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How To Make a Windproof Beach Shade Canopy DIY Sun Shade

Making a DIY beach sunshade is easy, and you may already have all the materials. All you need are some long tent poles (20-25ft), fabric (a beach blanket or bed sheet works if you don't want to sew anything), fabric tape, some strong string, lower poles from a beach umbrella (preferably one that was destined for the trash) and a waterproof dry bag. Watch the video to see how easy it is. The only tool I used was a pair of scissors.



I have some improvements planned to allow the shade to be used in no wind and reduce the flapping and noise in high winds.


Beach umbrellas work great until the wind picks up, and then they collapse, invert, and fly away turning into tumbleweeds of death. The problem is that they act as a parachute, catching the wind. What if a sunshade could be supported by the wind like a kite? Shibumi sells a sun shade that is supported by the wind. If you want to support Made in the USA products and companies, then definitely buy one from them.


▼ WHERE TO BUY SHIBUMI SUN SHADE PRODUCT

Large Shibumi Sun Shade

Mini Shibumi Sun Shade


NESO sells beach shades that use vertical poles and sandbags to stretch out the fabric. The main advantage of NESO beach shades is that they work in no wind conditions, and they don't flap and make a ton of noise.


▼ WHERE TO BUY NESO BEACH SUN SHADE

▶ NESO Grande beach sun shade

 

No Sew DIY Beach Sun Shade - SMALL

Making a DIY beach sunshade is easy, and you may already have all the materials. All you need are some long tent poles (20-25ft), fabric (a bed sheet works if you don't want to sew anything), some strong string, and a waterproof dry bag. The only tool I used was a pair of scissors.


The simplest wind-powered sunshade to build requires no sewing. All that is necessary are the following parts, many of which you may already have. This one was built mostly from scrap. Tent poles were found in the dumpster at a campground, and the king-size sheet was retired but still works great as a sunshade. Paracord was already in the supply bin, and dry bags are used for kayak/SUP trips.


▶ Tent Poles - 20 feet in length, perfect for small sunshade (The length I used in the video) or https://amzn.to/3exRZTs

▶ Tent Poles - 25 feet in length (Length a large sun shade uses)

▶ Fabric (No sew) - A king-sized bed sheet works well for this

▶ Dry Bag - A dry bag can hold sand, dirt, rocks, or water

▶ Paracord - to attach the leading edge to the sandbag


Although it seems like a simple solution made from upcycled parts, you know who asked that we remove the video of how to make it because how-to instructions may be construed as patent infringement. Therefore no instructions will be provided and you must use your imagination to DIY. Beware though that even making one for your own use may be deemed to infringe on their patent, even if you have no plans to sell it. Making some significant and novel improvements to the design, or making it in a way that is not covered by their patent will create a new product that is doesn't infringe and can be patentable if there's no prior art.

 

No Sew DIY Beach Sun Shade - CORDLESS - MEDIUM

This beach shade design does not need a sandbag and cord in front to hold it up. Using an 11ft by 9ft beach blanket provides up to 100 square feet of shade. To hold it in the sand, I used 2 beach umbrella lower poles from beach umbrellas that had been thrown away. The poles are 20ft of heavy-duty aluminum tent poles, although fiberglass tent poles could also work. The aluminum poles are stronger and corrosion-resistant. The leading edge pocket pass-through for the tent pole was made using strong double-sided fabric tape, so no sewing was necessary.


Watch the video to see how to set it up and how it's made.


Since this design does not use the sand bag and cord to keep it up or any anchors, it is not protected by the Shibumi patents, and therefore can be DIY'd. There is prior art that exists of cordless shade designs like this that use poles in the ground for support. That prior art is even referenced by the Shibumi patent. Beach Shade LLC (who was previously sued for making a copy of the Shibumi that used the sand bag and cord tied to the leading edge) have recently (in 2023) started selling something similar to this design. Beach Shade LLC uses sand screws that are similar to beach umbrella sand screws instead of beach umbrella poles. The sand screws are shorter and don't provide as much support for the tent pole arch as the beach umbrella poles do. Therefore the arch flexes a lot more in the wind than this DIY design shown here.



▼ WHERE TO BUY PARTS:

Tent Poles - 25 feet in length (These are large diameter and strong. Leave out 3 sections to make it 20ft)

Fabric (microfiber beach blanket works great and is quieter than Silpoly rip-stop fabric)

Fabric Tape (No Sew)

▶ 2 beach umbrella lower poles (harvested from old/broken beach umbrellas. They get thrown away all the time at the beach)

Sand Gopher (Sand digger tool for beach umbrella hole)


▼ HOW TO MAKE

1 - Assemble the tent poles to 20ft length (leave out 3 sections if you bought the 25ft version).

