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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 bed sheet works if you don't want to sew anything), some strong string, and a waterproof dry bag. Watch this 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.

No Sew DIY Sun Shade

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.


▶ Large Shibumi Sun Shade -

▶ Mini Shibumi Sun Shade -

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 (The length I used in the video) - or

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

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

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

▶ Paracord - to attach the leading edge to the sandbag -

Deluxe DIY Sun Shade (Sewing Required)

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


▶ Tent Poles - 25 feet in length -

▶ Fabric (Sewing a simple hem required) -

▶ 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.

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

▶ Paracord - to attach the leading edge to the sandbag -

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.


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).

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

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.

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)

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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