In the old days in China, the wealth of a person was measured by how many people carried their umbrella. Some umbrellas reportedly required the muscle power of 24 people. That’s rich. When it comes to a resort or park treating their guests like royalty, you also want to make sure you use high-quality commercial beach umbrellas.
The reasons? Liability, safety and durability. Numerous lawsuits have been filed by people who have been injured by flying umbrellas. In New York State, a woman was awarded $200,000 after a beach umbrella hit her in the head and she suffered a gash that required 13 stitches and was left with permanent nerve damage.
In 2010, two people were hurt in Naples, Fla., when they were hit by an improperly secured table umbrella during high winds. One woman was hit on the head and was left with a permanent injury with a herniated disc in her neck.
In Miami Beach, a beach umbrella from a vendor took off in the wind and stabbed a woman in the back. A similar injury took place in Ocean City, MD.
WIRED magazine reported that so many umbrellas fall apart each year that a person could literally build 25 Eiffel Towers with the discarded pieces.
The point is, when it comes to commercial beach umbrellas or any umbrellas used for commercial or public entities, you don’t want to be cheap when it comes to the quality factor. And you don’t want to go to retailers for the general public looking for a tough, high-grade umbrella.
Parts of a commercial beach umbrella
You would think an umbrella would be a simple device. They are and they aren’t. The basic components include a pole, fabric, ferrule top, open cap, ribs, joints, rivets, end tips, runner, stretcher, center ball spring and pointed tip. Make sure this hardware is commercial grade quality. One strong gust pounding one weak piece can bring the whole thing down. On top of someone’s head.
There are different mechanisms used to open large commercial beach umbrellas and other commercial umbrellas such as picnic table umbrellas. Those devices can either be crank lift, pulley lift or manual push up lift. There is even a motorized remote lift device that certainly makes life easier.
Another key component of a superior commercial grade umbrella is the fabric that is used. Think about it, unlike family or residential umbrellas, commercial umbrellas are used much more frequently. They literally need to withstand a full season of being out in the blistering sun, pounding rain and wicked wind just about every day of the week.
This causes a lot of stress on the fabric. That is why you want to choose sturdy, heavy-gauge vinyl or marine-grade fabric, which is reportedly the sturdiest fabric around. When you consider what a boat has to endure when it comes to harsh weather and salt water, you can see why marine grade material for a commercial beach umbrella is something to consider.
Finally, there is the base. With commercial beach umbrellas, you can stick the pointed end of the pole into the ground. But to truly secure a top-grade, commercial outdoor umbrella, especially with picnic table umbrellas, use a heavy base. Bases come in several varieties. There are cast iron bases, bases made with concrete and lighter bases made with aluminum that can be filled with sand or gravel to secure them.
The main focus should be on making sure the commercial umbrellas are sturdy enough to withstand a windstorm, the fabric is dense enough to repel rain and block harmful rays of the sun and the base is secure enough to keep the umbrellas from becoming a harmful missile.
History of commercial outdoor umbrellas
While an umbrella is a simple device, it is one of those devices that have withstood the test of time. Not many items that were in use nearly four thousand years ago are still in use today. A umbrella is one of them.
The word “umbrella” originated in Latin from the word “umbra” meaning shade or shadow (so shade was one of the first solutions this invention tackled, not rain as most would think).
You can see references to umbrellas in artifacts in China, Greece and Egypt.
Umbrellas were very popular with the Chinese for two thousand years and reportedly it was back during the Cao Wei dynasty that the folding umbrella was first invented. Those umbrellas were made with silk and then paper. They were treated with wax or lacquer to keep the water out.
Keeping that long tradition, by most accounts, China is the umbrella capital of the world. In just one city, Shangyu, there are reportedly more than one thousand umbrella manufacturers.
The ubiquitous umbrella has been recorded in art and literature for decades. What was one of the first things that Robinson Crusoe did when he was stranded on that deserted island ringed with beautiful beaches? He made an umbrella.
As you can see, at the end of the day, a simple umbrella is a vital part of the outdoor landscape. For resort owners or site managers, the quality of an umbrella will play a critical part in the success of your guests’ or visitors’ experience on your property. Make sure you choose sturdy commercial beach umbrellas or commercial grade picnic table umbrellas made with the right materials.
Note: New advancements in fabric technology makes these umbrellas tougher than ever for outdoor environments. Call the Park and Facilities Catalog today to see how you can add durable commercial umbrellas that can weather the elements.
To read more about the history of umbrellas and their use by royalty and religious leaders, visit this page.
See our complete Buyer’s Guide to Commercial Umbrellas.
Note: If you are in a rush, give us a call. We can quick ship certain models of commercial beach umbrellas and get them to you with faster lead times.
Great information about the need to make sure that an umbrella is well built and will withstand strong winds. But as the saying goes “A chain is as strong as it’s weakest link”. Nowhere in your article do you address the issue about anchoring a beach umbrella. The most common method to secure a commercial beach umbrella or a resort umbrella is to simply bury it 18″ into the sand. This DOES NOT prevent uplift winds from laughing these heavy umbrella umbrellas down the beach. Finally, we have solved the problem by making a Patio Umbrella Stand portable and easy to setup on the beach. Like it’s patio cousin the beachBUB uses weight and an anchor point to hold the umbrella in place. However, unlike most Patio Stands which weigh 50 to 75lbs the beachBUB weighs 120 lbs and the beachBUB ULTRA BIG weighs an amazing 170 lbs when filled. The amazing thing is that weighs less than a pound and is the size of a paperback book. It can be used by ages 5 to 85 years old and has been tested on an 11 ½ foot commercial TUUCI Ocean Master Umbrella in winds exceeding 40 MPH.