Have you ever thought of visiting the beach and you remember that you can’t because you’re stuck in a wheelchair?
Most wheelchairs do well on concrete, wood floors, metal ramps, and some wheelchairs can even move effortlessly on grass, muddy roads, and gravel. But can a wheelchair ride on sand?
Well, I’m happy to tell you that go can visit the beach and even get into the water even if you are stuck in a wheelchair. With a beach wheelchair, you can visit any of the 700 beaches in the UK or close to 100,000 miles of shoreline in the USA.
Beach wheelchairs are a special type of wheelchair designed for disabled people to help them move on the sand and even get into the water.
Since they have wider tires, these wheelchairs can move effortlessly on sandy without sinking into loose sand.
More than 72% of the beaches in the US are wheelchair-friendly and most of them provide a beach wheelchair that you can rent when you visit the beach.
There are a lot of standard and power wheelchairs, but not all of them are built or suitable to be used on sandy surfaces.
Manual and power wheelchairs are designed for indoor use. Lucky for you, both manual and power chairs can be adapted to suit a beautiful day at the beach.
However, there are several factors you must be considered before you can head out to the beach with your wheelchair. Beach wheelchairs are special wheelchair created for beach use.
Before we go on, this guide is going to reveal everything you need to know about beach wheelchairs before you think of buying one. While we are discussing beach wheelchairs, we will also take out time to what makes wheelchairs easy to ride on the beach.
This guide is for every wheelchair user and disabled people that want to visit the beach, desert, or any outdoor facility with lots of sand but don’t know how to go about with it.
- 1 Can A Standard Wheelchair Move On Sand?
- 2 What Makes Wheelchair Easy to Ride On Sand?
- 3 Why Do I Need a Beach Wheelchair?
- 4 Cost of Beach Wheelchairs
- 5 How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Beach Wheelchair?
- 6 Can I Get A Beach Wheelchair For Free?
- 7 What is the Best Wheelchair Accessible Beach In the USA?
- 8 Overall Best Beach Wheelchair
Can A Standard Wheelchair Move On Sand?
Traditional wheelchairs aren’t meant for sand and would sink immediately you ride over loose sand. This makes a fun beach day almost impossible if you are using a standard manual or electric wheelchair.
There are a lot of gadgets that would make allow standard wheelchairs to move effortlessly on sand. You can use a beach wheelchair or a wheelchair mat.
Wheelchair mats are portable mobility aids that can help wheelchair users move on uneven terrains like sand, mud, grass, and gravel. You can simply access the beach from your wheelchair using a beach mat.
You can use a wheelchair mat to move your wheelchair on sand, mud, and gravel.
The beach mat would provide a firm walkway that would allow you to go over the sandy beach and straight into the water without any stress.
What makes wheelchair mats a lifesaver for wheelchair users is the fact that they are super portable. Unlike most ramps, wheelchair mats are foldable, lightweight, and durable equipment that can help wheelchair users move easily on sandy terrains.
If you don’t want to use a wheelchair mat, you can also opt for a beach wheelchair. Beach wheelchairs are the easiest ways to move on the beach and other sandy places.
Beach wheelchairs were invented by WheelEEZ in the late 90s. This special equipment started with a simple hard plastic inflated tire to what we know as a beach wheelchair today.
Today, several manufacturers have created their versions of beach wheelchairs to allow wheelchair users to enjoy a beautiful day out on the beach.
The tires on beach wheelchairs are wider and larger. These large tires increase the surface area of the chair, provide extra traction, and distribute the weight of the person in the wheelchair.
As long as you are in a beach wheelchair, you won’t get stuck in the sand or mud. There are two main types of beach wheelchairs: battery-powered beach wheelchairs and manual wheelchairs.
What Makes Wheelchair Easy to Ride On Sand?
The front tires on a standard manual wheelchair are about 8″. These tires are too thin to encourage movement on the sand. The tires on most wheelchairs have smaller widths designed for smooth hard surfaces.
But beach wheelchairs use bigger rear wheels. These wheels are almost four times the size of those in a standard wheelchair.
