An introduction to Erik Kondo, his impossible dream, and how it has shaped his purpose, in designing, creating, and building incredible mobility alternatives, to starting Red Pill Innovations.
My name is Erik, and I have been using a wheelchair for over thirty years. During this time-period, there have been many advances in terms of mobility devices for wheelchair users. Racing wheelchairs, ultra-light wheelchairs, handcycles for the road, handcycles for the mountains and downhill racing, sport wheelchairs for tennis, basketball, and rugby, wheelchairs for the beach and rough terrain, wheelchairs with suspension for skateboard parks, and more are now widely in use.
“But one thing hasn’t changed. All of the above devices don’t require balance to control them. They are built on a three or four-wheel platform that sacrifices balanced-based mobility for stability. Whereas, I see harnessing a human’s ability to balance as a fundamental aspect for accessing high-level mobility performance and enhancing the joy of movement. ”
Wheelchair users have been denied this experience, not due to lack of ability, but due to the boundaries of societal expectation. “Wheelchair users simply don’t ride two-wheel bicycles, skateboards, hoverboards, or anything else of that nature, that is impossible”, we are told. “It’s too dangerous. What if you fall over? How would you get back up? Why would you want to anyway? Why not be satisfied with what is already out there?” These are the messages wheelchair users hear and believe.
When you have a physical disability that hinders your movement, the idea that “Mobility is Freedom”, is not taken for granted. It is central to your life. All innovative mobility devices have been invented to transform the once impossible to the possible.
My impossible dream is that people with disabilities all over the world will be able to experience the transformational effect of mobility unlimited by the boundaries of societal expectations and unlimited by technological advancement.