If you spent any time at the North Carolina beaches this summer, it’s likely you saw blue and teal sun canopies that might have appeared to be missing a couple of parts because the back flapped in the wind.
Actually they are designed to do just that.
It’s a Shibumi Shade and it was designed by three guys from Raleigh who got tired of lugging heavy umbrellas down to the beach every day.
They decided to come up with something lighter and easier to set up and take down, and they did.
Life doesn’t get much simpler than a Shibumi Shade. It consists of pole divided into pieces with a bungee cord running through the center, a blue and teal (it only comes in one color) nylon canopy and the nylon bag the whole thing is stuffed into. Once it’s set up, that bag, which is already attached to the pole, is filled with sand and used as a weight to stabilize the front.
The Shibumi shade has no rear poles or supports but depends on the wind to keep the back off the sand.
The inventors and owners of the Shibumi Shade company say that it doesn’t work well in extremely low winds (under 3 mph) or high winds. But the vast majority of the days at the beach the wind is just about right. The website states that the wind conditions that make the Shibumi Shade inoperable are not good days to spend time on the beach anyway, and suggests some other activities.
The three guys out of Raleigh made one for themselves in 2015, and before they left the beach they had orders for a bunch more. They have done no advertising, but if you go to the website there is a big notice across the top saying, “Shibumi Shade is temporarily out of stock! Please check back here this Friday, 8/16.”
The website notes that they have not been able to keep them in stock.
They aren’t cheap. The website lists them at $250. Since they can’t keep them in stock, that price is more likely to go up than down.
Sales are so good that all three are reportedly planning on quitting their day jobs and becoming full time Shibumi Shade makers.
It proves that old adage, laziness is the mother of invention.