These wider tires are more effective on wheelchairs moving on sandy or rocky terrains. These big tires provided more traction and even work better on sandy beaches than tarred roads or cement floors.
Why Do I Need a Beach Wheelchair?
Yes, you need a beach wheelchair if you plan on visiting the beach or hiking on sandy trails. Truth be told, most traditional wheelchairs were not manufactured for beach use.
In short, nothing with tires can move on the sand, whether it’s a small mountain bike or a large SUV. The loosely packed sand will hold one or all the wheels and put the vehicle to an abrupt stop.
Even if you go to the beach with a Drive Medical Silver Sport 2 Manual Wheelchair or the Freedom Chair A08 Automatic Power Chair, your wheelchair is likely to get stuck in areas where there are chunks of loose sand.
With a beach wheelchair, you can beat the sand and enter the water anytime you feel like it.
Wheelchairs like the Rolleez Beach Wheelchair, SandCruiser Beach Wheelchair, or the DeBug’s All-Terrain Chair handle all terrains, including sandy beaches and deserts.
However, multi-purpose wheelchairs that can move on the sand and tarred roads are not cheap and are also very difficult to transport. It is best to buy them if you live close to the beach.
Cost of Beach Wheelchairs
Manual beach wheelchairs aren’t cheap, but when compared to electric motorized chairs, it’s the most affordable option you can get to ride smoothly on the sand.
The price tag is relatively low as it doesn’t come integrated with the sophisticated technology you can find on its electric counterpart.
A brand new manual beach wheelchair on Amazon would cost you about $950. But if you are buying a used beach wheelchair, you’ll spend just $600. Secondhand wheelchairs are just as good as brand new ones.
There are lots of pawnshops and online marketplace that have used beach wheelchairs available for sale.
Motorized beach wheelchairs are both expensive and rare. You can get a brand new electric wheelchair for $2,500.
How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Beach Wheelchair?
If you can’t buy a beach wheelchair because it is an expensive spare wheelchair, there are lots of places where you can rent beach wheelchairs in the United States.
Of course, there’s no fixed price for renting a beach wheelchair, but you can rent a beach wheelchair for anything between $50 and $300. Cost varies between locations, but the cost depends on the wheelchair model and the duration you intend to use it.
Can I Get A Beach Wheelchair For Free?
Yes, there are also beach outposts that give out beach wheelchairs and wheelchair mats to disabled people for free.
You don’t have to pay money to use this equipment, you just have to use it and return it when you are done, so other disabled people can make use of the wheelchair too.
The steps you need to complete before you can get a free beach wheelchair for rent vary between states and cities, but they all use a very similar procedure.
You have to call and make a reservation in advance before you can get a free wheelchair. Make sure you call at least two days before you hit the beach.
What is the Best Wheelchair Accessible Beach In the USA?
Yea, there are some beaches in the USA that have taken accessibility very seriously and made it a priority. We already have a detailed guide on the best Accessible beaches in the USA for wheelchair users.
The top five best wheelchair accessible beaches in the United States are San Diego’s Moonlight Beach, Gulf Shores, Cardiff State Beach, Muskegon’s shores, and Pensacola Beach.
These beaches have special parking spots for wheelchair users, ADA complaints, they have free manual and motorized wheelchairs for disabled people.
There are also wheelchair ramps where there are stairs for easy access and wheelchair mats that stretch from the parking lot to the water.
Overall Best Beach Wheelchair
Most manual and power wheelchairs are designed for indoor use. Lucky for you, both manual and power chairs can be adapted to suit a beautiful at the beach.
There are hundreds of wheelchairs that do an excellent job is propelling disabled people from the sandy beaches into the water.
We already have a guide on the best beach wheelchair for 2021. I’d advise you to look up that guide for more details.
Like I said in that post, the most reliable wheelchair for beach use is the Waterwheels Floating Beach Wheelchair, the ROLLEEZ Beach Wheelchair with Wheeleez Large Front, and the All-Terrain Beach Wheelchair Hippocampe.
But if you don’t feel like concerting your wheelchair for beach use, you can easily buy any of the affordable beach wheelchairs available on Amazon. Overall, these are the best beach wheelchair for 2021.