Residents argue for alternative shading devices, law enforcement advises against

The Myrtle Beach Advisory committee held a meeting to discuss a trial for Shibumi Shades, a wind driven shading device.
Published: Nov. 16, 2022 at 11:27 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Law enforcement has been educating beachgoers on the umbrella-only policy since it came out in 2014.

Officers issued nearly 2,000 ordinance violations to beachgoers using tents, canopies and other shading devices.

Residents and non-residents voiced their concerns about umbrellas and their belief that Shibumi Shades should be allowed.

One person argued that as a single, elderly woman, umbrellas were hard for her to place into the ground on her own. Another argued that they have a family history of skin cancer, and umbrellas don’t give them the coverage they need on the beach.

Another woman said that umbrellas were unsafe.

“You know we have had a lot of problems with people getting injured with umbrellas,” said Shirley Perry. “Impalement. I had a personal experience with a family member where wind took one right towards a family member that I had to pull out of the way.”

Myrtle Beach law enforcement believes Shibumi Shades could cause more harm than good.

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Myrtle Beach only allows umbrellas on the beach.

If we start changing stuff now, it’s never going to end,” said Master Cpl. Kevin Lark. “And I can’t allow that to happen.”

The founders of Shibumi argue that their shading device could help the problem.

“We have seen from 99% of other beaches that they never have had any sort of issues with allowing Shibumi Shades on their beaches,” said Dane Barnes, the co-founder. “So from our experience and the experience of beach governments across the east coast is that by allowing the shade that everyone wants, enforcement tickets actually go down. Not up.”

In a 4-2 vote, the committee made a motion to table this amendment and rewrite the proposal to ask the city if they can offer code enforcement officers to focus on the ordinances for the beach rather than having officers or lifeguards do it.