Going to the beach is supposed to be a fun, relaxing activity. However, it can be quite a stressful experience for people with mobility issues. Walking on sand already isn’t easy for anyone, but the unevenness of the terrain poses difficulties and danger for people who need extra stability or support as they move. And although walkers can help, regular walks weren’t designed to be used in sand, making them much less beneficial when taking a trip to the beach.
Although some may prefer to use beach wheelchairs, many senior citizens have found beach walkers to be the best option to make their beach day enjoyable. Beach walkers were specially designed to be used on uneven terrain, and they can help people with mobility issues easily navigate sand. But even if you’ve decided that you would benefit from a beach walker, there are still a lot of options to choose from. In this article, we’ll go over the basics of beach walkers and all the different options you should keep in mind while making your purchase decision.
What is a Beach Walker and Who Needs One
As the name suggests, beach walkers are walkers that were designed to be used on the beach. They are constructed with larger wheels than a traditional walker, making them less likely to sink into the sand – the extra traction makes them easier to use on uneven surfaces. Although they are marketed for beach use, they can also help seniors maneuver other surfaces such as gravel or dirt paths. Beach walkers are more durable than regular walkers, and their design makes for an overall smoother walk as they’re used.
If you or someone you love has mobility issues of any kind, a beach walker may be a good option to help navigate the world. Especially if there is a high risk of falling, having a device that will provide support and stability on any surface is critical to safety and quality of life. If a walker is regularly used in day-to-day life – or even just on occasion – then consider investing in a beach walker. Beach walkers are a great option to help seniors or anyone else with a disability to continue to do the things they love.
What to Look for When Buying One
When deciding which beach walker may be right for you or your loved one, there are a few things you should take into consideration. The kind of beach walker that will be right for your situation will depend on level of mobility and budget along with a variety of other factors. In particular, pay attention to the following details when purchasing a beach walker.
The first thing you should consider when picking out the perfect beach walker is the tires. Most beach walkers will include balloon tires, which are larger and wider than regular walker wheels. Typically, the larger the wheel, the more traction it gets, and the smoother the walk will be. Seniors who have more significant mobility issues should consider beach walkers with larger wheels in order to ensure the safest and most stable experience possible.
Another thing to consider is how many wheels the walker has. In general, four-wheeled walkers provide more stability than three-wheels. However, three-wheeled walkers aren’t as wide, making them easier to maneuver in narrow spaces or doorways. Before purchasing a beach walker, consider how much extra stability will be needed to safely walk on the beach and what kind of areas the walker will mostly be used in.
Another thing you should take into account when purchasing a beach walker is the height. In order for a walker to be beneficial, it will need to be tall enough to provide stability without being too tall to use properly. A general rule of thumb is that, when standing with your arms relaxed at your sides, your walker handles should line up with your wrist.
Another way to see if your beach walker is the pepper height is by testing it. When holding the handles on your beach walker, your arms should be comfortable and sturdy. With your shoulders relaxed, your elbows should bend just slightly. No bend means the walker is too short, and too much bend means the walker is too tall. One option that many seniors take advantage of is walkers with adjustable heights. This means that the height can be changed for maximum comfort or over time as needed.
Walkers are typically constructed out of aluminum for the frame with foam or rubber to add comfort to the handles. However, some types of walker frames may be constructed out of other materials such as steel or carbon fiber. Although they are all great options, the type of material that makes up the walker’s frame will determine its sturdiness and weight.
In most cases, carbon fiber is the most lightweight option, but they are less durable and often have a lower weight capacity. In comparison, steel walkers are more durable and have higher weight capacities, but they are heavier, making them more difficult to transport or move around. Aluminum is the perfect in-between of the two extremes, making them both lightweight and durable. Aluminum walkers are the most common type, but different materials can be considered depending on the senior’s needs.
Similar to how wheelchairs have accessories, you can also choose different additions to a beach walker depending on you or your loved one’s wants and needs. For example, purchasing a beach walker with a seat is a great option for seniors who are unable to remain on their feet for extended periods of time. However, walkers with seats are typically wider, making them more difficult to maneuver through tight spaces. Consider what makes the most sense for your situation.
