In this article I would like to introduce you to the special and very emotional brand history of Wheelblades, which is actually the story of a very special person, the founder and inventor Patrick Mayer.
Patrick always had the big dream of a career as a freestyle snowboard pro as a little boy. Talent was present and so he decided as a 17-year-old to leave his home Tübingen and switch to a sports boarding school in the Swiss mountains. Here he was able to go full throttle for 4 years and bring school and sport under one roof. He moved up in the ranking and was one of the top ten in Germany in 1999. His dream was within reach. But then unfortunately everything changed. In April 2000, he crashed so hard on a boardercross that he irretrievably injured his spinalcord. The result: He was partially paraplegic.
But burying his head in the sand was not an option for him. As a 21-year-old, he did not want to throw his life away without a fight and so he tried to accept what had occurred irrevocably, a life in a wheelchair and walking aids. And because mobility had a very significant impact on his life and freedom from that point on, he invented his own innovative products: Wheelblades.
Meanwhile, his product portfolio consists of three areas:
Wheelblades for wheelchairs
Wheelchair users know the challenges that ice and snow mean for agility in everyday life. If wintry ground conditions are generally regarded as an insurmountable obstacle for wheelchair users, the wheelchair skis developed by Patrick for this purpose offer an effective remedy. The Wheelblades are small, high-quality, adjustable mini-skis that can be attached to the front wheels of wheelchairs with a click. With the innovative wheelblades wheelchairs stay mobile and steerable in the snow. More details here.
Wheelblades for strollers
Patrick continued to develop the Wheelblade products for strollers, today his blades fit on almost every popular model. Again, the skis allow a stroller with very little friction slides over the ground. So that the ski always drives in the desired direction, the binding was shifted to the front part. No matter in which direction the stroller is moved, the skis always point in the direction of travel. Stability during the ride is provided by two raceways and additional ruts on the underside of the wheelblades. Thanks to them, the stroller drives through the snow like on rails. More details here.
As a passionate landscape photographer, Patrick claims to be able to move safely and steadily on any terrain, however the weather or season is. That’s why he invented Safetyfoot: solid, non-slip and stable – for maximum mobility. The product is quick and easy to assemble to any walker and helps to walk through the life sure-footed. In everyday life as in leisure time, for young and old or for people who do not get along without a walker. More details here.
Patrick won the psychological fight with his situation. He says: “I have mentally grown tremendously through the accident. Freestyle is still a very central concept for me today and it was only through my accident that I realized the true meaning. Free = freedom! A special word if you are taken by a disability freedom or difficultly. I also try to lead a cool, beautiful and fun life with disabilities. I do not neglect my style just because I’m disabled.”
Patrick has found his style and not only developed strong products with his Wheelblades brand, but also set a statement. That, despite crises, there is always a way to collect positive energies and achieve new goals. I’ll keep you updated on how Patrick’s story goes on and if his products are getting the success they deserve.
Thank you, Patrick, for the personal insight into your life and your work! All the best for your future and your company!
NICE TO SKI YOU