2 - Cut off and remove storage pocket and corner sand pockets from the beach blanket. Leave the tie out straps in the corners of the blanket.

3 - Fold over about 2 inches of fabric on the front edge, and use the fabric tape to permanently hem it, leaving a pocket for the tent poles to slide through. No sewing necessary. Press down firmly in the taped area to make sure it is fully bonded. I walked along the edge a few times to make sure proper pressure was applied.



▼ HOW TO SETUP

1 - Slide the tent pole through the hem pocket you made earlier. Leave the fabric bunched up about 3 feet from one end.

2 - Use the Sand Gopher tool to make an angled hole for the beach umbrella lower pole (think about the angle that the arch will form when perpendicular to the wind).

3 - Slide the umbrella lower pole into the hole in the sand.

4 - Slide the end of the tent pole closest to the bunched up fabric into the umbrella pole in the sand.

5 - Bend the tent pole into an arch (perpendicular to the wind). Where the bare end of the tent pole meets the sand, use the Sand Gopher to dig another umbrella pole hole.

6 - Slide the umbrella lower pole over the bare tent pole end and insert into the hole in the ground.

7 - Slide the beach blanket fabric to center it on the tent pole arch.

8 - Use left over bungee cord to tie the leading edge beach blanket edges to the umbrella pole to keep the blanket stretched out.

9 - Enjoy!

10- If it needs to be repositioned because the wind direction has shifted, use the Sand Gopher to dig a new hole at one end, pull the umbrella pole out of the ground, and insert it into the new hole.

 

No Sew DIY Beach Sun Shade - CORDLESS - LARGE

The cordless beach sun shade can also be made as a large version by using 2 beach blankets and using the whole 25ft length of the tent poles. The sail will measure about 18ft x 10ft. This works well for low to medium wind. If the wind was really howling, I might be a bit worried and add a support pole for the top of the leading edge (as shown in the next design). But, when there's that much wind, no one will want to be on the beach anyways, because the wind will be picking up the sand and sandblasting you, which is not pleasant.


Large Shibumi Sun Shade on the left using it's sandbag and rope support. Large Cordless DIY Sun Shade on the right.

Large Cordless DIY Sun Shade shown with sandbags attached to the beach blanket corners to keep the sail pulled tight. This is another way to do it instead of tying the ends to the beach umbrella poles.


▼ WHERE TO BUY PARTS:

Tent Poles - 25 feet in length (These are large diameter and strong. Leave out 3 sections to make it 20ft)

Fabric (microfiber beach blanket works great and is quieter than Silpoly rip-stop fabric)

Fabric Tape (No Sew)

▶ 2 beach umbrella lower poles (harvested from old/broken beach umbrellas. They get thrown away all the time at the beach)

Sand Gopher (Sand digger tool for beach umbrella hole)


▼ HOW TO MAKE

1 - Assemble the tent poles to 25ft length using all the included sections.

2 - Cut off and remove storage pocket and corner sand pockets from the beach blanket. Leave the tie out straps in the corners of the blanket.

3 - Fold over about 2 inches of fabric on the front edge, and use the fabric tape to permanently hem it, leaving a pocket for the tent poles to slide through. No sewing necessary. Press down firmly in the taped area to make sure it is fully bonded. I walked along the edge a few times to make sure proper pressure was applied.

4 - Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the other beach blanket.

5 - Line up both beach blankets side by side. Apply 2 strips of tape on one of the edges of a beach blanket. Overlap the other beach blanket ontop of the tape and press down hard to make a strong bond.



▼ HOW TO SETUP

1 - Slide the tent pole through the hem pocket you made earlier. Leave the fabric bunched up about 3 feet from one end.

2 - Use the Sand Gopher tool to make an angled hole for the beach umbrella lower pole (think about the angle that the arch will form when perpendicular to the wind).

3 - Slide the umbrella lower pole into the hole in the sand.

4 - Slide the end of the tent pole closest to the bunched up fabric into the umbrella pole in the sand.

5 - Bend the tent pole into an arch (perpendicular to the wind). Where the bare end of the tent pole meets the sand, use the Sand Gopher to dig another umbrella pole hole.

6 - Slide the umbrella lower pole over the bare tent pole end and insert into the hole in the ground.

7 - Slide the beach blanket fabric to center it on the tent pole arch.

8 - Use left over bungee cord to tie the leading edge beach blanket edges to the umbrella pole to keep the blanket stretched out.

9 - Enjoy!

10- If it needs to be repositioned because the wind direction has shifted, use the Sand Gopher to dig a new hole at one end, pull the umbrella pole out of the ground, and insert it into the new hole.

