How to Plant a Beach Umbrella so It Doesn’t Fly Away

There is still one month left until summer, and if you’ve been listening to your more sun-sensitive friends at the beach, or having to go out too often to buy an aloe, you might have thought of investing in a beach umbrella. Follow your intuition in this; A beach umbrella is a great investment in the future of your skin. But you may have also noticed that at least once a weekend, someone is running along the beach in pursuit of an open umbrella, caught in a strong wind and suddenly on the run.

Sure, on a good beach day, this is entertaining for the audience, but it’s also incredibly dangerous. Just last month in Ocean City, Maryland, a flying beach umbrella pierced a woman in the chest (she’s fine!). The week before, on the Jersey shore, another woman had been stabbed in the ankle . The point is, there is a clear security threat that can be attributed to people not knowing how to drive their damn umbrellas into the sand. Luckily, the summer squash boy at the beach club gave me the tools and tricks to securely set up a beach umbrella. Here’s what you need to know:

Find the right umbrella

Half of the work is done before you even get to the beach when you make your first umbrella purchase. It might sound crazy, but make sure you buy beach umbrellas for your beach trip. This means no patio umbrellas! They may look about the same size or large enough to provide a good hue, but they are much heavier and considerably more dangerous. There is a reason they are designed to fit into tables. On the other hand, you don’t need one of those pole-sized umbrellas the size of a little kid’s wrist. It has to feel strong enough to withstand decent wind, because if it breaks somehow, you not only run the risk of flying, but even worse, you could get an entrance wound! Each type of material you choose to support has its pros and cons, but everyone agrees that wood is stronger and does not rust, and aluminum is lighter, making it more ideal for travel and will likely show anyone. wear out until complete destruction. Plastic / PVC can also work well if the pole is at least an inch wide and the plastic is tough to the touch. Business Insider provides an overview of their most recommended umbrellas here , and while you can spend between $ 10 and $ 200 on a beach umbrella, their best overall umbrella is the 7-foot Tommy Bahama model under $ 50.

Once you’ve narrowed the circle down to sturdier umbrellas, the next step is to check the bottom of the pole. The pillar should end with a point to make it easier to dig in the sand. Some of the posts even have a threaded end like a planter, making it all the more efficient when digging and planting. A flat bottom is definitely the least efficient for digging, although of course it is also the safest when it comes to possible puncture. You’ll just want to shell out an extra $ 10-20 for a sand anchor – a small threaded mount for digging in the sand – in addition to your umbrella. Once it’s inserted, you can stick the pole straight into the hole at the top and secure it with the sand anchor screw.

How to apply

The biggest mistake people make when setting up camp is putting together an umbrella, opening it, sticking it in the sand, and thinking about the work done. You are not making Pina Colada! If you want it to withstand strong gusts of wind, you need a little more elbow grease. Here are the tried and true steps for safely placing your umbrella:

  1. Make sure the umbrella is closed before you start! Nothing is more difficult than trying to anchor something in the ground with a giant sail attached to it. In fact, most umbrellas are in two parts, so you can leave the part with the umbrella detached while you focus on burying the lower end in the ground. Once you master this trick, you will be shocked by the number of people you see on the beach who do not follow him or fight with an umbrella that is literally about to take off. This is how your entry into the elite club of competent beach lovers begins.
  2. Drive the pole into the ground and lunge with all your weight on the pole. You should look like statues of soldiers planting a flag in the middle of a battle.
  3. Rock the pole back and forth, alternating in wider circles from time to time, keeping your weight on the pole towards the ground. Switch to narrower circles to bury the pole deeper. You must create a funnel in the sand. The goal here is to get to the beautiful wet sand, which is more densely packed. Note. If you have a sand anchor or pole drill bit that’s fine, but stick with the process. Make this hole large and move as much sand as possible. You can use the drill bit to dig even deeper for extra grip after you can no longer swing the pole.
  4. Once you decide that you have carried the pole as deep as possible (at least a foot or two lower), hold the pole steady while your feet fill the hole you dug with the sand you cleaned out. away. Apply sand as hard as possible and place something heavy on top of it, such as bags or a refrigerator, as extra ballast.
  5. Now you can attach the top half and open the umbrella. Opening an umbrella should be expected as the finishing touch to a job well done, such as when a waiter pulls on the silver dome of a serving platter to reveal your main platter. Yes, now that you ask, I would consider making a parasol to be quite akin to fine dining.

Professional advice on the care of your umbrella

You may now know how to secure your umbrella, but it is equally important to know how to securely hold the umbrella in place. There are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Now that the umbrella is in the sand, don’t move it! You might want to keep adjusting to the angle of the sun, but all you’re doing is destabilizing the work you’ve just done. You can get an umbrella with an adjustable head, or an even safer method is to straighten yourself! Your beach towel is much easier to move than the umbrella you have sunk into the ground for so long.
  • Don’t play with sand around the pole. If you have small toys and beach toys, keep them a good distance from the pole so that digging in the sand doesn’t accidentally loosen all the tightly packed sand that helps hold the umbrella in place.
  • Do not choose steep corners when landing. Not to cast a shadow , but some forecasters will advocate placing the umbrella at an angle upwind so that it “drives” it deeper into the sand. This sounds good in theory, but the wind changes, and the advice to constantly check the direction of the wind and correct it is great for sailors, but not for people who come to the beach to relax, play in the water or take a nap. You also reduce the amount of shade you can use during the day when the sun is moving.
  • Close your umbrella if you are leaving camp. This will prevent the wind from weakening it, or worse, sending it flying when you are not near it. Trust your towel and bags to keep out the shade.
  • While you shouldn’t be constantly adjusting your umbrella, you should definitely check it from time to time, especially on a windy day. There is nothing more cruel than mother nature, and even the best umbrella can weaken. Shake the pole periodically to check how loose it is. If the movement is too much, you will want to set the pole into the ground and tamp the sand more tightly. And of course, don’t forget to close and disassemble your umbrella first!

As an umbrella installation pro, you will be able to keep your umbrella alive and prevent yourself from embarrassment, anxiety, and perhaps even lawsuit in the future. But more importantly, do not keep this information for yourself – help your neighbors if you see that they are fighting, for the sake of all internal organs!


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