium All Court Sports Wheelchair
This is our top choice for the best sports wheelchair. Made with a titanium seat frame and extremely lightweight tubing that provides a sturdy and reliable frame. This wheelchair is designed for athletes and has a camber angle of 16 and 20 so tipping can be minimized. This model has a center-of-gravity range of 3.5″ to 5″ of the vertical seat -squeeze adjustment. This provides optimum seat angles without having to change fork size.
This chair also features a single-wing number. Those looking for a higher-end sports wheelchair will find this model has what you could be looking for.
This is a great tennis sports wheelchair that provides excellent stability during serving and when leaning forward takes place.
This model comes with camber options of 16° and 20°/ This allows the player not to worry about tipping when leaning forward or when serving.
Your feet will also stay in place because of the bolt-on-toe clips. There is also an optional 5th wheel anti-tipper.
3. Invacare Top End Excelertor Handcycle
The Invacare Top End Excelertor handcycle is a great handcycle that is designed for total performance. This sports chair is available with 7 speeds that will work great for most recreational users. However, you can order this handcycle with an optional 24-speed external gearing package.
This is a lightweight oval tube aluminum frame with chrome-moly steel forks that allow for excellent stiffness and better cornering.
This particular model is capable of speeds up to 30 mph. This is because of the new tall narrow back that offers a large range of motion that increases power transfers.
This is a great starter sports chair that can be used for everyday use as well as sports activities. This chair has a 70° front frame angle that is made to hold legs in a tighter passion resulting in excellent turning and maneuverability.
This chair also has an adjustable axle position that enables the center of gravity adjustments. This chair has standard a 7° of camber for better movement but it can also be adjusted from 0-12°. It has a one-piece welded frame that offers a very rigid and solid ride.
This chair was designed with the help of Sunrise Medical’s elite wheelchair basketball athletes. This is a great handling sports wheelchair with extreme camber options of 16° and 20. This offers awesome stability that allows for effortless turning on the court.
It has a single wing number and extra-hard caster wheels that help with chair speed and turning.
we love that this chair uses a patented center-of-mass that is adjustable to the unique center of gravity and seat-angle requirement.
This sports wheelchair is a highly durable sports chair that is one of the easiest to make adjustments to than most chairs in its class. In-fact it takes about 15 minutes to make adjustments.
Featuring a fully welded base frame from aluminum and a fixed camber that still allows for the stiff feeling you get from higher-end sports chairs.
This chair has high-pressure clincher tires and quick-release axles and has an adjustable height fixed swivel anti-tip fifth wheel making shooting while leaning back even better.
Best sports wheelchair buying guide
There are many things you need to consider when purchasing a sports wheelchair. The below are some things you should take into consideration when purchasing.
Type of sport you will be using the wheelchair for
The type of sports you want to play will determine what type of sports wheelchair you will want to get. Not only can you have more fun using the right wheelchair but you may also have to meet certain standards before you can get on a court or racing track.
Be sure you are certain of what sport you want to play and then built the proper sports wheelchair around that.
Your dimensions need to fit the sports wheelchair dimensions properly
When it comes to sports wheelchairs it is extremely important to it your dimensions properly with your sports chair. All wheelchairs should match your body height and weight but it is critical to get the most out of your sport and to excel by fitting your body measurements properly to the chair your getting.
This will help you turn faster, and give you a better sense of balance when playing tennis or basketball. Racing wheelchairs when fit properly will allow for the best propelling motion and stability.
Pay close attention to how wide your seat is and the seat height for proper fitting. The seat height in general should be 1-2 inches greater than your feet and the seat. A common misstep here is the use of a seat cushion. This will add 2 to 4 inches of height depending on the seat cushion you are using so don’t forget to add in this calculation if you plan on using a seat cushion with your sports wheelchair.
Ability to adjust your sports wheelchair
Unlike your standard wheelchair, sport wheelchairs typically don’t fold. The frames are designed to be strong and rigid and are built to not fold. But just because the frames are not super adjustable doesn’t mean the entire wheelchair cannot be adjusted somewhat.
Court-style chairs will most likely have the ability to move the castor wheels at the front of the chair and most will have the ability to remove the footrest completely.
Another common area will be the backrest that will typically move to give you the best fit in terms of front and back and open and down. This will move somewhat but don’t expect massive moves. You will want to make sure you are properly fitted in a size that you can adjust slightly to get the best fit.
Optional 5th wheel
A fifth-wheel or anti-tip wheels are extremely useful on particular sports wheelchairs. These wheels allow you to shift weight over the rear wheels allow for more maneuverability. It also helps to lock out rearward flex within the frame allowing you to lean back further when taking basketball shots.
Final thoughts on the best sport wheelchairs
As you can see there are many things you should consider when purchasing a sports wheelchair. Be sure that your measurements fit the wheelchair as close as possible to get the best performance out of the chair and to excel at your sport.
The best sports wheelchairs are lightweight, high-performing mobility aids that can get you back and active in many of today’s top sports.