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Awesome Beach Wheelchairs Come to Santa Cruz

Thanks to a grant, access is greatly improved at eight state beaches in Santa Cruz County
By - posted 3/5/2021 No Comment

Walking in the sand is tough, but rolling a standard wheelchair across the sand can be impossible. Thankfully, thanks to a grant from the California State Coastal Conservancy, five new beach wheelchairs are now available, doubling the total available for use at any of eight state beaches in Santa Cruz County, including Natural BridgesSeabrightTwin LakesNew BrightonSeacliffManresaSunset and Palm.

The beach wheelchairs, which are free to use, improve access for visitors at local state beaches. Ten beach wheelchairs are available.

The five new wheelchairs are funded by a grant from the California Coastal Conservancy and supplied by Deming Designs Inc. They are a standard fixed-frame, all-terrain, stainless steel model, with removable swing-away armrests. The wheelchairs can get wet, but do not float.

Beach wheelchairs can be reserved for day-use by emailing or calling 831-335-8487 Monday to Thursday (excluding holidays), between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Email is preferred.

More information:

  • Can I reserve a beach wheelchair? Yes. We strongly recommend you contact the State Parks Special Events Office in advance to reserve a beach wheelchair by email (SCD.specialevents@parks.ca.gov) or phone (831-335-8487).
  • What about requesting a wheelchair during the weekend? We highly recommend that you plan ahead and reserve a wheelchair prior to the weekend. Wheelchairs that haven’t been reserved can be requested during a weekend on the day of by speaking with a State Parks staff member at a lifeguard tower, visitor center or a kiosk.
  • Can I use a beach wheelchair without a reservation? Yes. Any wheelchair that hasn’t already been reserved is available on a first-come, first-served basis. We strongly recommend that you coordinate ahead to reserve your beach wheelchair.
  • Does it cost anything? State Parks’ beach wheelchairs are free to use. You will need to fill out a checkout form, provide contact information and a valid ID (license, real ID, passport, etc.) to take the wheelchair.
  • How long can I use the beach wheelchair? Beach wheelchairs can typically be picked up after 9 a.m. and must be returned by 5 p.m.
  • Will my reservation be valid if I am late to pick up the beach wheelchair? A reservation is valid up to one hour after the specified pick-up time. If the wheelchair is not picked up after the one-hour grace period, it will be made available for others to use. Please make sure to contact your designated State Parks staff (provided at the time of reservation) to inform them if you will be late.
  • Are there any restrictions for beach wheelchair use? The beach wheelchairs can accommodate weight up to 300 pounds and have a seat width of 18 inches. All are equipped with seatbelts, but none have chest straps. Please bring your own chest strap if needed.
  • Can I take the wheelchair to another beach or location? No. A beach wheelchair can only be used at its designated location and cannot be taken offsite.
  • What if I want to use a beach wheelchair for more than a day? There are other organizations, such as Shared Adventures, that rent beach wheelchairs for more than a day.

Read more at Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks.

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