I play basketball on a great team, but it doesn’t mean I don’t do anything else. I am an athlete and love to try out other sports. I have a particular fondness for beach volleyball and am always willing to make a whole day out of it. Recently, I had the chance. A few of us decided on a group outing at the shore. One of the attractions is beach volleyball. I prefer it to surfing or body boarding. It is what I call sun and fun. I was the first one to say yes. We picked a day and hoped for good weather, but it wouldn’t matter. Even on a cloudy day, beach volleyball is exciting. So, you don’t get a tan! You do get exposure. As a woman, I comply with the attire that female players wear. You have seen the skimpy outfit the gals wear during the Olympics and other tournaments. It’s fine with me. It denotes a healthy outdoor activity that brings visible fitness to the body for all the world to see.

We play for hours, but often need a food and beverage break. Thus, we like to set up “camp” on the sand near the net complete with beach chairs and a large beach umbrella for much-needed shade. Otherwise your snacks get too hot. I do have a cooler for drinks which helps, but the umbrella is a godsend on a realty sunny day. One or two people can sit under the average umbrella and we put down large beach towels to mark our spot. If other players are in the water, I read a good book. They call it a beach book since it is light and fun. No heavy plot or deep characters to bog you down. I can also listen to music if I prefer or do both at one time.

You can take your own striped, eye-catching beach umbrella or rent one near the parking lot. I bought one some time ago as I love trips to the ocean. It makes for faster entry to the volleyball area since you don’t have to stop and pay the rental fee. You get it out of the trunk, or back of the van if that is what you drive, and you are off in no time at all. You want to do this because the volleyball courts get taken by midday at most beaches. We try to arrive early to avoid the rush. Sometimes I throw the umbrella on the sand next to the cooler and towels and set it up later after we have secured a court. You can see that I believe in advanced planning.

If you love the sun and sand, get a sturdy, durable beach umbrella that won’t let you down. You don’t want it to fail like rain umbrellas that easily get bent or turn inside out. Most beach umbrellas are made from wood so that the mechanism that opens and closes them slides with ease. Mine works to perfection.