The Best Beach Wheelchairs For 2020
Meta Description: Looking for the best beach wheelchair? Can’t choose between wheelchairs for sand and a DIY beach wheelchair? We’ve compiled a thorough review to help you!
Are you looking for a wheelchair for beach use in 2020? Check out our ultimate beach wheelchairs guide
Wheelchairs have evolved a lot. The old chair on wheels as they first appeared in a medical sense in the 16th century was labeled “the invalid’s chair”. It was designed for disability and mobility purposes, specifically for King Phillip II of Spain. While the chair could not be self-propelled, it is unlikely that King Phillip II would have had any interest in propelling his wheelchair. Instead, the invalid’s chair was pushed by the king’s servants. The design, however, already included a platform for leg rest and a safe backrest. Skip forward over 400 years, and today’s wheelchairs are suitable to be used in a variety of terrains. Compared to King Phillip II, who would have only sat on the invalid’s chair to be transported inside his palace, wheelchairs users nowadays are going out and about.
Indeed, you can now use wheelchairs in most everyday circumstances, including a day at the beach. A wheelchair enhances your mobility, and therefore, it’s normal to worry about how it can handle a change in the environment. Can you take a wheelchair on the beach without damaging the tires or the engine? Are there wheelchair wheels for sand use? In this beach wheelchairs guide, we help you understand how you can enjoy a day out on the sand or by the sea.
There’s no reason to stay at home when your family is going to the beach. Beach wheelchairs and even DIY beach wheelchair plans that teach you how to make a sand wheel chair exist to bring your mobility needs to the next level. Now’s the time to think outside the box and make everyday little pleasure available and accessible. No more fearing being left out during a day at the beach.
What makes a sand wheelchair?
If you don’t know what you are looking for, chances are that you don’t often find a wheelchair on the beach. However, this doesn’t mean that wheelchairs for the beach don’t exist. On the contrary, they do and have been for over a quarter of a century.
The clue is in the name. A sand wheelchair is a safe handicap beach chair that is suited for the specific environment. The chair is adapted for safe use on the sand so that it doesn’t topple easily on both dry and wet sand. Additionally, beach wheelchairs are also safe and reliable, even in the proximity of water.
The first handicap wheelchair with beach tires appeared over 25 years ago, thanks to manufacturer WheelEEZ who came up with balloon tires for wheelchairs. These are hard plastic inflated tires that make it easy to navigate on the sand and between beach mats. The wheels are crucial to maintaining wheelchair balance in a sandy environment.
Nowadays, the wheelchair on beach market is exploding with options, choices, and functionalities. You will find brand new and used sand wheelchairs for sale, but many are also directly available for hire next to beaches and in surrounding facilities. You can also get in touch with specialist companies for electric beach wheelchair rental. In other words: You’ve got plenty of choices for your next trip to the beach. So, where do you start?
When it comes to finding the best beach wheel chair for your needs, you need to define what kind of beach-goer you are.
Are you the kind of person who enjoys sunbathing on the beach? Then, you will be looking at beach chairs for handicapped persons. These are often similar to traditional beach chairs with the addition of inflated PVC wheels.
Do you prefer to go for a swim? Then you will need a suitable water wheelchair that can keep you safe in or by the water.
Finally, if you’re going to explore the beach, you want an all-terrain, self-propelled or power wheelchair to ride on the sand without toppling over.
Use your leisure preference as guidance to choose the best beach wheelchair for you.
Table of Contents
Who needs a wheelchair for sand use & should you buy one?
Individuals who can benefit from using a wheelchair on sand tend to rely on mobility equipment in their everyday life.
More often than not, quadriplegic or paraplegic individuals who use a wheelchair in their day-to-day activities express the need for a sand-friendly wheelchair to accompany their friends and family to the beach. As mentioned above, these can be either hired or bought.
