Heart of Utah: Extreme Motus including people of all abilities on the adventure
Feb 3, 2021, 9:07 AM | Updated: Jun 18, 2021, 9:17 am
This story about Extreme Motus is part of KSL NewsRadio’s ongoing Heart of Utah program to highlight good news around the state that airs Fridays.
OREM, Utah — An Orem company’s off-road wheelchair is allowing one man to finally see places around Utah he thought he’d never be able to experience, and he’s taking everyone along for the ride.
Stop by the skate park or a state park or the sledding hill or a slick rock hill, and you may see Ryan Grassley tearing it up with Sam Durst in his Extreme Motus wheelchair.
If you don’t see them in the wild, then you’ll most likely see them on TikTok. Their videos are getting millions of views.
@extrememotus##cerebralpalsy ##wheelchair ##skatepark ##utah ##accessibility ##wheelchairguy♬ Ooh Ahh (My Life Be Like) [feat. Tobymac] – Grits
@extrememotusWhy do we wear helmets to the skatepark? ##wheelchair ##skatepark ##cerebralpalsy ##accessible ##inclusion ##utah♬ original sound – Offroadwheelchair
“What we’re doing is pretty original on TikTok compared with the dancing and all that other stuff that happens there,” said Grassley. “So I think that helped us stand out and just how like Sam has the most contagious laugh ever.”
Sam Durst was born with cerebral palsy, and this unique wheelchair with its off-road capabilities means he is no longer excluded from adventures.
We asked Durst what has been his favorite trip, and he replied “Delicate Arch” with no hesitation.
When they made it to the viewpoint, “My mom started crying,” he said.
“It was a pretty emotional moment for everyone,” agreed Grassley.
You see, when Sam was younger, he stayed in the parking lot with his mom while everyone else hiked out to the arch.
This time, he would not be left behind.
“All the way up we had ropes on the chair, and there’s people pushing and pulling and we’re taking turns so nobody gets worn out. They helped us all the way up. It was pretty awesome,” said Grassley.
Ryan and Sam are lifelong friends, and you can see it in their teasing and banter, like in one of their videos from a snowy hill.
“If we go this way, it’s nice and smooth and easy. But if we go this way, there’s a jump, and we will probably be killed. Do you want to do the jump?” said Ryan. “Yeah!” said Sam back to him.
@extrememotusSome winter fun. #sledding #cerebralpalsy #snow #utah #wheelchair♬ original sound – Offroadwheelchair
Sam has a helmet and padding but he did joke to Ryan a little more padding would be good.
The off-road wheelchair is the invention of a Provo firefighter. He made one for a girl who became paralyzed when a tree fell over on their family reunion. It became the company Extreme Motus. They had months of zero sales until Grassley and Durst joined the team.
“They needed a male model like Sam to represent their company, so yeah, they found us, and now we seem to have all the cogs in place to be successful,” said Grassley.
Next, the pair wants to go to even more national and state parks around Utah, and show people that they can be accessible. Grassley would love the wheelchairs to be provided at the parks eventually for people to use, too.
Extreme Motus will let people try out one of their off-road wheelchairs for free; in exchange leave a review.
“We do have a lot of fun, and the goal is to like advertise a product, but a lot of times we’re just driving around telling stories. We are just trying to have fun and be some normal dudes,” said Grassley.
Normal dudes sharing the message of inclusion.
“We want people to understand that they can be friends with someone who is different. Disability or not, everyone wants to be included.”