 

No Sew DIY Beach Sun Shade - CORDLESS W/ CENTER POLE - LARGE

A center pole can be added to the large cordless DIY sun shade to support it better in high winds. This also eliminates the need for the beach umbrella poles dug into the sand at the ends of the tent poles. However, the tent pole ends will need to be weighted with sand bags to prevent them from pulling out and lifting off the sand.


Large Shibumi Sun Shade on the left using it's sandbag and rope support. Large Cordless DIY Sun Shade on the right using center pole support.

▶ Center Pole - I used 3 sections from old beach umbrella poles that were thrown away, which makes a 9ft pole. You could also use an extension pole or something like this https://amzn.to/3NsMUtW or this https://amzn.to/3qEKAXZ


 

Deluxe DIY Sun Shade - Large (Sewing Required)


This DIY sun shade will be larger and nicer, but requires sewing.


▼ WHERE TO BUY PARTS:

▶ Tent Poles - 25 feet in length - https://amzn.to/3sp8VPf

▶ Fabric (Sewing a simple hem required) - https://amzn.to/42UIktN

▶ Fabric (Sewing required) - 2 pieces of ~60in wide by 5-6 yards (for a sail size of 15-17ft by 9ft) of ~1.1oz ripstop polyester, like Silpoly. Do not use Nylon, it will deteriorate in the sun. Use polyester thread for sewing. https://ripstopbytheroll.com/products/1-1-oz-silpoly

▶ Dry Bag - A dry bag can hold sand, dirt, rocks, or water - https://amzn.to/3rWlX6C

▶ Paracord - to attach the leading edge to the sandbag - https://amzn.to/3EMe1fY


For 25 ft long poles, the size of the fabric sail should be about 15-17ft by 9ft. The Silpoly fabric comes in about 60" width. Sewing 2 widths of this fabric together will yield about a 9 ft width after hemming and making the pocket for the tent poles.


I would like to try a fabric that is more similar to what the NESO sun shades use, which is stretchy, and actually provides better shade and UV protection. The stretchy, polyester/spandex fabric will probably be quieter when flapping in the wind compared to the Silpoly like fabric. The cotton bed sheet I used was silent.

 

IMPROVEMENTS

How to make it easier to setup and move.

Tie a string between the legs at the ground to make it easy to move. This prevents the legs from spreading when you lift them out of the ground. That makes it easy to lift and reposition the pole legs if the wind changes direction.


Dry Bag For Sand Or Water

Using a waterproof dry bag allows for your choice of using sand or water. If the beach is hard packed, and you don't have a shovel, it can be difficult to fill the bag with sand. In that case it's easier to fill it with water. The dry bag I used is perfect for either and then can be used to store the sun shade when you're done (assuming it's dried out, or flip the bag inside out).



Dry bag is used to hold water instead of sand. Much easier to fill and empty.

Hard pack beach sand requires a shovel to fill the dry bag. A large mouth bag is much easier to fill.


Filling the dry bag with water is faster and easier than filling with sand.

Image taken on public beach on 10/9/2022

How to reduce flapping and noise

I haven't tried it yet, but adding strips of fabric at the trailing edge could help (cutting the trailing edge into strips), and something to break up turbulence on the leading edge, like how owl wings are made https://www.audubon.org/news/the-silent-flight-owls-explained


Tie-down points at the trailing edge corners can also be used. Tie these out to sandbags to stretch the sail out a little bit tighter to prevent it from flapping. Using a stretchy fabric like NESO canopies use may work better than the non-stretchy ripstop style fabric.


These pictures show how the Neso tent canopy works. Imagine a hybrid between this sun shade and the Neso tent, where the front is an arch, and the rear has tie-downs to prevent flapping or keep the shade up when there's no wind.







A softer, more flexible fabric, like what the NESO canopies use could work better at reducing flapping noise. A polyester/spandex blend fabric. The Neso fabric also has a higher UV rating than silpoly fabric and provided darker shade.


Adding spars (tent poles) to the edges with sandbags at the rear corners could tighten the sail and reduce flapping.


How To Make It Work In No Wind

A common complaint about this style sun shade is that it doesn't work when there's no wind. An easy solution to that is to tie out the rear sides (works best with stretchy fabric) or a double arch.


This is how a double arch would work (I didn't have another sandbag available to test, which is why we are holding it). This would also be nice to use to setup over a picnic table when there's no wind.

Dual arch shade improvement (Image taken on public beach 10/7/2022)

Dual arch shade improvement (Image taken on public beach 10/7/2022)

Using It Above Water Like In Tide Pools

If you enjoy chilling in the calm water of the tide pools, it works well there too (as long as the sail stays out of the water)




DISCLAIMER:

The products shown here were purchased by me with the intent to use them. I did not receive any free items, and I am not being paid or compensated for this review. The video, description, and comments may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link, I may receive a commission. Money earned helps to support my channel and bring you more informative videos about engineering, crafting, and DIY.








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