Can You Use a Patio Umbrella at the Beach?

Use a patio umbrella at the beach

A patio umbrella is a great way to add shade to most backyards. However, can you use a patio umbrella at the beach?

It may be tempting to bring a patio umbrella to the beach because of excellent source of shade it will provide for those sunny days. However, a patio umbrella is not the ideal choice and can be a safety hazard in windy conditions. Let take a look at why this is the case.

Can you use a patio umbrella at the beach?

Below are a few issues with using a patio umbrella at the beach:

Portability: A patio umbrella is not practical because of its size. Many patio umbrellas do not compact down to a size that makes them easy to transport from the car to the beach. This is especially true since you often have to carry other things such as a cooler and a blanket. An umbrella that is designed for the beach is typically much smaller and often comes with a carrying case to haul the umbrella around.

Anchoring:  If you reference the umbrella pictured below that is made for the beach, you can see that the end of the pole has a big screw that can be twisted into the sand to keep the umbrella upright. A patio umbrella is typical not equipped with a screw or spiked end that can be used to anchor it. This makes it difficult to anchor into the sand. We suppose you could haul in a weighted base to erect your patio umbrella, but that would likely not be worth the effort in most situations.

Umbrella Safety

Wind gusts tend to be strong at beaches and can lift an umbrella out of the ground. This, of course, causes the potential for injury for the unfortunate people nearby. A recent Boston Globe article reminded readers that a patio umbrella at the beach will easily catch the wind because of its size. If you attempt to bring a patio umbrella to a beach, you may be told to take it down by beach authorities because of the safety risk.

It is best just to buy a beach umbrella to make things safer and easier. You can purchase a nice one for under $50.00, which is well worth the price if you are even a casual beach-goer.

If you do decide to buy a beach umbrella, we recommend watching the below video and fully reading the manufacturers instructions, so that you can properly install your beach umbrella.