Hard Work, an Indomitable Spirit, and a RoughRider

Crystal can now tend to her beloved animals, including her six horses, thanks to her new RoughRider.

Getting back to doing what you used to do can be one of the hardest hurdles for someone with a traumatic spinal cord injury. But Crystal Costa’s hard work, indomitable spirit, and her new Whirlwind RoughRider® are doing wonders. Crystal, an equestrian, was thrown from her horse while training for the upcoming Tevis 100 mile endurance race near her home in Cool, California. Although still partially paralyzed from the waist down, Crystal has worked hard to regain movement in her legs and is determined to continue doing what she loves to do. Her RoughRider makes much of that possible.

Before her accident, Crystal would wake up early to feed her seven dogs, feed and groom her six horses, and then head off to the veterinary hospital that she managed. Crystal’s RoughRider not only allows her to navigate in and around her house. She can again go outside to feed her dogs and walk her horses. She was also able to attend a three-day tack sale and BBQ recently. At the tack sale Crystal noted, “the RoughRider is very easy to manage in the gravel and dirt, and going uphill and downhill, too.”

Customizing and Ordering My Roughrider

Seat Width

To find the distance between your hips, first position yourself seated with pelvis upright on a firm surface. Then, measure the distance between the widest points of the hips and thighs without compressing any tissue. Finally, record your measurements. It is important not to have a chair that is wider than necessary as it will be harder to push and may prevent you from passing through narrow doorways.

Seat Depth

Position yourself seated upright on a firm surface. Measure the length of your upper leg, the distance from behind the knee to the back of the pelvis (back of your lower leg). Subtract 1/2” to find the maximum seat depth, to allow for space between the back of the knee/upper leg and seat fabric. Record the final measurement.

Backrest Height

Your preferred backrest height is determined by your personal comfort level and physical ability. Whirlwind recommends, generally, that the top of the back support should fall just beneath the bottom of the shoulder blade. For less active riders who require more torso support, the back support should be higher, falling just beneath the armpit. Position yourself seated upright on a firm surface. Hold your hands flat against the surface you are sitting on. Measure the distance from the seated surface to the desired, most comfortable point for support on your back. To this number add the height of your cushion when you are sitting on it. Record the measurement.

Preferred Backrest Angle

Backrest angles are determined by the torso control of the rider. Whirlwind recommends that those with less torso control, such as quadriplegics, sit with a backrest angled further backwards to avoid falling forward in a wheelchair. Those with more torso control, such as amputees, can sit with the backrest more upright. Proper backrest angle is best determined by an occupational therapist or healthcare professional. Although there is only one option – 8 degrees – in the drop-down list below, you can adjust the backrest angle by adjusting the backrest straps (i.e. looser at the bottom and tighter at the top for a more erect position).

Now please enter your measurements into the fields on the product page before ordering. For more information about measuring, please refer to the RoughRider Fitting Sheet. You are responsible for choosing the right chair for yourself. If you are uncomfortable with determining your wheelchair size, please consult a professional.