Beach Wheelchair Update

Two years ago I wrote about taking my mother to Cape Hatteras, and how great it was to have the use of a beach wheelchair that allowed my sister and I to take her right onto the beach. I wanted to call your attention to a comment recently left on that post by Jerry Nasello:

We thought you might like to know about how our little motorized beach wheelchair company is doing. We opened for business in April of this year. We rented a grand total of one motorized beach wheelchair in the month of April.

However, in the month of May we were booked solid for almost the entire month. In April we had a total of five chairs available for rentals. By June, we had eight chairs available for renting. We now have nine chairs and have been turning down reservations for almost 45 days.

We have plans for 20 chairs by spring of next year. We knew there was a definite need for this service. Just reading the story about your mother is convincing enough. When we were testing the prototype at the beach we came across many people who all knew someone who could take advantage of these wonderful chairs.

It is one thing to ride in a beach wheelchair being pushed by someone else. It is a totally different experience to drive the chair yourself. With a motorized chair, the driver experiences freedom and independence that is lacking with a manual chair.

We have met so many wonderful people with all different types of needs. We have learned a tremendous amount from these folks. We have learned to adjust our chairs so that our customers are comfortable. We can adjust the armrests, the foot rest, the location of the joystick, provide for oxygen, and we just added an umbrella option.

As our business begins to slow for the winter season, we plan to overhaul every chair. You would not believe the effects of the harsh environment on our chairs. We are constantly trying to improve the resistance of the chairs to this predicament.

We are totally committed to this endeavor and we invite any and all to experience the freedom and independence that a motorized beach wheelchair has to offer.

Check out their website, Beach Power Rentals! This is sooooooo amazing, and the kind of engineering technology that truly makes my heart skip a bit.

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Those are fantastic! The PBS program Frontline World had a story in June this year about a mechanical engineer, Ralf Hotchkiss, who designed a sturdy, inexpensive wheelchair for people in Vietnam, where there are large numbers of wheelchair riders. Hotchkiss is a wheelchair rider himself, and was frustrated with the fragility and inflexibility of the standard technology. His RoughRider design is adapted for users in countries where streets, sidewalks, and wheelchair accessibility are uneven and unpredictable (the US included). The story aired in June; if you search for "Vietnam: Wheels of Change", you'll find an interview with Hotchkiss, and I think you can watch the segment online.

...and here i am, living in a tourist town on the great lakes shoreline, with nothing remotely like this available. if only i had the money for a start-up business...

By Nomen Nescio (not verified) on 04 Sep 2009 #permalink

With a motorized chair, the driver experiences freedom and independence that is lacking with a manual chair. Myself totally committed to this endeavor and I invite any and all to experience the freedom and independence that a motorized beach wheelchair has to offer.