On a hot summer’s day, there’s nothing better than heading down to the beach with your family and friends. You can build the world’s biggest sandcastle, dig a hole to China, swim with the fish or just relax with a cold drink and a good book.
However, if you don’t plan ahead, your trip to the beach might be nothing but sunburn, warm drinks, melted ice-cream and sand in your shoes.
At Woodies, our motto is “See you at the beach!”.
When we’re not in the office designing our next pair of unique wood and bamboo sunglasses, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find us at the beach. Since we spend so much time there, we consider ourselves experts on packing for the beach.
To help share our wisdom, we’ve put together a list of eight things to take to the beach to ensure a safe, fun and memorable day.
The most important thing you need to take to the beach is some good sunscreen. You may have a great day at the beach, but without sunscreen, you’ll probably spend the next few days looking like a lobster. Painful swelling, itching, peeling and possible skin cancer can all be avoided by choosing a sunscreen with a high SPF factor. SPF 30 should be sufficient for most beachgoers, but if you have really sensitive skin, you might want SPF 50 or above.
If you’re going to spend time in the water, it’s a good idea to get a water-resistant sunscreen like the SPF 70 Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen Water + Sun
And don’t forget to reapply every hour or two!
In the middle of summer when the sand gets too hot to sit on, we always recommend taking a compact chair to the beach. You could pick up a cheap folding chair from Walmart or Costco (watch out for those burning hot metal parts!), but why not try something more comfortable and stylish.
The ChillaX Inflatable Lounger
ChillaX is often referred to as “the most relaxing air lounge on the market”. It has a compact design, a headrest, pockets for your phone and drinks, and a securing stake to make sure it doesn’t blow away. It fully inflates in under a minute and requires no pump - you just swing it around to fill it with air. The only problem with the ChillaX is that you constantly have to put up with people asking you where you bought it.
Sometimes you just need to get out of the sun for a while, but at many beaches there is no natural shade available. That’s when a beach umbrella comes in handy. When choosing a beach umbrella, there are three important factors to consider. First, you need an umbrella that is light enough to carry, but strong enough to stay upright in strong winds. Second, you need an umbrella that is large enough to provide shade for everyone - a 5 foot wide umbrella is great for one or two people, while an 8 foot wide umbrella can fit the whole family. Finally, you need an umbrella that looks great, with a fashionable design and nice colors.
Our favorite beach umbrella is the Sport-Brella (https://www.amazon.com/Sport-Brella- Portable-All-
recreation&ie=UTF8&qid=1500004933&sr=1-1&keywords=sportbrella). It’s rugged and durable, with canopy windows that allow strong winds to pass through. It’s large enough to fit three or four people. and can be staked down so it doesn’t blow away.
If you’re planning to go in the water, you’re going to need a beach towel. Beach towels come in all shapes and sizes, and for all budgets - from a $5 cotton towel from Target to a $630 printed towel from Hermes (http://usa.hermes.com/home/beach/beach-towels/configurable- product-h102646m-102753.html?color_hermes=VIOLET/JAUNE&nuance=1&back_search=dir+asc%7Corder+price%7Cp+3%7Cq+beach+towel%7Cshow_all+1%7Cback_from_product+1). When choosing a beach towel, you want to pick one that’s big enough to use for lying down on the sand. As for thickness, it really depends on your personal preference - thicker towels can be more comfortable, but they are also bulkier and take up more space. The most important thing is to choose a style and pattern that suits you. Flashy towels are great for making a fashion statement. They are also make it much easier to find your spot on a crowded beach.
If you really want to stand out, why not try a round beach towel like the Ricdecor Indian Mandala Beach Blanket (https://www.amazon.com/Ricdecor-Mandala- Microfiber-Absorbent- Multi-
Purpose/dp/B01K6OKTQE/ref=zg_bs_3731751_15?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=868MBJHJ95C4P4338FE7). It’s a highly absorbent microfiber towel that really makes an impression.
A word of warning - never wear shoes to the beach. No matter how careful you are, you’ll still be finding grains of sand in them weeks later. For a trip to the beach, you really need a great pair of flip flops. Try to avoid the cheap all-rubber flip flops. They almost never fit well, which means you’ll have to put up with blisters around your toes for the next week or so. You’ll also get sick of walking in a funny way just to stop them falling off. Look for a pair of flip flops with a comfortable strap (preferably made from fabric or leather rather than rubber) and a soft sole that contours your feet. We recommend ECCO flip flops like the Collin thong (https://www.amazon.com/ECCO-Collin-Thong-Coffee- 7-7- 5/dp/B010RS9M5S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1500008229&sr=8-1&keywords=ecco+collin+thong). It has a breathable, perforated sole that provides great support, and comes in different styles for men and women. Most importantly, it looks just as good strolling the boardwalk as it does playing on the sand.
After a couple of hours playing in the water, the first thing you want is a bit of shade, an ice-cold drink and something to eat. That’s why you need a cooler. With a cooler, you don’t have to settle for warm drinks, melted chocolate bars and overpriced food from beachside vendors. You can fill your cooler with drinks, sandwiches, fruit, meat for the barbecue, and even ice cream, and you can be sure everything will remain cold all day long.
When buying a cooler for the beach, you really only have two main choices - a fabric cooler bag or a hard cooler box. Fabric coolers are lightweight and are great for a small group. Hard cooler boxes are heavier, but they usually hold more food and drinks and can also double as a seat. If you want something that can turn your beach trip into a real party, how about a Tunes2Go KoolMAX cooler with 350 watt speakers
(https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00V8C1OBS/ref=psdc_7073956011_t1_B01F0MKW0K)? It can keep up to 48 cans ice cold for up to 3 days, and comes with a Bluetooth digital music player and FM radio for listening to your favorite tunes while relaxing on the sand.
Mask and Snorkel
When we think of the perfect beach, three things come to mind - soft white sand, crystal clear water and tropical fish. If you’re lucky enough to be going to a beach where you can explore the ocean floor, you really need to take a mask and snorkel set. Old style separate mask and snorkels are fine for floating on the surface, although breathing through your mouth can be quite uncomfortable. For diving below the surface, we recommend investing in a full face snorkeling mask. These unique devices allow you to see and breathe underwater, just like on dry land.
One of the most popular snorkeling masks is the Tribord Easybreath Full Face Snorkeling Mask
(https://www.amazon.com/EasyBreath-Anti- Fog-Hypoallergenic- Silicone-
Snorkeling/dp/B00O64T7UA/ref=sr_1_1?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1500012458&sr=1-1&keywords=tribord+easybreath+snorkeling+mask). The anti-fog mask allows for natural breathing through the nose and out the mouth. It comes in a variety of sizes for both kids and adults, meaning anyone can have fun swimming with the fish.
A powerful sunscreen can help protect your skin, but what about your eyes? UV radiation can harm our eyes and may result in cataracts or even blindness. With direct sunlight entering our eyes, and indirect sunlight reflecting off the sand and water, the beach is probably the most dangerous place in the world for UV radiation. Even the Environmental Protection Agency recommends always wearing sunglasses at the beach.
When choosing sunglasses, it’s important to choose lenses that have high UV-A and UV-B protection. At Woodies, we guarantee lenses that offer 100% UV-A and UV-B protection in even the most intense lighting conditions. Why not check out our Zebra Wood Sunglasses with Polarized Green Mirror Lenses (https://woodies.com/collections/wood-sunglasses/products/zebra- wood-sunglasses-with- green-mirror- lens)? With their unique and stylish design, you can protect your eyes while still looking cool.