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If Josh Dueck has ever been known for anything, being a pussy isn’t one of them. A mountain boy through and through, skiing was everything to him.

Following a career as a free skier he turned to coaching and in 2004 at age 23 was head coach coordinator for Silver Star Freestyle club in British Columbia, one of the strongest clubs in both Canada and North America.

All was going great until the day Josh made a mistake. He messed up a jump, landed horrendously and wammo, his back dislocated and his spinal cord was severed. Paralysed from the waist down he thought his skiing days were over.

“One of the first strokes of luck I had after breaking my back was in the hospital, only a few hours later. The doctor came in and said, ‘you’re going to rock the world from the wheelchair, and before you know it we’ll have you back in the mountains.”

On the speakerphone to his friends and family that same day, Josh told everyone to celebrate skiing for him, and love it the way he does.

There’s nothing to mourn here, because I’m going to be back.

Josh DueckBackflipping Adaptive Skier

He was injured in March, by November he was back on the mountain, and the following year he to shredding on a sit ski.

“It quickly became an opportunity to get into racing, and ski for my county in the games in Vancouver 2010 and again in Soji in 2014.”

Over the next decade, Josh would rack up a host of accolades, including winning the 2007 Canadian Championships, a spot in the 2008 World Cup circuit squad and then winning the 2009 World Championships.

By 2010 he was a Paralympic silver medallist.  

Prior to his injury he had no idea what life as paraplegic would look like. He remembers seeing a kid in a wheelchair at the liquor store one day, picking up a box of beers, the same as him.

“I couldn’t even look at him, what a shitty life. I was convinced if it happened to me I would park my wheelchair in front of a train and make it look like an accident, life is not worth living in that kind of way.”

But when he had his accident, his mind-set totally changed. Back in 2004, there was no YouTube or Facebook to turn to for inspiration, so for Josh, his saviour was someone from his own community, a fellow wheelchair user who offered up the use of his second sit ski.

“He said he was happy to support whatever I wanted to do, he really compounded on my doctor’s words of wisdom and projection of hope.”

After a video of him doing a backflip from a sit ski went viral, Josh ended up on the Ellen DeGeneres show, with around 500 million people tuning into his story.

Thus, began his journey in the spotlight. Coming from a family who loved quiet time and nature, the prospect of celebrity was not exactly palatable. But Josh, not one to turn down a challenge, chose to embrace it.

“I wanted to do something altruistic with it, use it as a platform to communicate a message of hope to others going through a difficult time.”

He keeps busy by being involved in several different organisations including High Fives Foundation, the Rick Hansen Foundation, Wings for Life, Live it Love it, and Spinal Cord injury BC.

“The focus is common in that we provide experiences outdoor experiences for people that have recently sustained life altering or spinal cord injury. That could be anything from surfing, skiing, mountain biking, hiking, just spending time outdoors and that sensation that we all get when we’re outside in nature, fresh air and exercising.”

He believes one of the challenges people in the adaptive community face is a lack of accessibility and visibility in outdoor areas.

“There should be policies in place, so parks are positioning themselves in a way to be universally accessible and then also signage so parks and outdoor areas that are accessible for all people are well known. In general, if I was going to a place that I didn’t know I would like to have TripAdvisor jump on board and give me a map of what accessibility means and, and where I can go.”

After 10 years as a sports star, Josh became renowned for his proficiency on the mountains. It was his goal to be in the mountains every day – or as much as he possibly could.

“It was just living the dream.”

But as he looks back now on his 10-year career as a sports celebrity, hindsight is a very fine thing, as he realises his focus and dedication drove him to selfishness at times.

“I don’t know how my wife put up with me for the last 15 years.”

He was training intensely for the Soji games, when his daughter was born 2013.

“I couldn’t see the beauty for what it was. My wife asked me for one specific little thing, ‘can you take the baby, I’m exhausted’ and I just said ‘no, I’m training downhill tomorrow, that’s dangerous, I need my sleep.’”

This moment didn’t bother him at the time, but now, he calls himself an asshole.

