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Beach-ready Gear and Gadgets

By Matt Coppa

Sun, surf and sand are all well and good … but what really makes a day at the shore beachy-keen are all the high-tech toys you can bring to make you feel at home. Dive into the best new beach gadgets:

Surf Sherpa
Why break a sweat lugging gear to the beach when you can carry the equivalent of an entire carnival in the ABO Gear Beach Lugger ($99.99)? This 13-pound collapsible beach wagon lets you haul up to 90 pounds of stuff -- from umbrellas, to scuba gear, to an overworked au pair -- thanks to big sand-wheels, which plough easily over tough terrain.
Poseidon’s Throne
The Rio Hi-tech Textilene Backpack Cooler Chair ($65) is the Cadillac of beach chairs and almost as big. This ultra-comfortable and ergonomically adjustable backpack chair has double compartments, including an insulated cooler and a dry storage area mounted on the back. It also has a removable headrest, foldable drink- and cell-holders, and a towel support bar.
Hot Stuff
You’ll be the Master and Commander of your beach blanket if you hit the ocean-side grill grounds armed with the Picnic Time Buccaneer BBQ Grill ($150). This all-in-one beach burner combines a small grill with a waterproof cooler -- and even a three-piece BBQ toolset -- in one 17.5-pound package. Plus, it costs about the same as the typical bail-bond fee you’d have to pay if you ever brought your drinking and fire-starting tools to your favorite BBQ restaurant.
Pack up Your Troubles
Gunga Din would have hit the surf with more ease and regularity if he had the Zuma Backpack Cooler ($39.95). The all-in-one sack for your stuff has two separate compartments: one for your clothes and another for your suds. It’s a waterproof cooler! Best of all, you can carry it like a backpack. ’Cause, ya know … it is one.
Submersible Snaps
Believe it or not, sand, seawater and tanning oil are not always considered good for your digital camera! No worries, my surf-soaked friend! The Speedo Waterproof Digital Camera ($149) will allow you to take attractive shots of your buddy’s sunburnt beer belly, or snap some sunbathing sharks while you’re snorkeling! It has 5.0 megapixels, video capacity, 32 MB of memory, a rubber grip for wet or dry handling, and complete waterproofing. The best part? It floats.
A Special Case
You can turn your delicate MP3 player into a beach-blasting boom box with the waterproof Grace Digital Eco Extreme MP3 speaker case with a built-in speaker ($49.99). Its watertight seal will keep it dry, and the shock-resistant body will keep it safe -- even when it’s accidentally wedged between a beach chair and a fat butt in baggy board shorts. The Eco Extreme waterproof case works with every MP3 player and cell phone, including the iPhone, iPod Touch, Motorola Droid and BlackBerry. But it will also take time off to have fun with you at the beach.
Underwater Security
Be very afraid to go into the water with your iPhone -- unless you have the Innopocket Amphibian Waterproof Case ($29.99) for your iPhone 4. The first of its kind, this case protects your iPhone from sand and water, and it sports an inner shell that can be used as an everyday hard case. But don’t worry; it also allows for touch-screen usage even while you’re 20 feet underwater, enabling you to take snaps and videos of all the deep-sea predators about to make you a seafood special.
Sound Advice
The last thing you want to hear on the beach is the annoying family arguing over whether Wendy’s or Blimpie’s offers the better ambiance as a dinner destination. You can drown them out with the water-resistant Insignia Water-Resistant Boombox ($69.99), which has an AM/FM radio, CD player and iPod dock. Or you can just drown them. (Kidding!)
Lexon’s Tykho Rubber Radio:
Your sagging abs may not have women lining up at the velvet rope around your blanket, but this mod little number just might. Lexon’s Tykho Rubber Radio ($88) has won a slew of design awards, and it’s easy to see why. The simple, waterproof AM/FM rubber radio comes in eye-popping red, green, blue and yellow colors that scream “summer” ... in a high-quality tone!
Amphibious Football
If you throw the pigskin on the beach, be prepared for that swine to get waterlogged and warped. Nerfs on the beach? They can gain 10 pounds of water-weight faster than that fat Kardashian. Instead, just sling these waterproof Coop-Sports Nitro Footballs ($14.95) with a Neoprene cover and real laces that keep your aim true, allowing you to nail that shameless dude right in his banana hammock.

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