All photos by Visit Corpus Christi
In Corpus Christi, every season is beach season. And with the city’s free Beach Wheelchair program, everyone can bask in the warmth of the sun, the chill of the surf and the roll of the waves. In other words: Surf’s up for everybody!
Reinventing the Wheel
Corpus Christi Parks & Recreation Department acquired a number of awesome all-terrain WaterWheels® beach wheelchairs for public use. These adorable yellow and blue beach buggies are simple, durable, comfortable – and most importantly – safe wheelchairs with bright yellow balloon tires and armrests.
On land, the wide, puffy tires can handle any sand situation on the beach. When dipped in the water, the armrests and wheels serve as floatation devices, and the entire chair becomes a floating water lounger for wheelchair users and other folks with special needs.
Access Made Easy
Beach Wheelchairs may be checked out for free at lifeguard stands along the gulf beaches. Each lifeguard stand has one wheelchair to loan at a time. Two are on the north side of Packery Channel, one south of Packery Channel off of Access Road 3A, one at Michael J. Ellis Beach & Seawall and one at Whitecap Beach. On the mainland, beach wheelchair loan is available at McGee Beach on Shoreline Blvd. downtown. There is no cost to use these chairs!
The only requirements to check out a chair are a valid cell phone number and photo I.D. left as a deposit. The chairs are available from Noon to 6:00 p.m. daily. Just follow these simple guidelines:
- Beach Wheelchairs are solely for the use of mobility-challenged individuals
- Only one occupant may ride on the Beach Wheelchair at any given time
- Beach Wheelchairs may not be transported out of the gulf beach loaning area
- Beach Wheelchairs must be returned to the place of issuance by 6:00 p.m.
For a Beach Wheelchair on North Beach, contact the Parks & Recreation Department to have it delivered. The point of contact for North Beach is Laura Perez: 361-826-1932.
Plus, both Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve and Malaquite Beach have all-terrain beach wheelchairs available for free use with similar conditions as outlined above. The chairs are accessible at each of the attractions’ Visitor Centers.
RESNA Tested and FDA Approved
Yes, WaterWheels® have met all the standards set by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) and have been given the A-OK by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. These beauts are safe and easy to use.
While neither self-propelled nor self-drivable, the chairs are lightweight, maneuverable and a breeze for any companion to manage. What a great way to take in some quality buddy-time out on the water!
In Corpus Christi, navigating the shore is an adventure accessible to everyone. Time to gather the gang, book that trip and pick a beach for your next coastal holiday.