Nine things to please stop doing at the beach

Even without the pandemic, and its litany of social distancing sins, there are plenty of obnoxious beach behaviours that make us wish we’d gone to the swimming pool instead.

If you really love to be beside the seaside, please don’t do these things.

1. Playing loud music
Here’s a list of places you shouldn’t play music out loud: trains, restaurants, museums, libraries, funerals, job interviews, the in-laws’ house while saying grace, movie screenings of A Quiet Place, and the beach. We know your ‘summer tunes’ playlist gets you hot to trot, but at any given moment a good 40 per cent of beachgoers are on their sunbeds having a snooze.

2. Inappropriate staring

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Wearing sunglasses is not a free pass to lechery. People can still tell.

3. Throwing sand around
Sand is light (duh), and when airborne can easily lodge itself in the eyes, hair, and sandwiches of people several metres away. Some disturbance is inevitable, but would you please not shake your towel out when we’re downwind.

4. The constant photoshoots

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We know full well that the Instagram post that got you hundreds of ‘likes’ was not candid, because we saw you framing, posing, and reshooting for what seemed like a week. We also know it’s technically none of our business, but there’s something oddly obnoxious about your place of leisure being turned into someone else’s catwalk.

5. Not bothering with clothes
We know, your body is a temple and clothes are a prison, but nudist beaches exist for a reason, and we’re sure you can stomach some tighty-whities when social convention dictates. We respect the courage required to take your kit off in front of an entire unsuspecting shoreline. We’d still rather you didn’t.

6. Damaging other people’s sandcastles

If it’s not your sandals it’ll be the unstoppable march of the tide, but our sandcastles deserve to be built to completion, photographed for posterity, and allowed to dissemble with dignity. Nothing lasts forever, but only Poseidon has the right to take our work before its time.

7. Littering
Littering is a universal sin, but at the seaside it’s perhaps at its most harmful. It hurts the good wildlife (dolphins, turtles, fish), while attracting the bad (aggressive gulls), and since sand semi-covers everything, anything you drop could be stepped on by a child.

8. Having a great physique and knowing it

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We see you there, lathering sunscreen like it’s baby oil, chest puffed out like a pigeon on graduation day, striking a pose reminiscent of Michelangelo’s David. All that time in the gym, all that time in front of the mirror – only to faintly irritate people you don’t know.

9. Being drunk and disorderly
Booze on the beach presents a unique danger to social harmony. Firstly, everyone’s on holiday, so self-censoring is at a minimum. Secondly, drinking can start early in the day with little to no guilt. Thirdly, when you combine alcohol with a touch of the sun, things can quickly get weird.

How often do you go to the beach? Is there anything else you would add to the list?

– With PA

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Written by Luke Rix-Standing


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