For most of the handicapped population, beach holidays in the past have often been an activity they could not experience. This short testimony of a wheelchair user who has spent most of their life in a chair reflects on how their on wheels situation prevented them from enjoying either the sea or the sand. Subconsciously, they explain, they took an instant dislike to sunbathing, sand activities, and swimming in the sea because those were activities that were not available to them. Having wheelchairs for beach use can radically transform your experience of the beach.
It is worth mentioning that not all sand wheelchair users are disabled. Indeed, seniors who rely on mobility scooters could also benefit from embracing wheelchair beach friendly options. Indeed, a day at the beach can be draining for some elderly individuals. A mobility scooter, which is safe to use on a flat road, can prevent muscular fatigue and provide stability and balance. Unfortunately, you can’t use a scooter on the sand. Therefore, it is good to consider a wheelchair for beach use to avoid falls and exhaustion. Too many older adults find themselves unable to maintain connections with their family because they can’t join in common activities or holidays anymore. Having a beach chair that can be pushed safely on the sand can eliminate a lot of pressure and fears, enabling seniors to maintain an active family connection. Many specialists agree that helping seniors stay engaged with their families can significantly prolong their lives and enhance their mental and physical health. Therefore, if beach holidays are a frequent occurrence in your family, you or your elderly relative could benefit from using a wheelchair on the sand.
Do beach wheels for wheelchair guarantee access to the beach?
The most significant difference between a traditional wheelchair and a sand wheelchair is the addition of balloon tires. The tires are designed to enable the wheelchair to safely ride on the sand – something that you can’t do with traditional, thin wheels that can get stuck in the sand or cause the chair to fall over. In other words, for wheelchair users or individuals who rely on other mobility equipment, the beach wheelchair promises a safe stay at the beach. The enhanced sense of safety plays a significant role in experiencing beach holidays with your friends and relatives. As the brief testimony mentioned earlier reveals, many wheelchair users and their families have felt compelled to avoid the beach altogether. Many have replaced summer vacation destinations with safe city breaks. That being said, there is nothing wrong with city breaks. But, if you feel like you’re missing out on your summer break fun, wheelchairs for beach vacations can be a game-changer.
There is nothing fun about sitting on the sand all day, waiting for your relatives to push you around. That’s precisely why you can find a beach wheel chair that fits your needs. For individuals who want to maintain their independence without feeling stuck by either the sand or the water, power beach wheelchairs or self-propelled sand or water wheelchairs can be a fantastic solution. The wheelchair is designed to provide the mobility you crave on sand, giving you the choice to enjoy the activities you like.
However, it’s essential to understand that a handicap beach chair doesn’t transform any beach into your playground. Indeed, too many beaches around the world are not accessible to wheelchair users. A good tip before heading to the beach is to research your options carefully. A beach that is only accessible via a staircase, for instance, fails to provide any point of access to individuals in a wheelchair.
Some beaches have introduced a wheelchair-friendly platform or a lift to encourage disabled sunbathers and swimmers to get to the sand. Other places don’t need any additional accessibility equipment and ramps. Many beach locations have their website in the US, where they list their accessibility equipment according to the ADA regulations. If you are considering international travel, things can get a little more complicated. As a rule of thumb, resort hotels with private beach access tend to provide wheelchair-friendly ramps. Otherwise, it is a good idea to get in touch with the local information center to find out more about it.
Cory Lee, an enthusiastic travel addict in a wheelchair, has compiled a list of his 25 favorite accessible beaches in the world. He explains that most beaches that made it on his list have wider paves paths and handicap parking. Some also provide ramps, boardwalks, and other accessibility equipment to facilitate access to the sand. Accessible beaches can be found across the US; Cory lists California, Florida, South Padre Island in Texas, Michigan, Alabama, Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, and Hawaii. He has also visited internationally accessible beaches in Thailand, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Mexico, Bermuda, Australia, Costa Rica, New Zealand, and Mediterranean Europe.
The bottom line is that a wheelchair for the beach is no use to you if you don’t have a beach that provides adapted access equipment and suitable paths for wheelchair users.
