How to behave at the beach

at the beach

Depending on your location, potentially the only annoying/frustrating thing about a beach trip is the genuine fear of hypothermia. You’d think those of us lucky enough inhabit warmer climes would have little to complain about. After all, we’ve got beautiful weather, a cool blue sea, magnificent gelato. What could possible go wrong? Other people. That’s what can go wrong. Yup, as usual, other humans are doing their best to spoil everything. So, in order to make sure you aren’t responsible for ruining someone else’s day by the seaside, here is our guide of how not to be a total dick at a busy beach:

1. No-one wants to listen to your shit music. People who take iPod speakers to the beach invariably play the kind of music that nobody else in the world would ever want to hear. Seriously. Bring a pair of headphones or just listen to the sounds of the waves, rather than subjecting everyone to your frankly disgusting taste in Euro Trance, or whatever the hell it is.

2. Being hit in the face by a rogue football is not fun. Hey, big groups of bros playing footy, how about you actually display some ball control skills, rather than essentially ruining the day for everyone within a 50 metre radius by continually booting it as hard and high as you can without giving a shit where it lands? Thanks. 

3. When you are preparing to leave, shake out your towel away from other people. Just because you don’t want to get sand in your car/bag doesn’t mean that the nice folk next to you want a little sandstorm over them.

4. If you smoke at the beach then don’t leave your cigarette butts in the sand. In fact, don’t smoke at the beach at all. It’s pretty gross.

5. Take your shit home with you. Yes, that includes beer caps/the wires off your champagne bottles (depending on your income).

6. Yes, the toilets are usually shit or non-existent or you have to walk a lifetime to get to one, but that doesn’t give you license to wee in the sea.

7. Just don’t ruin sandcastles. Simple.

8. Don’t stare at the boobs. Okay, it can sometimes be hard not to inadvertently glance at a topless lady.  It is not a sight one sees everyday, after all. And everyone compares their body with other people at the beach. But there is a difference between that and straightforward ogling. Just let people get their bodies out without gawping at them like a perv.

9. Parents who stand in the water with your baby in one hand and your iPhone in the other. Don’t be basic.

10. If you are one of those people who brings a beach umbrella with you, make sure you’ve properly secured it in the sand, otherwise the first gust of wind will see it impaling the person nearest to you like a scene from a Baywatch/Game of Thrones crossover show. Actually, that sounds like an awesome TV programme.

11. And of course, wear plenty of sunscreen. Obviously because you don’t want to die, but also because the person sitting behind you on the bus journey home doesn’t want to have your lobster-red, blotchy, blistered, peeling skin staring back at them.

Words and photo by Bobby Townsend, with input from Ruth Hodge, Addy Fong, Heather Vousden, Damon Collum and Chloe Mayne.