Basic Bitchin: Respecting The Rules Of The Beach


Summer officially started on Friday and I’ve seen some hurtful takes about the most wonderful time of year. People complain about being sweaty and well, actually I think that’s the only complaint. Summer, especially on the east coast, it all about frying your skin and going deep enough in the ocean every weekend day until it’s finally the perfect water temperature but the air temperature is now too cold to enjoy it. At least that’s what it is for a girl born in the Ocean State who has been surrounded by the world’s best beaches since I was in diapers.


It goes by in the blink of an eye, and football is there to soften the blow. I always vow to never miss a good beach day, and if I could choose how to go out it would be while the sun sets at golden hour on a New England beach. I would also accept Hawaii, California, maybe even Florida, depending on the city. I realize not everyone has 30 years of beach etiquette training to understand the do’s and don’ts of the sand turf.

This was the first official beach weekend of the summer and I strayed down to my neighborhood beach both days. I’m lucky enough to live within a 10 minute drive to the most basic beach around. While all walks of life break out the Tommy Bahama chairs at my beach, it’s become predominately basic bitches and fuckboys–the two most feared populations for my age group. As I was trying to solidify my base tan using a strict combination of SPF 12 oil on my body and 30 lotion on the face, I noticed we’re struggling as a society to uphold the standards of beach life.

Here are the least tolerable things you can do while enjoying a relaxing day at the beach:

Blasting your personal, curated Summer playlist to the highest volume through a construction level speaker system. 


A good beach soundtrack can make or break the entire beach day. If you’re sitting around with a few or 20 of your closest pals I can see the desire to have a roller coaster of a musical journey to set the vibe. You have to have some upbeat DJ Khaled/Justin Bieber jams and a few female empowerment songs to get the girls to do a group boom cheers of their Spiked Seltzer’s. But unless headphones are completely out of the question to avoid looking like the social hermit you really are, keep the volume at a respectable level. No one wants to hear your Florida Georgia Line bullshit from 3 lifeguard chairs down. We did not sign up for oceanside karaoke featuring you and your 6 college frat buddies taking a water break from their spike ball game.  Speaking of spike ball…

Starting a petition for a separate roped off area for all spike ball games.


I have never seen anything in my life more intense than a group of bros playing spike ball. I’m not even talking about a burst of energy for an hour of aggressive masculinity arguing about if a small tennis ball hit the sand before you hit it. Seriously I listened to this exact argument today, except it was around 615pm. Guys don’t play a game or two of spike ball and go back to their beach chair for a snack. Those assholes play the entire day. They go from spike ball, to frisbee, to just a good ol’ game of catch.

For some reason it feels like I can pick the most remote spot on the beach and as soon as I close my eyes for an afternoon nap a game of spike ball will break out 3 inches from my head. We can’t let our guards down at the beach anymore. I’m always on guard for a ball of any shape angling directly towards my nose, Jan Brady style. Would it kill anyone to just set up a roped off area at every beach for ball specific games? I know some of you are just trying to impress us ladies with your D3 lacrosse athletic prowess but I can promise you I’m thinking about my tan lines. I feel the same way about body surfing and the rules of the water. Learn how to sit aimlessly in a chair for 5 hours, it’ll change your life. Beach activities are for children.

Walking by people laying on a towel with flip flops that fling sand everywhere.

I’m a strict chair lady at the beach with at least 4 recliner setting but sometimes you have to tan your back (I guess). When you’re lying on a towel there’s no telling just how much sand you could get on you by just laying there. And not because of the wind, because any time anyone walks by in flip flops, especially dads wearing dad sandals, they dump a load of hot beach sand into the wind into your face. You can see it from a mile away, someone trudging along with a beach chair, a cooler and a bag of sandcastle toys and you brace for impact. It’s a literal sand-wich–you have to floss for 2 days to get all of it out. No one says sorry when they do it either–a complete lack of human regard. It’s ridiculous there not been a Shark Tank pitch for flip flops that don’t impale people’s eyeballs when you walk by.

Where it’s acceptable to shake out your towel.


Much like exiting an airplane from front to back and waiting to stand up until it’s your turn, there are certain unspoken rules of the road in this here world. Another universal truth, or so I thought, was that you need to walk to the shoreline or at least 25 feet away from another person when you shake out your towel. The biggest complaint I’ve always heard about the beach is the sand. It’s splitting hairs, but no one likes to be covered in fancy dirt in a vicious attack with a towel. My parents always taught me to walk as close to the water as possible and go to town. Some of you weren’t so lucky, and it shows.

Attracting seagulls in any way.


We’ve all witnessed the unfortunate ransacking of an innocent bystanders beach site bag of chips while they aimlessly take a dip in the whale sperm pool. No one is brave enough to get involved, of course, when the crowd of beach pigeons chokes on their Doritos one by one. Watching people come back to their chairs after a chip robbery could be a hit TV show. Some people act like nothing has happened, some lash out at whoever left the chips out, and some are just a little sad that chips went to waste (definitely not my people). You’ve got that very specific “yeah sorry I saw the seagulls attacking your chips but I couldn’t do anything about it sorry for your loss” look if you’re a real professional. But the people who actively invite a full community of seagulls to the beach day deserve life’s worst punishment. Do not throw any bread crumbs in your general vicinity–it will cause a catastrophic bird battle. Everyone thinks it’s cute for the first 2 pieces and then the millions of seagulls get the seagull feeding alert and immediately head to the same spot. Drastically increases the chances of getting shit on by a seagull, and it’s not fair to put others in danger like that.

Keep the ocean PDA to a minimum.


Just because your underwater doesn’t mean it’s okay to have sex in public. Some of us enjoy the simple things in life like tilting your head back into the salt water of the ocean, far away from the social pressure to have a thriving Instagram relationship with regular sex. When the twisted tea starts a flowin and the UV index is at its highest, it’s easy to get caught up in the attire and start dry humping with the fishes. Girls at the beach have never been wearing less and for some reason guys are showing more and more upper thigh. It’s disgusting. You’re halfway there, I get it. But literally everyone is watching your Bo Derek porno. There’s no TV’s, your phone overheats–the only thing to do is people watch. You will end up on someone’s Instagram story, big sunglasses or not.

*This list is subject to change to be continually updated on the latest beach practices.*




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