What can you expect at a wheelchair-friendly beach?
There is no denying that a beach wheelchair for sale can be a costly investment. If you are not a frequent beach-goer, you may think twice about purchasing an electric beach wheelchair. Indeed, when you are only planning to spend a few days a year at the beach, a sand wheelchair can be an unreasonable cost. However, you can find manually propelled and electric wheelchair rental facilities in the vicinity of most accessible beaches in the US and even international beaches.
How do you make sure there is a rental company on the beach? In the US, beach wheelchair rental companies have published their details on federal, governmental, and local websites. Additionally, the beach website is also likely to include a link to the rental company or companies.
Here’s a little tip for US travelers: You can even look for free rental of wheelchairs for sand on beaches on the East Coast and the West Coast. You can find a map of the beaches that have confirmed publicly on authoritative websites that they provide free rental for beach wheelchair users on this smart Google Maps compiled by MetroTripper.
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A specialist vlogger who makes videos for wheelchair users, wheels2walking, explains how to get a free motorized beach wheelchair for hire on US beaches. Wheels2walking visited Miami Beach, one of the locations that provide a free beach wheelchair. However, you need to go through the step-by-step process of application to get a free rental wheelchair. The power beach wheelchair provided and displayed in the video is safe to use on sand and can also safely enter the water – as long as the motor isn’t submerged!
Miami Beach follows regular US procedures, providing free wheelchairs for beach use by the Beach Patrol headquarters. You need to provide your ID or driver license to swap your day-to-day wheelchair against a sand-friendly motorized wheelchair. Unfortunately, most beaches do not have a reservation system in place, which means that it is on a first-come-first-served basis. The free electric beach wheelchair rental can swap the chair based on availability. Your wheelchair is safely stored until you come back from the beach to swap back again.
The free rental option is also promoted directly by the beach, indicating where you need to go. Reminder: it’s a good idea to call before you go to retrieve your free beach wheelchair on a busy day! As supplies are limited, you don’t want to encounter any bad surprise.
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You can also find a variety of paid-for rental services for wheelchairs for beach, including motorized beach wheelchair and non-power beach wheelchair options. The beach website can provide the information you need. Some paid-for rental companies let you reserve your sand wheelchair ahead of your arrival, so you are guaranteed to get one.
Should I get a beach wheelchair for sale?
For frequent beach-goers, hiring a wheelchair for the beach may not be the best solution. If you live by the coast with a wheelchair-accessible path, buying a handicap beach chair can be a smart and practical investment.
It can be an empowering purchase for those who love to make the most of their leisure time by the coast without any restriction. It is worth mentioning that all-terrain wheelchairs are already sand-friendly and less likely to topple when riding the sand.
What are the main reasons why a frequent beach-goer would want to buy a wheelchair for sand use?
- Practicality: You are equipped for a beach day. You don’t need to rely on the availability in rental companies.
- Mobility: With a power beach wheelchair, you can be more independent on the beach without needing to wait for friends or relatives to help you around.
- Versatile: Beach wheelchairs can support you in your leisure activities on the beach, whether you enjoy sunbathing, swimming, or riding through the sand.
- (Re)discovering the joys of beach holidays: Enough said.
- Safety: Thanks to the balloon tire, wheelchairs on the sand are sturdy and less likely to fall over.
Disadvantages of buying a beach wheelchair
Unfortunately, beach wheelchairs, whether it is a motorized beach wheelchair or a non-power sand wheelchair, can be an expensive investment. While there are some financing options available for wheelchair buyers, you would be looking at an average price anywhere from $1,000 to over $14,000, depending on functions, performance, and build. As a result, it is essential you understand exactly what you are getting for your money.
Buyers can easily get confused between the many options, whether they prefer traveling on the sand, sunbathing, or getting into the water. Because water wheelchairs and sand wheelchairs are suitable for a beach day, you need to research your options carefully. You can’t expect the same functions from both!
What are the disadvantages of buying a beach wheel chair?
