Can beachgoers use NC-made Shibumi Shades in SC’s Grand Strand?

JASON LEE/jlee@thesunnews.com
·2 min read

Shibumi Shades are becoming popular among beachgoers hoping to provide some relief for their families on hot sunny days.

But some cities along the Grand Strand have strict rules about shading devices during the tourist season, causing the company to note where their product is not allowed: Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach.

Shibumi Shades, which span 10 to 15 feet and fly overhead with two poles on either side, come in two sizes. The regular size offers 150 square feet of shade — enough for six people, according to the company’s website.

The miniature version covers up to three people and provides 75 square feet of shade. The shades are made in North Carolina, invented a few years ago by a trio of University of North Carolina grads whose families were beach regulars. But they haven’t been welcomed on all South Carolina beaches.

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, tents and other devices are not allowed in Myrtle Beach. The only exception are umbrellas up to 7.5 feet in diameter and tents for kids, which can be no more than 4 feet wide by 3 feet deep and 3 feet tall.

“Tents certainly are convenient, but they were so plentiful at peak times and locations that they blocked access and visibility to the water’s edge, affecting public safety and everyone’s enjoyment of our gorgeous beach,” according to the city’s website.

The city implemented this rule in 2014 ahead of the summer months.

During any other time of the year, shading devices are allowed on the beach. Tents up to 12 by 12 feet and less than 9 feet tall are allowed, but they must be 10 feet from each other, according to the city.

In North Myrtle Beach, similar rules apply.

“Umbrellas are the only shading device permitted on the beach May 15 through September 15 because of serious public safety concerns,” said Donal Graham, a city spokesman.

Umbrellas that are no taller than 7 feet 6 inches and shade 9 feet or less in diameter are legal, according to the city’s website.

These cities, along with two coastal towns in Delaware, are the only places that prohibit the use of Shibumi Shades, according to the company. Rehoboth and Bethany Beach only allow regular umbrellas.