Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Quest For The Perfect Beach Chair

Two years ago, I had the perfect beach chair. It sat low to the sand and was rugged enough to handle a 210+ pound man. It provided full support for my back and my butt without any support bars pressing my contour in uncomfortable ways. It was easy to carry. Its colors were attractive to the eye.

Someone stole my chair two years ago at the end of the summer, for when I returned to my family's beach cottage in Connecticut, it was gone.

Since then, I have been on the quest for the perfect beach chair. It some ways, the quest has reminded me of a great West Wing Episode featuring the quest for the perfect turkey carving knife. The President (played by Martin Sheen) sends his personal aide Charlie out on a mission to find a carving knife appropriate for Thanksgiving dinner. Charlie tries time and time again but cannot find a knife to the President's liking. As the episode is nearing its conclusion, Charlie finally brings a knife to the President that is acceptable. As a reward, the President givens Charlie a knife from the family heirloom, which just happens to have been first created by Paul Revere.

Well, my beach chair hunt was equally as time consuming. Last year, I went to Walmart and purchased a chair that is acceptable, though not early perfect. It has trouble keeping a specific reclining angle-- the handle often slips and causes my back to jerk back. There is a support bar under my derriere that is rather uncomfortable depending on my seating angle. While I used the chair all last summer, it was not satisfying.

After coming up empty this year at Walmart, I went to Target. I purchased a nice beach chair that is also not the perfect chair. It's a RIO Beach SC68OC 2010 model, nicknamed the "Genuine Beach Bum(TM) Beach Chair." There's a lot to like about the chair. It's got a beer bottle holder. It also has a head rest, which is quite comfortable. However, the chair sits high off the sand and is rather difficult to carry. It's also a bright reddish-orange color. I bought the chair for 50 bucks.

Despite a few trips to other stores, no luck on finding a better chair, so this weekend I took my RIO to Cape Cod and it performed well under the elements of Red River Beach in Harwich.

Then this morning, on the way to the Pancake Man, the magic happened. I spotted my old chair sitting at a beach supply store. It's a beach mania sand chair in rainbow colors.

The perfect beach chair? In my apartment in Boston.
July 11, 2010

It's as close to the perfect beach chair as I can find. The only problem is the chair doesn't support my head when I sit in it. However, it was so close to perfect I bought the chair they had on display at the store, called Pizazz on Long Pond Drive in South Yarmouth. I paid 42 bucks for it.

By the way, it turns out the beach chair industry is quite a beast. There are different types of beach chairs and many different models. It would seem the perfect beach chair means different things to different people.

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