4 unmissable tips to keep your parasol upright in the wind

Wind is your parasol’s biggest enemy. The consequences can be terrible – as these true life stories show:

Opt for strong and solid parasols

Of course, every supplier will tell you that his parasols are strong. Until you start to use them. Don’t let the wool be pulled over your eyes.

  • Ask the supplier why his parasols are stronger than everyone else’s. In this respect, the diameter of the pole and the profile of the ribs are important factors. The thickness of the tubing also plays a role.
  • Many cheap parasols have a pole in two parts (split-pole?). The point where the two parts join together is sometimes a weak spot. This is where this type of parasol is most likely to buckle or break.
  • The material used is also crucial. Some types of wood bend or snap more easily than others.

Ask for a wind guarantee – in writing

Wind speed is measured on the Beaufort scale. Most suppliers are reluctant to say how many Beaufort their parasols can withstand. But as a catering professional you have a right to demand this information. A good supplier will confirm this in writing – so don’t be afraid to ask.

  • Ask your supplier to provide a wind guarantee on paper.
  • Never leave your parasols unattended in an open position. You never know what the weather is going to do. If there is no-one around, close the parasols until someone arrives.
  • Take common sense precautions and avoid risks. Always close your parasols if the wind gets up. If it is so windy, nobody will want to sit on the terrace anyway.

Keep an eye on the weather forecast

How can you know when strong winds are expected?

  • The simplest way is to follow the weather forecasts on TV and radio. But these are not always accurate. You also need to keep a visual check on what the weather is doing when you are out on your terrace. If you have any doubts, close the parasols.
  • Install the AlertsPro app on your smartphone. This will send you a warning if bad weather is expected in your area. Also ask your staff to install the app, so that they can quickly close the parasols if a weather warning is received.
  • Don’t always take weather forecasts at face value. They often give average wind speeds, but it is the strongest gusts that will blow over your parasols.

Don’t be afraid to choose a parasol without an air vent

Some parasols have an air vent in the top of the canopy above the mast. Its purpose is to allow wind to escape, thereby reducing the risk of your parasol being blown over. It sounds logical, but I have strong doubts about whether it really helps. The size of the vent in relation to the size of the parasol is too small and the wind seldom blows from underneath the parasol in an upwards direction.

  • Most wind blows horizontally and therefore exerts pressure on the canopy roof from the side. In these circumstances, an air vent is useless. Even worse, the loose flap of the air vent will catch more wind, making your parasol less stable and more likely to fall.
  • The makers of large parasols (4 metres and more) usually work without an air vent. If the canopy fabric is stretched tight, the wind has less of an effect on it. And if your parasol is well anchored, it will not fall over.
  • Storm damage in spite of all your precautions? Sometimes, storm damage can be claimed against your fire insurance. Check your policy or ask your insurance agent.

Pick the right parasol
(and your terrace will be packed)

50 parasol tips for the catering world

The book of 'parasologist' Pierre Christiaens for the
catering professional who wants to get more out of his business.

Pierre Christiaans

"Parasologist" and author

How can you get more out of your terrace? Why can the right parasol help to make your terrace more pro table? And how do you choose the right parasol?

In this book, ‘parasologist’ Pierre Christiaens offers insights based on his more than 25 years of experience and know-how in the world of parasols for catering businesses. With dozens of awards, his company Symo Parasols is most highly acclaimed parasol producer under the sun.

Pierre is most proud of his honorary title as ‘Maestro dell’Artigianato’ (Master Craftsman) of the City of Rome.

Symo Parasols also created the famous Sywawa ‘Sunbelievable’ design parasols.

In 2007, Unizo nominated Pierre Christiaens as the most creative entrepreneur of the year.

This book allows you to benefit from that creativity and entrepreneurial skill.
Because with the right parasol you can get so much more out of your business.