“There’s nothing wrong with being an athlete and bettering oneself, that’s the beauty of sport, but how do you find a balance in sport and life? At the time, I don’t think I did.”

Now Josh is intentionally taking time out and re-focusing his energy onto his family. He wants to be known as the dad who stays home with the family rather than as a sports star. He still has a trunk full of newspaper clippings and video clips so one day he can teach his kids about his past, but for now, it’s all about living in the moment.

The level of Josh’s injury means he has no sensation from his belly button down and no ability to control his lower limbs. Early on in his recovery and rehabilitation journey however, he discovered yoga, stretch and massage as tools to stay flexible and recover after exercise.

Yoga is an everyday practise for him and his family which now includes his two-year-old son, as well as nutrition which includes meal prepping.

Other than yoga, Josh has many other hacks and tips for a successful life in the adaptive community. For example, using trekking poles in combination with a free wheel, to negotiate more challenging terrain, or using a harness or belt from company Body Point.

“Traditionally I would think of a belt or a harness like a seat belt for wheelchairs uses, as a limitation or a sign you’re not capable of sitting upright on your own. “

Until one day Josh tried one out, and he found himself able to do chin ups, with his wheelchair attached to his body.

“It’s given me new control and a new sense of connection to my wheelchair daily.”

Having any sort of life changing event like a spinal cord injury is an emotionally challenging time. For anyone else going through a difficult situation, Josh’s advice is to be gentle with yourself.

Sometimes I just I find time to sit tall, so my spine is nice and straight. And I just taken a few deep breaths and that in itself has the ability to relax me in that moment when I'm feeling wound up anxious, stressed or depressed.

Josh DueckBackflipping Adaptive Skier

Also maintaining sight of the bigger picture and goal setting to find what you’re good at.

“Be a master at your craft, and you’ll be amazed what that does to the people around you. It will lift them as it lifts you and then as you become better you make the world around you a better place. How can you not be depressed? How can you not be anxious? How can you not struggle just a little bit if there isn’t a need for you and your skills? But trust me, whoever you are and wherever you are, there is a need for you. You are here for a reason.”

If you’d rather listen than read…

Listen to the Podcast with Josh Dueck now.

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Retractor Location Guide - Lower Horizontal Frame Tube

Watch the video or read on below
Play Video
Brackets Used

If you choose to mount the Retractors from the lower horizontal frame tube you’ll receive two 90 Brackets (as seen below) – one for the left and one for the right side of your chair.

The Retractors slot onto these Brackets, which are then attached vertically to the Lower Horizontal Frame Tube using Clamps.

Bracket Orientation

The Brackets have a tilt feature which allows you to adjust the angle of the Retractor so that it is parallel to the Keeper, for the smoothest operation.

Key Dimensions

The clamps are 16mm or ⅝” wide

The maximum distance from the centre of the Clamp to the centre of the Retractor webbing when mounted on the 90 Bracket is 70mm (3″).

Retractor Dimensions
The Retractors themselves are 75mm wide by 50mm high or 3×2″
Moving Other Attachments

Finally, it is worth noting that other attachments, such as brakes and side guard clamps can often be moved to accommodate the LapStacker® without compromising their function.

Need Help?

If this is the only option you’ve been given, it doesn’t look like it will work, or you’ve still got questions, then please contact us or your preferred reseller, and we’ll do our best to help.

Retractor Location Guide - Front Vertical Frame Tube

Play Video
Brackets Used

If you choose to mount the Retractors from the front vertical frame tube you’ll receive two Flat Brackets (as seen below) – one for the left and one for the right side of your chair.

The Retractors slot onto these Brackets, which are then attached to the front vertical frame tube using clamps.
Bracket Orientation

The Brackets have a single long slot and rotate feature, which provides plenty of adjustability so that you can align the Retractor webbing with the centre of the Keeper. 

Key Dimensions

The clamps are 16mm or ⅝” wide.

The maximum distance from the centre of the Clamp to the centre of the Retractor webbing when mounted on the Flat Bracket is 105mm (4 1/8″).

