Taking death defying risks are what define the life of snowboarding athlete Trevor Snowden despite his paralysis from the waist down. His condition did not hinder him from doing the sports that he loves. In fact, his physical disability inspired him to invent the coolest wheelchair the world had yet to see.
Trevor Snowden has been on a wheelchair for almost 16 years of his life now. He is paralyzed from the waist down. He acquired this injury during a snowboarding competition at Snow Qualomy Pass in 1997.
In the competition, Snowden was doing his backside 360 when in the middle of doing the act he turned around to catch big air. Unfortunately he jumped way past the area he should be landing, and this resulted to a severely broken T12 vertebrae.
The accident forced him to live his life on a wheelchair but the disability did not stop him from desiring to continue doing the extremes. His condition even led him to invent the “Trevair” or the “Trevair Chair”, which was dubbed as the world’s coolest wheelchair.
Snowden’s love for extreme sports, despite his paralyzed half body, made him uncomfortable with the common wheelchairs sold in the market. So, along with his desire to continue doing sports, he creatively designed and invented his own wheelchair.
According to him, Trevair gives him freedom and independence in doing the same things he used to do when he was a fully able bodied individual. The chair enables him to continue his active lifestyle and allows him to do things just like before.
He designed Trevair, a lightweight manual wheelchair, with superior or plush suspension. This special wheelchair was invented and handcrafted by Snowden specifically for a life in extreme adaptive sports. He also included the following features:
- Tig welded aircraft aluminum frame with a folding seat
- Parking brakes
- Anti-tip bars
- Suspension swing arms
- Adjustable 7.5” elastomeric suspension
- An excellently portable 18 lbs. chair weight
- An 80 lbs. to 250 lbs. occupant capacity
- Spinnergy wire wheels with handrims
Snowden has been using the Trevair and his joy is immeasurable. He never felt that great after the accident. The chair enabled him to perform daredevil stunts. He jumped over ponds and even cars, which landed him to the popular show Ripley’s Believe it or Not.
Snowden did not make Trevair just for him to continue his active lifestyle. But also, he wanted to share it to others who would need it. The Trevair Chair was introduced to the public a few years ago at the Abilities Expo Tour wherein Snowden met a mother and her son who is physically disabled.
According to Snowden, the young boy rode Trevair, went through the obstacle course and flashed the biggest and brightest smile. The mother said that it was the first time she had seen her son smile in the last seven years, and this made Snowden teary-eyed.
This encounter drove Snowden to improve the Trevair. To him, he wanted others who have physical limitation to gain back lost freedom and independence.
Today, Snowden is working on another updated and more improved Trevair wheelchair. He is now looking for people to support and give funds for the production of the “coolest wheelchair ever”.