CoolCabana: Unspoken rules for controversial beach item

So you got one of those CoolCabanas for Christmas did you? Good for you!

You know who else got one? One of my colleagues, three friends, my neighbour, her mate, and the lovely lady that works at the local fruit shop.

I also have one. But not one of the high-priced ones. I have the Spotlight dupe and you know what? It’s not bad. But this isn’t a story about my own bargain buys, Kidspot reports.

Whether it’s a CoolCabana or a dupe from ALDI, Kmart, Big W, or Spotlight, basically the whole of Australia now owns one of these highly sought-after, large sun shelters so you’ve secured your spot in the summer cult family. Congratulations.

But there’s something that many beachgoers seem to have missed when they purchased one of these “summer must-haves”.

The rule book.

They’ve missed it because, well for starters, there isn’t one. But I’m here to tell you that when you set up on the sand, there is a certain code of conduct that would be in a rule book if there ever was one.

If you don’t follow it, you’re killing the vibe of every other person hoping for a nice day in the sun, so hear me out (… if you care about others).

Don’t hog the shore

I like to file this one under “common courtesy”.

Just don’t be selfish. The beach is there to share, so if you’re planning on setting up your oversized sun shelter, don’t be an arse and set up right on the shoreline.

Find a spot towards the back of the sandy area so you don’t obstruct the view of other families – they want to be able to see their children play in the sand and supervise them playing in the shallow water without you setting up camp right in front of them.

“I always try and set up away from others and I especially try and avoid plonking myself in front of another family. It’s just rude and inconsiderate,” Vanessa tells Kidspot.

But what if it’s busy Bondi and there really isn’t much room?

“If there’s no good spot, I either move further along the beach until there is one or I leave and go to another beach. It’s an effort but it’s about my own comfort too,” she adds.

Not planning on staying long? Leave the cabana at home

Sun safety is paramount, I get that. And absolutely cover yourselves up with all of the things (sunscreen, rashies, hat, etc) and ensure there is a shady spot for a rest out of the sun.

But if you’re planning on staying at the beach for an hour or less, ask yourself if it’s really necessary to pack the whole beach set up. This also applies if you go early in the morning or late in the arvo when the sun isn’t so harsh.

Do you really need that XXL cabana for such a short amount of time? Perhaps a small umbrella might do the trick for a little shade?

“I don’t see the point taking the whole beach kit if I’m just going for a quick dip. I’m sure others would appreciate me just arriving with a towel too,” Chris shares.

Dare to be different – with a unique design

I have personally lost count how many times my kids have gone to someone else’s shelter on the beach because, like everyone else, I got the blue-and-white striped memo.

It’s classic, stylish, and maybe even boasts a little bit of a French Riviera vibe, but it’s a tad embarrassing when everyone has the same design, no? Not to mention confusing AF when you’re trying to make your way back from the sea to your spot on a packed beach.

Dare to be different. Get the pineapple design or whatever it is that made its way onto the sale list because no one else wanted that print.

If you take it, USE IT!

Now this one really annoys me because what’s the point lugging those oversized bags across the soft sand if you don’t even use it?

I’m here to tell you that your shelter is not a “reserved” sign for a large area on the beach. And I’m not the only one who will tell you so.

“The other day I was at the beach with my kids when a family set up their shelter next to us … then they ran into the water and I didn’t see them under their set-up for the rest of our time there. We were there for a total of two hours,” Chris shares.

A shelter is there to protect YOU from the sun. Not the drinks you have in the Esky. If you take it, use it!

So next time you head to one of our many Aussie beaches, take a little time to consider others around you. It’s the least you can do when the whole beach is packed with the same bloody cabana.

This article originally appeared on Kidspot and was reproduced with permission

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