This is but one installment of 37 Things a Man's Gotta Do This Summer, our annual compendium of everything worth seeing, doing, eating, drinking and generally making time for in your neck of the woods between now and September. Stay tuned all month for more.
The best thing about the beach is that you’re there.
The worst thing about the beach is that everyone else is.
This is what happens when you combine a limited resource (the three months of the year that water temps are palatable) with near-limitless demand (beaches are free!).
To help you prepare for the worst, we made a handy field guide: these are the 50 worst people you meet at the beach, ranked.
From space hogs to Speedos to people who take sports too seriously, steer clear of all who follow — along with the frisbee they just removed from their bag.
50. Anyone who thinks they're above boogie boarding
49. Lifeguards who insist on running in slow motion when there are lives to be saved
48. The guy trying to wheel his cooler through the sand
47. The guy in dark sunglasses who's definitely checking out your wife
46. People who try to turn their secluded Thai beach into a hippie utopia but leave their people for dead if it means they'll have to take them back to mainstream society for medical attention
45. People who monopolize the volleyball court (or anyone who’s not being inclusive with their beach games, really)
44. People who feed gulls and stray dogs
43. Mr. “Hey — need me to get your back?”
42. Adults who built sandcastles
41. Children who destroy them
40. Whoever got sand in the potato salad
39. The low-key overdrinker (“I think I’ve had a bit too much sun”)
38. The guy who doesn’t bring any of his own stuff and needs to use all yours and eat all yours and smoke all yours
37. The guy who keeps saying, “It’s too hot”
36. Anyone who plays frisbee on a crowded beach, regardless of skill level
35. The shirtless guy who literally never stops flexing
33. People who dig holes and then hide them under towels
32. The boy who cried “Shark!”
31. The guy who wants everyone to try to swim out to the buoy
30. Aggressive food-and-drink vendors walking around with a cooler and repeatedly asking if you'd like a “cold wata, cold beer!”
29. Parents who let their kids swim naked when they're definitely too old to be swimming naked
28. The guy who needs it to be an event when he "goes in" on a cold water day
27. Dudes who go “fishing”
26. People who race to get a spot as soon as the beach opens
25. The guy who clearly lives in a tent at the beach and showers naked in the ocean
24. Friday: “I don’t burn.” Saturday: Wakes up lobster red, wears a sweatshirt.
23. The guy who is insistent about keeping score in paddleball
22. People who set up a full-fledged campsite for a three-hour beach day
21. The cops on ATVs telling people to get out of the water even though they KNOW everyone is going straight back in as soon as they leave
20. The guy who carries one thing from the car
19. The guy flying the airplane with a banner about your free credit score
18. Lifeguards who take their job way too seriously
17. The group with the boombox blasting Top 40
16. Instagram “models” doing “casual” beach poses
14. Topless grannies
13. Bottomless grampies
12. People who aggressively shake off their towels, spraying sand on everyone within a 10-foot radius
11. Upwind smokers
10. People who don’t properly secure their beach umbrellas
8. Underage drinkers crushing vodka slushies who get increasingly boisterous throughout the day
7. The guy with the acoustic guitar who doesn’t quite know how to play it
6. People who step on other people’s towels
5. The guy trying to discreetly snap photos of women
4. The couple egregiously making out under their towels
1. The Cobra Kai