Everybody enjoys the perfect day at the beach. Sunny skies, refreshing water, family and friends. For most people, getting to the water is as easy as traversing across the beach while burning the bottoms of your feet on the hot sand. But for others, beach access can require an adaptive approach. Persons who use wheelchairs for mobility, parents pushing their baby strollers, event staff pulling heavy equipment, and anyone who has trouble walking on uneven ground benefit from additional tools for beach access. Some beaches have permanent pathways to the high tide mark, but what about the majority of those that don’t? Thankfully, there are a few solutions that help people looking to get to the water.
1. Beach Matting for Wheelchairs
For persons who use wheelchairs, there are currently two typical solutions to get to the water. The first is a beach wheelchair and the other is a portable beach walkway. A beach wheelchair is a chair with specialized wheels that allow it to move over sand more easily. The problem with these are that they are heavy, hard to maneuver, and require an able-bodied helper (or 2) to push. Additionally, beach wheelchairs can only be used by one person at a time, so if a location has already loaned out their chairs, you are left waiting. The other solution is a portable beach walkway.
A portable beach walkway combines all of the benefits of a permanent pathway along with several other benefits. Unlike a beach wheelchair, a portable walkway allows people of all abilities to get across the sand when it is universally designed. So not only does it serve more people, but is also more cost effective on a per person basis.
Disability Support Solutions
People with physical disabilities can benefit from a product like Beach Trax for outdoor access because of its versatility and ease of use. It empowers everyone to have fair access to public accommodations. Beach Trax can help people who use wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, or anyone who finds moving over uneven terrain difficult; it is the ultimate disability support solution for outdoor access.
2. Portable Beach Walkway for Events or Recreation Activities
Have you ever been to a beach event where there are no portable bathrooms? Imagine the feeling of disappointment when you are forced to leave early because of poor event planning. Similar to this example, if an event has no accessibility solutions for people with physical disabilities, it causes a barrier to participation and excludes people. If you are an event manager or a someone who is in charge of an event, consider providing portable beach walkways such as Beach Trax. Beach Trax is available for rent or purchase.
3. Pathway Portability
Another benefit is the ability to rearrange the pathway so that it is more functional to the people using it. For example, if the sand has moved as a result of a big storm/tides, a portable pathway could be moved to accommodate this. Another example would be if there was an event on the beach, the pathway could be arranged in a way specifically for that event. Some examples of this would be a beach wedding, a surf-competition, or just a family picnic.
Non Destructive and Environmentally-Friendly
A third benefit is that since portable pathways are removable, it maintains the natural beauty and landscape of the terrain it is set-up on. We can see what happens when a permanent pathway isn’t maintained. It can not only be expensive to repair a permanent pathway, but it can also take a long time, especially if it has to go through a bureaucratic process in order to get repaired. Portable pathways are easy to repair and relatively cheap to replace compared to more permanent installations. This is important, especially in the United States due to ADA compliance.
Fair Access to Public Accommodations
As the need for ADA compliance becomes more important as we move into 2019, many businesses (including hotels, restaurants, and other beach businesses) are looking for disability support solutions. A portable pathway solution would be a huge benefit to businesses that could offer an ADA compliant pathway. It is interesting to note that a lot of public areas and events are coming under fire as a result of not being ADA compliant. There have been several lawsuits as a result which can severely hurt businesses and organizations who don’t ensure that their events are ADA compliant.
The Beach Trax Portable Pathway
Within the portable beach pathway market, there a couple of solutions that would work as portable beach matting for wheelchair access. One of them is of course Beach Trax. The specific benefits of Beach Trax versus some of its direct competitors is that it’s very easy to set up, break down, and store. Thirty feet can be laid out in under 1-2 minutes by one able-bodied individual. Beach Trax has the smoothest ride because it is durable and does not form as much to the pumpy terrain underneath. When folded for storage or transport, 30 feet stacks approximately 2 inches thick. You can easily fit 120 feet of Beach Trax into the trunk of a small car! It is also lighter-weight and therefore easier to carry. Additionally it is easily customizable, so users can rearrange the panels in many different ways (pathway with turns or even a platform).
When considering the different options for beach access, it is important to find the right one that works best for you. Leave a comment and let us know what’s working or not working for you. As a company that is dedicated to creating access for everyone, we want to help find what works for you.
- Allows beach access for people of all abilities including:
- Wheelchairs, strollers, carts, persons requiring a more stable surface
- Maintain natural beauty of the terrain vs having permanent installations
- Can be rearranged in a way that is most beneficial to the people or event
- Easily replaceable after long periods of normal wear and tear
- Can be used on other terrain including, but not limited to sand, gravel, dirt, grass, and even snow
- ADA compliance
Benefits of Beach Trax Specifically
- Very easy to set up, break down, and store. Thirty feet can be laid out in under 1-2 minutes by one able-bodied individual
- The removable hinges allows users to customize the configuration of the path
- When folded for storage or transport, 30 feet is approximately 2 inches thick. You can easily fit 120 feet of Beach Trax into the trunk of a small car!