New App Helps Cart Beach Gear Over LBI Dunes

Dated: 07/29/2016

Views: 1244

Many students in college usually spend their summers in between semesters relaxing by pools, dreading their return to the daily grind of work and stress. But for Gerard Freda and Kyle Graves, soon to be seniors at The College of New Jersey, this past summer and year has been one of hard work and dedication in an effort to create their new app, BeachWagon.

The idea for the app, currently available in the Apple App Store for iOS devices and soon in the Android Store, came from Freda’s previous summer in Ship Bottom, when he noticed families struggling with their beach chairs, toys, towels, and gear to make it from the water to the top of the dunes. After lending a hand to one family, he realized how useful it could be to have a service that connects people who need their things moved to and from the beach efficiently with caddies who can give them some help.

Over the year, Freda reached out to Graves, a friend majoring in finance who was looking to dabble in computer science, math and coding. Having learned basic programming languages like Python and Java at TCNJ, Graves said he “actually Googled ‘how to make an app,’” in order to get everything in order and make everything the best it could be, while also learning a few new things.

A lot of BeachWagon’s construction as an app came from experimenting and fiddling instead of “doing everything the official way” on the part of Graves. Freda managed the actual construction outside of coding. He had used his own savings to construct caddies that could attach to the back of his bike, in order to carry anyone’s gear effectively while getting everything to the beach in as little time as possible.

Because of this focus on quick setup and quick return, BeachWagon is currently confined to Central Long Beach Island, covering Ship Bottom and Surf City, so that caddies can pick up and set up gear in about 5 to 10 minutes. And while the duo and everyone involved hopes to eventually cover the length of LBI, Graves explained that the last thing they want to do is “sacrifice quality in order to get everything done quickly.” Freda added that right now they’re focusing on “being the best in their local area” before expanding.

This eye for detail is present as much in the app as it is in reality. Graves said there are many licensing details and rules to follow in order to get BeachWagon approved for the App Stores. On July 21, the app for iPhone was finally finished, but Freda mentioned that the work is “never really over.”

“We were lucky to get it done and approved within a day,” Graves continued, also saying that the requirements that are set by Apple should be done on part of the creator anyway.

BeachWagon has been a learning experience for Freda, an economics major, and Graves. Both of them, in the end, want to help the people of the Island the best way they know how.

“We think it can take away needless stress for people trying to relax on vacation,” Freda explained.

Especially now, with the current beach replenishment work forcing some people to cover a longer distance to the beach, BeachWagon aims to take away anxiety and frustration from, “big families, elderly people, people with disabilities – really anybody who could use a hand.”

As the BeachWagon website says, “Getting your stuff to the beach has never been easier.” For just $8 for any trip, no matter the distance or gear, the app hopes to be transparent, easy to use and accessible to anyone, so “people know what they’re getting.” BeachWagon is free to download. Updates are at Contact and social media information can also be found online.

Article Courtesy of Kate Tell

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