5 Unconventional Wheelchairs for Extraordinary Places

Not all wheelchairs are made for rolling around hospital corridors – I'm thankful for those that do, don't get me wrong. But as someone who travels around the globe in a power wheelchair, I am here to tell you there is a whole world out there waiting to be explored, no matter what your abilities are. I have had some amazing experiences thanks to the use of a wheelchair, without which I would've been at home lying in my bed. Let me tell you about wheelchairs that can go in the water, roll in sand, go through the woods, and even over cobblestones in Europe. Sound too good to be true? Well, read on, because it is absolutely possible with these amazing wheelchairs!

The Track Chair

Cory Lee using a TrackChair

I was lucky enough to ride an Action TrackChair around the beach in Muskegon, Michigan and I absolutely loved it! The chair itself looks like your typical electric wheelchair, but the wheels, or should I say, the tracks make it look like a tank! And that is how I felt driving it over the sand dunes. It rolled over the sand and over the dunes without hesitation. As we know, typical wheelchairs would just dig into the sand and the tires would sink to the point that it would become stuck. But not this chair! Nothing seemed to hold it back. You can even take track chairs into the woods, as they will easily roll over sticks and rocks. Just don't forget to wear your seat belt!

The Aqua Chair

Cory Lee using an aqua chair

When visiting Aruba, I had the most relaxing opportunity to use an aqua chair at the beach. This chair can not only roll across the sand, but can also float in the water! You can't roll yourself in this one, as you will need a helper to push you, but oh how fun it is! The best part is after you get your golden tan and the sweat beads begin to roll down your brow, you can roll on out and float in the water to cool down. This chair almost rocked me to sleep as the waves gently rolled beneath me and over my arms and legs. Ahhh, the good life.

The Joelette Chair

When planning my trip to Rome, Italy, I wondered how my wheelchair would react to the cobblestone streets and the ruins that I desperately wanted to visit. That's when I stumbled across a tour company that offered the use of a Joelette chair. This chair is life-changing, as it allows the wheelchair user to visit places that never would been possible before. As it only has one wheel, this chair requires the assistance of attendants in the front and back. The tire is inflated just enough to provide good suspension and not jar you as you are wheeled over large stones and rugged terrain. I most definitely did not forget my velcro straps to act as a seatbelt so that I could sit upright and enjoy the beauty of Italy.

The Power Beach Chair

Cory Lee using a power beach wheelchair

If you want to be the coolest person on the beach, this chair is the way to go. It looks just like a normal, souped-up wheelchair but it rolls across the sand like nobody's business. I was able to use one in Pensacola, Florida recently and I had a wonderful day on the beach. I was able to drive it with the joystick, so this gave me the independence that I desired as I rolled alongside the ocean. I rolled well on both the soft sand and on the wet, packed sand near the water. Although you don't want to get this one wet, you won't regret your choice as you have a fun time zooming along the beach and catching a breeze with the wind in your hair.

The Magic Mobility Extreme X8

The Magic Mobility Extreme X8 climbing a hill

Several weeks ago, I was able to explore areas around my home that I never had the ability to roll across before. That is because I was trying out the new Magic Mobility Extreme X8. This amazing chair is close to the same size as my "normal" power wheelchair, so it easily fits in my van, in my home, and most importantly, through the doorways! It is perfect for just about any adventure, as it will roll across the sand, the snow, and up or down curbs! And you know how I like to be "curb free," well, this chair is just that. It rolls around like a boss. Because my yard is a bit hilly, I had never been able to roll my chair across the field and to the creek that runs along the trees, so I knew that was the first place I was going on this ride. It easily handled the hills and the suspension in the tires helped me to control my trunk and neck easier than I had ever experienced. Next, I zoomed down my gravel driveway like nobody's business. Trust me when I say: THIS CHAIR IS AWESOME! I can't wait to be able to try it across the sand and through the wooded trails. It is life-changing for me and I know you will love it, too!

It is heartwarming to see that our world is evolving into a more accessible place. And thanks to these wheelchairs, we can now see more and do more than we ever dreamed possible. I cannot even imagine having to sit in one place due to muscle weakness and not being able to maneuver around. These chairs give me more than just a good time and a smile on my face; they give me access to the world. I can't wait to go on my next adventure!

About the Author

Cory Lee

After being diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at the age of two, Cory Lee's thirst for adventure never ceased. He went on many trips around the U.S. when he was younger, and then started taking things internationally when he turned 15. Since then, Cory has traveled to 21 countries across six continents, all while managing to start up his travel blog Curb Free with Cory Lee, where he shares his accessible, and sometimes not-so-accessible travel adventures with others. Cory is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA). He has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, in a nationwide segment for CBS News, Lonely Planet, and many others. His blog won the 2017 Best Travel Blog Gold Lowell Thomas Award. He hopes to inspire other wheelchair users to roll out of their comfort zone and see all of the beauty that the world has to offer.

Cory Lee's ride is a Quickie Q700 M.

Date: 11/30/2021 12:00:00 AM

Timothy A Guetling
I am interested in these chairs esp the Magic Mobility Mobile Extreme 8. & the power beach chair, track chair. Living in LA County, El Monte, CA. going to the beach is great. Do they fit transit buses, commuter, Metrolink, Amtrack trains?
1/11/2022 7:26:31 AM

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