If the front vertical frame tube is too far forward to allow the Retractor webbing to align with your optimal Keeper position, or you don’t think you’ll have clearance from your legs, you may need to consider other Retractor locations available for your make and model.

The Retractors themselves are 75mm wide by 50mm high or 3×2″

Moving Other Attachments

Finally, it is worth noting that other attachments, such as brakes and side guard clamps can often be moved to accommodate the LapStacker® without compromising their function.

Need Help?

If this is the only option you’ve been given and it doesn’t look like it will work, or you’ve still got questions, then please contact us, or your preferred reseller, and we’ll do our best to help.

Retractor Location Guide - Cross Frame Rigidizer Bar

Play Video
Brackets Used

If you choose to mount the Retractors from the cross frame rigidizer bar, you’ll receive two Cross Tube Brackets (as seen below) – one for the left and one for the right side of your chair.

The Retractors slot onto these Brackets, which are then attached to the cross frame rigidizer bar using clamps.

Bracket Orientation

The Brackets have slots in them to allow plenty of adjustability so that you can align the Retractor webbing with the centre of the Keeper.

Key Dimensions

The clamps are 16mm or ⅝” wide.

The maximum distance from the centre of the Clamp to the centre of the Retractor webbing when mounted on the Cross Tube Bracket is 90mm ( 3.5″).

The Retractors themselves are 75mm wide by 50mm high or 3×2″

Leg Clearance

Please note, there must be clearance from the back of your legs, so we suggest mounting the Bracket and Retractor back a little bit from the edge of your cushion.

Seat Clearance

The Brackets are best tilted slightly downward, so the Retractors don’t touch the seat when the chair is in use.

Moving Other Attachments

Finally, it is worth noting that other attachments, such as brakes and side guard clamps can often be moved to accommodate the LapStacker® without compromising their function.

Need Help?

If this is the only option you’ve been given, it doesn’t look like it will work, or you’ve still got questions, then please contact us, or your preferred reseller, and we’ll do our best to help.

Retractor Guide – Frame Top Tube

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Brackets Used

If you choose to mount the Retractors from the frame top tube, you’ll receive two 90 Brackets (as seen below). One for the left and one for the right side of your chair.

The Retractors slot onto these Brackets, which are then attached to the top tube using clamps.

Bracket Orientation

Depending on what clearance you have available, the Brackets can be mounted forward of the clamp (above) or behind the clamp (below) to ensure that the Retractor webbing can align with the optimal keeper position.

The Brackets have a tilt feature which allows you to adjust the angle of the Retractor so that it is parallel to the Keeper, for the smoothest operation.

Key Dimensions

The clamps are 16mm or ⅝” wide.

The maximum distance from the centre of the clamp to the centre of the Retractor webbing when mounted on the 90 Bracket is 70mm or 3″.

The Retractors themselves are 75mm wide by 50mm high or 3×2″

Recommended Configuration

The Brackets are best mounted horizontally and tilted slightly downward, so the Retractors are tucked away and don’t touch the seat when the chair is in use.

 

It is very important to note that there must be clearance from the back of your legs, so we suggest mounting the Bracket and Retractor back a little bit from the edge of your cushion.

Moving Other Attachments
Finally, it is worth noting that other attachments, such as brakes and side guard clamps can often be moved to accommodate the LapStacker® clamp without compromising their function.
Need Help?

If this is the only option you’ve been given and it doesn’t look like it will work, or you’ve still got questions, then please contact us and we’ll do our best to assist.

Side Guard Keeper Guide

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Introduction
The Side Guard Keeper is what we consider the last resort. It is only recommended after the Long and Short Keepers have been exhausted as options.
How is the Side Guard Keeper Mounted?

The Side Guard Keeper mounts inside, or cushion side, of your side guards (otherwise known as the wheel guards or clothing guards). It is fixed in place using an adhesive patch. 

 

It is not recommended for fabric side guards, although it can work there with some custom modification.

When is the Side Guard Keeper an Option?

The Side Guard Keeper could be an option when there is not enough space for a Long or Short Keeper and the side guard extends sufficiently forward of your body so that it comes close to the optimal Keeper position.