- Cost: As mentioned, you can expect to pay up to $14,000 (or even more) depending on the function you need. If you don’t have the opportunity to use your beach wheelchair often, it could be an unprofitable investment.
- Too much choice: The market for beach wheelchair for sale is busy. Wheelchairs users are a lot of options depending on the functions they research and the brands they trust. It can feel overwhelùming at first and leave many buyers too confused to decide.
- Space: Beach wheelchair wheels tend to be huge, making it hard to store your beach wheelchairs or beach wheelchair tires in a small area.
Where do I find a used beach wheelchair?
Price may not be an issue if you can find cheaper options through used beach wheelchairs for sale options. Indeed, did you know that many second-hand platforms have a used beach wheelchair collection that can offer budget-friendly prices?
If you are familiar with rental companies that let you use a wheelchair on the beach, those should be your first point of contact. Some rental companies are happy to sell their used beach wheelchairs, both as an electric beach wheelchair or a manually-propelled sand wheelchair. It is worth inquiring with them if you are satisfied with your hired wheelchair.
Online searches can let you discover a budget-friendly used beach wheelchair:
- Used.ForSale: The platform lists visible ads and content from Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Shoppock, and OfferUp, and many more.
- eBay remains a favorite for used items, and beach wheelchairs are no exception.
- Craigslist can also be a great source of bargains.
- Facebook Marketplace: A more personal approach to bargain hunting.
However, when you buy a used item, you need to be very careful about what you get. Some used beach wheelchairs have been exposed to breakage and corrosion, making them unsafe. A sand wheelchair needs reliable tires, either balloon tires or all-terrain PVC tires; otherwise, your balance can be compromised on the sand. An electric beach wheelchair also needs to come with electric connections in working condition and a rechargeable battery.
It’s best to reach out to professional sellers rather than taking a gamble with a used beach wheelchair.
Best beach wheelchairs for sunbathing
Whether you enjoy sunbathing or long strolls on the sand, you might have heard of these popular sand wheelchairs.
The Rolleez beach wheelchair or WheelEEZ 4
Are you going to stay on the sand? These unpowered wheelchairs for beach stay with suitable wheelchair tires for sand are a fantastic option. The Rolleez beach wheelchair has four12” balloon tires that can roll effortlessly on rough and uneven surfaces like sand. It is quick to assemble and disassemble, making it easier to transport in the trunk of your car. Fully assembled, the unit weighs 48 lbs. And can carry up to 250 lbs., making it more suitable to be pushed by someone rather than self-propelled on the sand. The seat can also handle individuals of above-average size, with 20 “ wide, 20” deep, and 16” high.
The high-quality beach wheelchair is made with furniture grade PVC. Therefore it stays maintenance-free and rust-free.
Sand rider beach wheelchair
The Sand Rider Offroad Beach Wheelchair uses WheelEEZ balloon wheels to enable active wheelchair users to ride over rough terrain. The three-wheeler comes with enhanced stability and huge mobility functions. The clue is in the name: The sand rider beach wheelchair can safely ride sloped beaches or leveled terrains. It is suited with a parking brake for prolonged stays on the beach. The easy to assemble beach wheelchair can be accessorized with features that suit your needs:
- A cupholder that doubles as a fishing rod and umbrella holder too,
- a seat belt for powerful rides along the beach,
- even a headrest for casual sunbathing.
With 49 lbs, the powder coating aluminum sand rider can support up to 350 lbs. The seat height, 19”, width 18”, and depth 16” may not be suitable for above-average individuals.
DeBug All Terrain beach wheelchair
The Debug is a balloon tire wheelchair suited for all-terrain. It is equally manageable on sand as on rough edges such as beach paths, beach mats, or even gravel. The stainless steel wheelchair is designed to resist corrosion and sustain harsh conditions on the beach. The mesh seat is washable, making it easy to maintain. DeBug also has a version that comes with reclining leg options for added comfort on the beach. With a capacity of up to 400lbs, and a maximum seat width of 22” for 17” depth, this sand wheelchair is suitable for individuals of above-average size and weight.
