Wheelchair tennis is a great sport for anyone, whether you’re trying to get the competitive juices flowing or just want to hit the ball around. Best of all, your hitting partner doesn’t need to be a wheelchair user. The only major rule difference between able-bodied tennis and wheelchair tennis is that players in chairs get 2 bounces. Other than that, it’s the same tennis on the same courts (well, let’s stick with hard courts) that anyone will recognize, which is what makes it such an easy sport to get into.
Tennis does require a special tennis wheelchair. There are a few major differences between a tennis wheelchair and your everyday chair. Most importantly, tennis wheelchairs have a large amount of camber in the wheels, which is basically the angle of the wheels to the ground. The camber allows for quicker turning and agility. Another major difference is that there is one or more caster wheels (the little inline skate wheels) in the back, which prevents tipping. Lastly, your legs and, depending on your level of injury, your waist and torso are more secured in a tennis chair. This prevents your feet or knees from coming out of the chair and keeps your butt firmly in the seat.
- Chair – Really the only consideration is finding a chair that fits and that you’re comfortable in. There are many tennis-specific chairs as well as “sport chairs” that have much of the same geometry but are built to work with other court, non-contact sports. As with any chair, fitting is crucial.