Why every outdoor space needs shade protection in Colorado
From parks to playgrounds to luxury hotels, shade products are essential
By Lauren Glendenning
Brought to you by Superior Recreational Products
A love for outdoor spaces often can’t be deterred by the weather, but outdoor spaces with shade protection tend to be more used and enjoyed than those without.
Those who spend time outside are typically mindful of harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. We wear hats, sunscreen, sunglasses and often seek shade to protect our skin from sunburns, sun damage and skin cancer.
Higher SPF sunscreen products tend to give people false security when spending time out in the sun, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. This means they might stay outside in the sun for longer than they should, or fail to seek shelter or shade as often as they should.
That’s why sunscreen and shade are two of the most important components of an effective sun protection regiment.
A study in the journal American Public Health published in December reports that permanent, purpose-built shade can provide known amount of reduction to UV exposure.
“Shade is part of the built environment, which according to social-ecological models can have direct effects on behaviors — such as increasing individuals shaded, providing a visible cue for sun protection, and enabling access to protection without planning,” according to the study.
High-quality shade structures don’t have to detract from an outdoor environment, though, said Larry Hall, a marketing manager for Superior Recreational Products, which manufactures shade products for a wide variety of outdoor spaces.
Superior Recreational Products’ shade structures come in many shapes, sizes and more than 30 standard colors.
“High-quality shade structures keep away harmful UV rays while also adding interesting and sophisticated architectural elements to your space,” Hall said.
Are you thinking about shading an outdoor space such as a park, school, playground, resort or restaurant? Here are some of the places and reasons you should consider installing shades.
Parks, schools, playgrounds, pools
Outdoor spaces where dozens, or even hundreds, of people gather on a regular basis often lack the shading structures needed to keep people protected from the weather and sun. With creative structures and innovative designs, standing under hips, sails, cantilevers, crescents, and umbrellas has never looked more stylish.
“We design innovative, custom projets to fulfill various needs and wants,” said Brent Derbecker, SRP Shade & Shelter Brand Manager. “What makes us unique in the marketplace is our custom capabilities and ability to adapt shades to any need.”
Whether it’s a shade canopy to cover your weekend picnic or a shade sail to protect kids on their outdoor playground, these products cover the gamut in terms of style and protection.
“Providing shade in areas where students already participate in outdoor activities can afford passive protection from the sun’s damaging rays,” according to “Shade Planning for America’s Schools,” a study by the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Derbecker said SRP Shade often caters to industries such as parks and recreation departments because adding shade equates to an increase in usage of the space. And, thanks to an on-staff professional engineer, SRP Shade can make sure the designs meet local building codes.
“The ultimate end goal is to create an outdoor usable space where people can be comfortable,” he said. “Take a playground at noon on a summer day, for example. It’s 95 degrees and kids can’t get on the slides because they’ll get burned. So, in addition to sun protection, shades make outdoor spaces more comfortable and usable.”
Parking in the shade is one of the easiest ways to protect your vehicle from sunlight that can turn the interior of the car into an oven, as well as harm the car’s paint and engine, according to the State Farm Vehicle Research Facility.
“By avoiding direct sunlight, you’ll help keep your dash from drying and cracking,” according to State Farm.
A cantilever shade structure is perfect for protecting and cooling cars from the harsh sunlight. These are becoming more and more popular in the parking lots of hotels, resorts, auto dealerships, public parking, apartment and condominium complexes, shopping malls and other large outdoor parking areas.
From walkways to parking lots to pools, hotels and resorts have a duty to protect their guests from the sun while also providing amenities. Shade products can enhance the design and elegance of an outdoor space. With custom designs for every use and outdoor need, guests can enjoy a resort’s amenities — which include shade — without any distractions. These include shades near entrances and walkways that keep guests out of the elements, as well as chic shade designs surrounding leisure spaces and pool patios.
“We’re very design-driven with the end users’ needs in mind,” Derbecker said.
Portable Retractable Umbrellas are a new shade structure perfect for outdoor dining or poolside lounging. It’s rated and warranted for use in up to 35 miles per hour wind environments, and is fully portable and retractable, according to Superior Recreational Products. Other popular restaurant shades include custom cafe umbrellas, and commercial restaurant umbrellas.
“Rain or shine, your guests will be able to enjoy their meals, company, and conversation while dining under your outdoor café umbrellas,” says Superior Recreational Products.
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