Some wheelchair makes such as the Hands on Concept range of chairs have oversized side guards and these are good examples of where a side guard can work.

Recommended Configuration

We recommend the Side Guard Keeper is located so it doesn’t sit higher than your cushion. 

 

From the testing we have done in that location, it should not interfere with the body or be a problem for skin pressure. We do recommend CAUTION and suggest that this is assessed carefully.
Retractor Alignment

Remember, the Keeper must align with the Retractor webbing so please keep this in mind as you review the Retractor Location Guides.

Need Help?

If this is the only option you’ve been given and it doesn’t look like it will work, or you’ve still got questions, then please contact us, or your preferred reseller, and we’ll do our best to assist.

Short Keeper Guide

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Mounting Options

The Short Keeper can be mounted to your wheelchair frame’s top tube in three ways.

1. Snap-Fit Mount

If your wheelchair has a 1” or 25mm frame top tube, the Short Keeper will be supplied with a snap fitting that is simply pressed in place onto the tubing. 

The Short Keeper is then fastened to the snap fitting and can be fine-tuned by sliding it forward and back, before tightening the bolt with the supplied allen key.

 

You’ll require 1” or 25mm of relatively flat clear space on the tubing for the snap fit mount and 55mm or 2 3/16” for the Short Keeper itself.

2. Universal Mount

If your wheelchair has a frame top tube diameter that is any size other than 1” or 25mm then a universal mount will be supplied.

The universal mount attaches via two supplied cable ties and requires 1 ⅜” or 35mm of relatively flat space on the frame top tubing to be mounted effectively.

 

Again, the position of the Short Keeper can then be fine tuned by sliding it forward and back on the universal mount.

3. Direct Mount

The Short Keeper can also be mounted directly to the tubing without the snap fit or universal mount using the supplied cable ties and rubber pad. 

Common Scenarios

There are three common scenarios where the Short Keeper is used.

Scenario 1 - Folding Wheelchairs

The first scenario is for folding wheelchairs (as below) that have a separate seat frame that moves up and down as it folds.

In this scenario the Short Keeper fixes to the frame top tube, not the seat frame, so that when the seat frame moves up and down the Short Keeper does not move.

 

If you have a folding wheelchair that doesn’t have a separate seat frame that moves up and down independently of the main frame, then the Long Keeper may be the better option for you.

Scenario 2 - Forward of the Seat Base

When there is not enough space to Velcro a Long Keeper to the solid or upholstery seat base, a Short Keeper can be mounted forward of your seat base provided there is enough flat area of tubing to mount it. 

 

Please refer to the three mounting options above to determine if you have enough space to mount the Short Keeper in this position.

Important Note - Leg Clearance

It is important to note, that in all cases where the Short Keeper is mounted forward of the seat base, the Retractors should NOT be located horizontally off the frame top tube or cross frame rigidizer bar as they will be in the way of your legs.

 

In this case, the Retractors will need to be mounted from the lower horizontal frame tube or the front vertical frame tube if these options are available for your chair. 

More about these locations is provided in the Retractor Location Guides.

Space for Hands

If you use your frame top tube as a hand hold for transfers then you may want to consider how much space you will have available after mounting the Short Keeper, remembering that it is 55mm (2 3/16”) wide. 

 

If there is insufficient space on top, you may consider mounting the Short Keeper directly under the top tube (as shown above) to give you more clearance.

Scenario 3 - With Strap/Belt Seat Upholstery

The Short Keeper may be suitable for rigid wheelchairs that use a strap/belt system for their seat base, particularly when there are doubts about aligning the Long Keeper up with these straps, or the surface area available to fix the adhesive velcro. 

 

This is covered in more detail in the Long Keeper Guide.

Retractor Alignment

Remember, the Keeper must align with the Retractor webbing so you may have to come back to the Keeper guides to double check your choice after you’ve reviewed the Retractor Location Guides.

Please Note

Unless asked, you do not have to know the frame top tube diameter of your wheelchair as this is automatically selected for you based on your make and model. 

