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Thread: Beach wheelchairs....need feedback on manual and power and floating

  1. #1
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    Beach wheelchairs....need feedback on manual and power and floating

    I would like to find some beach chairs for the city I live in. They've asked me to help them make their town more accessible to the mobility impaired.

    They're not just buying a few beach chairs and calling it done, they're designing a ramp down to the sand and then using Mobi-mats or some other type of boardwalk over the sand to get the mobility impaired out onto the sand itself, and even down to the water. They're also making their pier accessible for fishing, etc. This will be quite an expenditure on their part, but they want to do it.

    So any experiences with the myriad beach wheelchairs out there, battery powered, manual, floating, et al, what to avoid, etc., would be great. If you've been on a beach chair, let me know how it went. Thanks!!
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  2. #2
    HI that sounds like a great project, what city is this?

    I have an extreme 4x4, I haven't been on the beach yet. It is rugged and sits high so transfers are a challenge.

    Grass and tree roots are not a problem, I have been told that the 4wd and low psi tires make the beach easy.

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    Senior Member McDuff's Avatar
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    Hey Dude how ya doin'? I just posted in the other beach chair thread;

    I was in a rental manual on Pensacola Beach, it was great to get out on the sand and surf, but man it was a lot of work for my family. Without multiple people to help, I think you would wind up "stranded" quite a bit, as it wore people out pretty quickly. The beach there is very wide and loose sand so my experience is based on that. I would much rather have had a power version, as we all know, it sucks to have to keep asking for simple things like not being able to get your own beer.

    Have no idea of costs of each type, but since it deals with "us", I'm sure they are expensive as hell, so for sure, having the manual version beats the shit out of none at all. Good luck on your venture, people will appreciate it.

    Here's a couple pics showing our beach "pavilion", and how far it was from house, and 2nd pic to water from cover. Each segment I had at least 2 people pushing, and they were wore out after each segment.



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    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    I'd contact the Parks Department at Virginia Beach, Va because they have manual ones. I saw a few using them and it didn't look near as difficult as McDuff's experience. I imagine the axles may need regular maintanence due to sand and salt. They also locked theirs up at the end of the life guards day in sheds just where the ramp met the boardwalk. All the ones I've ever seen are turquoise blue so someone must specialize.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

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    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    The Hippocampe beach chair is the only one I've ever used with any degree of success. Tried the ones in Myrtle Beach and VA Beach and neither worked too well. Both were mostly PVC, had the large wheels, floated, and could not be self propelled. Tried the Hippocampe at a lake (with sandy shore) and was amazed. Had independence and could roll into shallow water then swim in and out of the chair. Much better. (VB does have one or two hippocampes, but mostly "big bertha's". Not at every guard station, though.)

    This style misses the mark, IMO:


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    Sure, it's a chair with wheels, but it's hardly a "wheelchair". More like a handtruck/people cart. A wheelchair provides independence to it's occupant!!
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

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    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
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    See if you can get a Seatrac put in. We tried it in Cyprus and it was great!

    Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

  7. #7
    Great topic Anybody know of some wheelchair friendly beaches in Southwest Florida? Beach Chairs available access ramps etc.

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    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    Nice ideas everybody, keep them coming please. They're talking diversity, so hopefully I can get them to have multiple means of accessing the sand and water.
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    Thanks!

  9. #9
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    Tony, it's Pismo Beach, California.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonyy View Post
    HI that sounds like a great project, what city is this?

    I have an extreme 4x4, I haven't been on the beach yet. It is rugged and sits high so transfers are a challenge.

    Grass and tree roots are not a problem, I have been told that the 4wd and low psi tires make the beach easy.
    Please donate a dollar a day at http://justadollarplease.org.
    Copy and paste this message to the bottom of your signature.

    Thanks!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdf View Post
    Nice ideas everybody, keep them coming please. They're talking diversity, so hopefully I can get them to have multiple means of accessing the sand and water.
    Sue's suggestion re: reaching out to City of VA Beach Parks and Recreation department a good one. They recently installed a fully (wheelchair) accessible public beach access way, and park, at 1st St., off their main boardwalk. Called "Grommet's Island". I'm sure they'd have some solid information about the process and it's design. I can reconnoiter and provide photos if you think that might help.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

    "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

    "Even what those with the greatest reputation for knowing it all claim to understand and defend are but opinions..." -Heraclitus, Fragments

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