Beach Bomber Wheelchair
The Beach Bomber beach wheelchair has been specifically designed for beach and trail lifestyle and combines 5” wide beach tires and inflatable front wheels. This smart sand wheelchair is fully mobile on a variety of terrains and can support up to 500lbs. Highly customizable, you can choose a variety of powder coater colors and finishes, wheels height, and tire type. Wheelchair users can also specify their preferred seat height, depth, width, and backrest angle!
Best power beach wheelchairs for beach trips
A motorized beach wheelchair is a fantastic investment for active wheelchair users who want to explore the beach.
CadWeazle is an off-road power beach wheelchair that is happy in most environments. The German design wheelchair is suitable for sand use, but it can also be used in mountainous grounds or on any rough terrain. The fully electric wheelchair is powered by a silent battery that can even be charged through an optional solar panel.
The beach wheelchair is perfect for an adrenaline rush for those who want to zoom on the sand and elsewhere. With four balloon tires and a seat belt, you can feel safe.
Best floating water wheelchairs
A water wheelchair is a beach wheelchair that you can safely take into the water.
Hippocampe water wheelchair
This French beach wheelchair is light with approximately 30 lbs for its dynamic three-wheel frame. Wheelchair users sit very low to the ground in the Hippocampe, making it easier to self-propel. You can safely take the wheelchair into the water, as it can float. It’s a great addition to your beach kit if you enjoy swimming or being around swimmers. Easy to maintain, the Hippocampe only needs a rinse in fresh water to avoid corrosion after a beach day. You can easily fold your water wheelchair and place it in the trunk of the car for transportation.
It’s also worth mentioning that most beach wheelchairs are equipped with inflated PVC tires or balloon tires, which means they can sustain water. Yet, if you want to float safely, you need a specialist water wheelchair.
How to build a beach wheelchair?
If you worry that buying a beach wheelchair is too expensive, you may be looking into how to convert your wheelchair for beach use.
WheelEEZ manufacturer provides wheelchair sand tires, which are suitable for a beach wheelchair conversion. You can also find other brands with inflated PVC tires. However, it’s crucial to use your PVC beach wheelchair plans to make sure you’ve got the right model for your needs. Ideally, a beach wheelchair conversion kit needs to include high-quality tires. Balloon tire wheelchair designs are more common to convert your wheelchair for beach use.
As the most significant difference lies in the wheelchair beach wheels, the choice of beach wheelchair tires will be crucial to enjoying your sand and coast-based activities. It’s worth taking the time to find quality conversion kits. WheelEEZ is a trusted brand for these, and their beach wheelchair conversion kit is easy to assemble.
If you prefer a step-by-step approach to convert your wheelchair for the beach, here is a short video that shows how to add the WheelEEZ balloon tires.
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Can I make a homemade beach wheelchair from scratch?
If you are not willing to purchase a sand wheelchair for your beach activities, you may be tempted to build your beach wheelchair.
This beach lover wheelchair user has shared her tips on how she and her husband made a homemade beach wheelchair in time for their holiday. The couple purchased a cheap seat and used inflated wheels that acted as wheelchair sand tires. They used the wheelchair to get on the sand and in and out of the water, enabling her to swim safely.
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Summary of how to find the best wheelchairs on the beach
A variety of beach wheel chairs cater for all uses at the beach. They can be used for sand riding, strolling, swimming, floating, and sunbathing. The first step is to understand what you want to do with your beach wheelchair.
Then, you are faced with a choice of actions:
- Making your own,
- Buying a used beach wheelchair for sale which can be risky,
- Purchasing a new beach wheelchair,
- Converting your wheelchair with a conversion kit and inflated PVC tires,
- Finding a non-power or electric beach wheelchair rental (paid or free),
- Use an all-terrain wheelchair that is suitable for beach use and sand grip.