Need Help?

If this is the only option you’ve been given, it doesn’t look like it will work, or you’ve still got questions, then please contact us or your preferred reseller, and we’ll do our best to help.

Long Keeper Guide

Play Video
Space Required for the Long Keeper

The Long Keeper requires 55mm or 2 3/16” of space on your solid or upholstery seat base forward of any side guards.

Is There Enough Room?

Do you have this room available? Will the location of the Keeper be close to your optimal position? If so, then the Long Keeper could work for you.

How is it Attached?

The Long Keeper attaches to the rigid or upholstery seat base, using adhesive Velcro which is provided. 

It is worth noting that an upholstery seat base or strap system often has velcro sewn into it already and this can be used in addition to the Velcro provided.

What About Strap/Belt Style Seat Upholstery?

If you have a strap system for your seat base, then you will need to determine if there is a strap close enough to your optimal Keeper position to velcro or tape the Long Keeper to.

You may be able to move the straps so that they are inline with your preferred Keeper position and if a strap already has Velcro on it, you may be able to use this in addition to the velcro supplied.

If the strap can’t be moved or you’re not sure you can stick the Long Keeper to it, then selecting the Short Keeper (shown below), which attaches directly to the top frame tube of your wheelchair, may be a better option. You can learn more in the Short Keeper Guide.

What About Folding Wheelchairs?

If you have a folding wheelchair with a rising seat frame the Long Keeper won’t be suitable and a Short Keeper will be a better option.

Retractor alignment

The other factor that is important is making sure the webbing from the Retractor lines up with the optimal Keeper position.

Need help?

If this is the only option you’ve been given, it doesn’t look like it will work, or you’ve still got questions, then please contact us or your preferred reseller, and we’ll do our best to help.

Keeper Location Overview

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Choosing the Best Keeper Location

While in your wheelchair look down at your side and imagine using the LapStacker® to secure an item. Find the midpoint for this object and take a note of where this position is on your wheelchair frame’s top tube.

Ideally, the Keepers are positioned central to where you will carry items, but the LapStacker® will still work if forward or back of this point. 

Keeper and Retractor Alignment

It is important to note that the Keeper needs to be in a position where the webbing from the Retractor can pass freely up into the Keeper and they also need to be aligned. 

Keeper Guides

Each Keeper style has its own Guide which will help you determine its suitability. Please review these guides in the next step of the selection process. 

Need help?

If, for some reason, none of the Keeper options look like they will work for you, or you’re unsure of something, then please feel free to contact us, or your preferred reseller, and we’ll do our best to help.

Key Component Overview

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Retractors

Every LapStacker® Set has two Retractors (seen below) – one for each side of your wheelchair. These contain the tensioned strap and locking mechanism.

Retractor Locations

Depending on your wheelchair make and model, you’ll be given a number of options for where the Retractors can be mounted. 

These locations include the frame top tube, the cross frame rigidizer bar, the front vertical frame tube, and lastly, the lower horizontal frame tube which is common on folding chairs and dual tube rigid wheelchairs.

Clamps and Brackets

The Retractors mount to the wheelchair frame using a specific Clamp and Bracket (there are many types, including the 90 Bracket and  1″ Clamp seen below). 

These are both automatically selected once your preferred Retractor mounting location is chosen.

They are made from high quality and lightweight aluminium, with a stylish anodized finish.

Buckles

The Buckles attach to the Retractor straps. They use high strength magnets to guide the two sides together, then lock mechanically as the straps tighten.

They are precision machined from aircraft grade aluminium for strength and anodized for a stylish finish.

 

The Buckles are held in place by your side using Keepers. 

Keepers

We’ve designed three styles of Keeper and you’ll be asked to choose one from the available options for your chair. 

Long Keeper

The Long Keeper velcros to the wheelchair seat upholstery, or rigid seat base.

Short Keeper

The Short Keeper connects directly to the frame top tube.

Side Guard Keeper

The Side Guard Keeper mounts on the cushion side of a wheelchair’s side guards