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As far as leisure activities go, lying on the beach must rank at the top of the list. What is more relaxing than reclining in the sun, listening to the sound of the waves? A beach chair definitely helps the beach bum achieve optimum lassitude, elevating him a little bit over the sand so the gritty stuff collects between the toes, not in the swimsuit.
Beach chairs come in enough varieties to satisfy the most discriminating vacationer. They can be purchased at any store that sells beach equipment - and these are everywhere on the beach - or at the local discount store. They may even be rented from the hotel.
One popular design is a metal-framed folding chair. This chair is covered with a nylon ripstop fabric, much like any lawn chair, but this chair is much lower to the ground. Many of these chairs also have a pocket on the back for sunscreen, bottled water and a good book, as well as a carrying strap attached to the arms.
Another common beach chair is metal or wood framed with sturdy cotton duck cloth forming the back and seat. This chair is similar to a hammock on legs, since the fabric is often stretched across the chair. This chair folds up as well.
Some hotel beach chairs are molded plastic and recline to a full prone position. These chairs are popular because they are weather-resistant. Some hotels offer a more traditional chair, however. They furnish wooden slat chairs and rent cushions for them. These chairs also recline fully, but since they are made of wood, they must be replaced more often.
Discount stores everywhere sell metal-framed chairs that are carried in a drawstring bag. These chairs also make a good beach chair, even if they do rise higher off the ground than the others. Some of these folding chairs even come with footrests, headrests and drink caddies in the arms. The deluxe version, for two, includes a folding umbrella that sits between the two chairs.
Beach bums can purchase a suitable beach chair starting at about US$10. The most expensive chairs for two run about US$40. Almost any beach chair, however, will promote a state of complete laziness when used. That's what they're supposed to do.
I like the metal fold up kind of beach chair, mostly because they usually do have that storage pocket in the back, which means I don't have to carry my chair and a tote to the beach. It all fits in the pocket. Most of these pockets have either a velcro or snap closure, and they're plenty big enough for sunscreen and a bottle of water. I can make a place for my water by digging a little hole in the sand, so I don't have to have a drink caddy in the chair.
Umbrellas are nice, though.