Another common feature to look out for when researching beach walkers is a basket. This is a great space to store things like phones, keys, wallets, or anything else you’ll need with you on the go, freeing up your hands to better grip the walker and stay safe. Many baskets can also zip or close to keep your belongings safe while moving. As a result of the basket, though, the walker may be wider or more difficult to collapse when storing or transporting.
Price is another important factor when determining which beach walker may be right for you or a loved one. Like most medical devices, walkers can be pricey, but their quality and convenience often make them worth the cost. A beach walker’s price can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to $1500+. The price will be closely associated with the wheel and frame size, materials, and additional features the walker may include. Before purchasing, check to see if your insurance provider will help cover all or part of the cost of this essential piece of medical equipment.
2 Good Beach Walkers
Beach Walker Aluminium All Terrain Beach Sand Mobility Walker
- Frame: Lightweight Aluminum. Frame folds for easy Storage and Transportation
- Height: "Adjustable handle height 34" to 39"
If you’ve decided that a beach walker is the right choice for you or a loved one, this is a great option to consider. It’s crafted from aluminum, making it the perfect combination of sturdy and lightweight. In fact, it can support up to 250 lbs while only being 18 lbs itself!
The height is adjustable, ranging from 34 inches to 39 inches, so you can customize this walker to be exactly what you need it to be. This beach walker also features four balloon wheels for maximum stability and smoothness along with a built-in seat for additional comfort.
- Lightweight yet durable
- Collapsible for storage and transportation
- Built-in seat
- Adjustable height
- 3 week lead time before the item ships
- On the more expensive side
- Could be difficult to maneuver in narrow spaces
- No basket or built-in storage
NOVA Traveler 3 Wheel Rollator Walker
- FEATURES: The Traveler is the ideal walker for maneuvering diverse and small spaces, is super easy to fold in just seconds and stays in a folded standard position making it so easy to roll and park just about anywhere. It comes with a tray, large zippered storage pouch and basket. Comes with NOVA’s standard features and beautiful long lasting paint finish
- WHEELS & BRAKES: Equipped with All-Terrain 8" rubber wheels with a 1 3/4" wide base, NOVA's wheels are durable, great for indoor and outdoor use and make the ride smooth and stable. NOVA's patented feather touch hand brakes are uniquely designed for maximum comfort and control. It is easy to engage the brake with a small grip and minimal hand strength. Parking or locking the brakes takes just a gentle push downward on the lever and a pull upwards to release. Our brakes are backed by the best Brake Warranty with a 5 year warranty on all brake parts
The NOVA Traveler is another great option for folks considering a beach walker. With three large wheels, this walker can help provide stability while still being able to maneuver through tight spaces. It includes a basket and tray to help hold belongings while using the walker along with a large zippered pouch to further protect your items.
This beach walker weighs in at just 16.5 lbs, making it easy to transport, while the capacity is at 250 lbs. The handle height is also adjustable so users can set it to whatever height is the most comfortable. Lastly, this product easily collapses, simplifying storage or travel of this beach walker whenever it’s needed.
- Lightweight and easy to maneuver
- Lots of built-in storage options
- Warranties on both the frame and the brakes
- No seat
- Wheels aren’t the largest
- Not a ton of options for height adjustments
- May not be as stable as walkers with 4 wheels
Is a Beach Wheelchair a Better Idea?
Beach wheelchairs work in a similar fashion to beach walkers, with their wide wheels and durable design. They both make a day at the beach an enjoyable experience for everyone. Deciding which product is right for you will depend on your level of mobility. If you are able to walk in most cases and just need a walker for a little extra support, a beach walker is a great option.
However, if you struggle to walk and rely heavily on walkers or wheelchairs to get around on even terrain, a beach wheelchair may be easier and safer when navigating sandy beaches or other uneven areas. A beach wheelchair will eliminate the need to walk on sand altogether and will help keep unstable or high-risk seniors safe while still giving them an enjoyable day out of the house. If you’re unsure which product is right for you, speak with your doctor directly.
As you age, you may worry about losing the ability to participate in activities such as going to the beach; however, devices such as beach walkers have made it easy to continue to take part in these outings. Mobility issues don’t have to keep you from the things you love.
Selecting the right product can feel overwhelming, but remember that the best product will differ from person to person. But once you’ve found that perfect beach walker, you can get back to safely and easily enjoying the world, no matter how uneven the ground.