Advantages and disadvantages of beach wheelchairs
You can save money with used beach wheelchairs for sale or with wheelchair rental
Beach wheelchairs can be expensive for irregular use
Used wheelchairs are cheaper.
You have no guarantee of quality and reliability. Additionally, the wheelchair comes with no warranty.
Beach wheelchairs maintain a better balance on rough terrain.
Water wheelchairs for the beach can float.
Inflated PVC tires can float but not all sand wheelchairs are safe to use in water.
Balloon tire wheelchair designs are virtually all terrain friendly since WheelEEZ patented the tires.
Not all manufacturers can meet expectations on quality. Some PVC beach wheelchair wheels can show alarming signs of wear and tear.
Sand wheelchairs can be heavy to maneuver on the beach, either self-propelling or with someone pushing the chair.
An electric wheelchair can enhance your mobility, independence, and ease of deplacement.
The battery is not safe for use in water.
Beach wheelchairs are easy to maintain and designed to resist beach conditions.
Non-power wheelchairs for sand use are typically light-weight, foldable or easy to disassemble for transport.
A motorized beach wheelchair is heavy to transport and can’t be folded or disassembled quickly.
Our suggestion of best brands
We are happy to suggest on our website a few beach wheelchairs that are suitable for sunbathing, floating, and sand riding. Our beach wheelchairs come with warranty coverage and are checked for quality directly by the manufacturers.
- Hippocampe, for floating and sunbathing from $3,379.00
- Mobi-Chair, a floating beach wheelchair similar in design to Hippocampe from $2,349.00
- WheelEEZ, for sunbathing from $1,199.99
- WheelEEZ 4, for sunbathing and exploring on the beach from $1.199.99
- Aqua Creek, for sunbathing, similar to WheelEEZ 4 from $2.295.00
You might be wondering where to get your beach wheelchair from. Perhaps you’ve seen a used beach wheelchair on sale on sites like eBay or Amazon or you might have seen the same model on an unfamiliar-looking site that offers suspiciously low prices and a slew of accessories to go with your wheelchair.
Here’s why it’s worth your while shopping with us for a wheelchair for sand:
- 100% Norton shopping money back guarantee on all purchases. You can rest assured you aren’t getting a deal that isn’t “too good to be true”, only to realize some kind of dishonesty was involved
- We are always here to hear your concerns and pride ourselves with “family-style” customer care that gives personal, friendly attention to each and every customer. Should something not be to your satisfaction we will be there to hear your concerns and do our utmost to reach a mutually acceptable solution
- We are an authorised dealer on all for all the brands we sell, and this is something you as the customer can verify by contacting any of the manufacturers we deal with. This means your warranty is covered directly by the brand of your product and you have a full second recourse should there be any reason we are unable to help.
All products are brand new and so you are under full warranty coverage in case anything goes wrong. This minimizes the risks involved in getting used dual seat models where you may discover issues after purchase at which point you have little recourse to claim your money back or get your device fixed.
Our items are shipped directly out of our partner manufacturers’ warehouses. This means they have never been used as showroom items and only travel one travel one journey between the manufacturer and your home, unlike showroom stores where your scooter may have first travelled to the showroom, and then to your home, increasing the likelihood of travel damage
- We only deal with US-based brands meaning there is someone there to promptly answer our concerns or yours. This also means all our products are shipped from US warehouses, using US carriers, meaning shorter delivery times and more professional US customer service.
- We offer the lowest prices any dealer can legally charge on the vast majority of products. We don’t charge sales taxes in any state (GA excluded) and have free delivery for all orders above $99. This means that most of the time, the prices you see on our website are out-of-the-door prices, and the lowest you will find anywhere.
At Scooters N Chairs, we strive to be the company the #1 online superstore for mobility products anywhere in the US. Our aim is to excel at compassion, listening to and truly understanding the needs of our customers.
We help people obtain peace of mind and enjoy the best possible lifestyle by taking the time to carefully listen to customers and help them find the ideal answers to their questions.