Beach Options For People Who Use Wheelchairs

Image of a Bugaboo Stroller in Two-Wheel ModeIf you have a baby or toddler-aged child and about 800 spare (US) dollars, a Bugaboo stroller will take you across a beach with finesse (just pop those casters off and pull the buggy using only the fixed wheels). See, you don’t have to be status-crazy to own a Bug; if you live at the beach, this stroller is practicality incarnate!

If, on the other hand, you or your loved one require a larger rolling chair, and long for (accessible) time at the shore, the following options might be helpful — though you’ll (mostly) need an even larger bucket of dollars to acquire them:

Image of an ATI Beach WheelchairFor almost $1600 (USD) this Beach Wheelchair (umbrella, $60 more) will get you across those golden sands. The website claims it “[E]asily breaks down and disassembles for transport and storage”, which may be true, but it’s still huge even with the wheels removed. You’ll need another $30,000 for the van to carry it in — and a chase car if you’re taking a whole gang to the beach.

Is it just me, or is there actually some reason a PVC chair should cost this much?

Image of an ATI Beach Baby StrollerATI makes a stroller version, too ($775 USD — assembly services extra — oh, that Bug’s lookin’ good). Umbrella optional; weight capacity is 50 pounds, versus 45 pounds for the Bugaboo. (Note: The Bugaboo folds down to a genuinely totable size . . . )

Image of a Conversion Kit with Beach Wheels for a WheelchairAs an alternative, Hotshot Products offers a “Beach Econo Kit” — four wheels and two axles you attach to your existing wheelchair. They claim it “fits any existing wheelchair or stroller” which is probably not exactly accurate. My guess is that the kit will fit most manual wheelchairs, and some strollers. Best to check before you buy. At nearly $1000 USD, this “econo kit” isn’t cheap, but it’s probably less of a storage problem than a dedicated chair that doesn’t fold.

Hotshot does offer a separate conversion kit for wheelchairs for kids, at roughly the same price.

Image of a Landeez Beach WheelchairNatural Access offers the Landeez, and a switch on the Hotshot conversion kit — their kit contains street wheels. No prices on the website, though, which I find a bit off-putting. You can probably safely assume that they’re considerably higher than the competition — though this model uses quick release pins for assembly and dis-assembly without tools, a nice feature.

Image of a Trialo Beach Wheelchair on LandIf you’re going to pay the big bucks for a wheeled chair for the beach (and you’ve got storage at that spacious beach house), you might want to consider a Trialo. You not only get the all-terrain (or least ‘sand-terrain’) tires, but this chair floats. With you in it.

Image of a Trialo Beach Wheelchair FloatingBring a bigger bucket of money, though — this one’s $3500, including shipping (add a $50 surcharge if you pay with a credit card). Testimonials and photos galore on the website. Check out the rental contact page if you’re in, or plan to visit, Florida, California, Hawaii or St. Thomas.

Image of a Self-Propelled Wheelchair in Surf on a BeachI mentioned the beach stroller in a comment on Daddytypes yesterday, and Greg turned up some stainless steel beach wheelchairs himself. I’m guessing the cost is stratospheric, but you’ll have to contact the company to find out. This model pictured here is self-propelled using ratcheting arms. “[D]esigned for very strong paraplegics” as noted on the page.