Shade sails are a fantastic flexible solution for targeted sun protection, but why do they have curves in the sides? The short answer is that shade sails needs the curves to tension it correctly, would not be shade sails without those curves in the sides. Instead, they would simply be large shapes of shade fabric hung up in an attempt to provide shade for an area, but they would be sagging in the middle, caught up by wind in every storm, and a source of pooling water. It sounds unsightly and impractical, right?

The curved sides of shade sails are an essential design element with a catenary from 5% to 7% of the length of the one side. Curves allow for the shade sails to be installed and tensioned properly. Have you ever tried to use a tarp or something similar to create a shady area? When you secured the tarp to the anchor points and applied tension, the edges of the tarp were stretched taut; however, the middle was always left hanging down and would catch the wind. When it rains, the middle of the tarp would also likely hold water, or worse – force the water flow toward the area where you need protection from the weather, instead of away from that area and away from buildings and other structures.

Ensuring that shade sails are installed and tensioned properly is important to the warranty and lengthening the life of your shade sails and getting the best return on your investment. The curves, also known as gores, allows for proper tensioning so that the shade sail does not move about in the wind.

The shade sail should be installed with some slope or incline, at least 1:6, with the slant flowing water away from the building or structure to prevent flooding and pooling water. Designing a hyperbolic parabola shade will combine slope and strength together for a stunning shade structure that will outlast almost any two dimensional shade sail design.

Wind and water in the southeast combine to become an extremely damaging force, but working with a knowledgeable design team at Creative Shade Solutions can help you implement a shade sail design that is commercial grade quality, will provide beautifully designed and eye-catching shade, and is virtually maintenance free!

Need some inspiration for your shade project? Check out our gallery where we showcase many of our 1000+ completed projects and 300k square feet of shade across Florida and Georgia. Let us show you what we can do for your project! Click here to get started on your shade sail design today!