What’s Your Beach Style?

Find your tribe and let it be known once and for all: which kind of beach-goer are you?


The Cub Scout


You are deaf to the sound of an elbow-pressed horn after countless summers of being the last one ready, but the last laugh is always yours; you’re better prepared for the beach than a lifeguard.

In your possession are the following: Cooler. Ice. Cups. Towels — more than one. Multiple sunscreens to even out various tan lines, plus beach games, portable speakers, a portable charger, the aux chord!, snacks, trash bags, magazines, a change of clothes, a change of swimwear, hair ties, tampons and probably your great aunt’s dead parrot.

Yea, it’s annoying and that #schleplife takes a toll. But you’ve never had to leave the beach on a perfect day for anything, not even the bathroom. It’s called the motion of the ocean for a reason, you know.

The Umbrella Chaser

The Umbrella Chaser

You can’t seem to figure out how the stupid folding chair works. Or how to keep an umbrella stake planted firmly in the ground. Your towel always has sand on it so you’re constantly trying to shake it out — which gets in your mouth, your neighbors eyes, or does that annoying thing with the wind where you can’t get the towel back the fuck down. 

You’re also always chasing something — a child, a sibling, a loose dog, a shirt. But you kind of look at this way: chasing counts as working out, right?

Sun Worshipper

Sun Worshipper

The only shade you don’t mind is the kind thrown at you from those who stand upon their soap boxes and present, for the thousandth time, the dangers of UV rays and the benefits of sunscreen.

First of all, you know.

Second, hello, you’re wearing SPF 4.

Third, you’re a quarter Mediterranean.

Yes, exposed sunrays are “bad for you,” but what life pleasure isn’t? Sugar. Deodorant. Zumba. Water. Nothing’s safe! You spend the majority of your year living like a Hall Monitor and declare this your one indulgent thing.

And P.S. The sun just changed. Time to rotate.

The Beach Napper

The Beach Napper

A less brazen cousin to the sun worshipper, you simply love a good nap. Where others find it impossible to stay awake in a moving vehicle, the beach knocks you out faster than a frisbee to the head. Sometimes you’re properly SPF’d up, other times you don’t even remember sitting down on your towel — just straight Zzz-ing before your friend has the chance to ask you, “Hey! You don’t mind if we bury you in sand then Instagram it, do you?”

The Sun Avoider

The Sun Avoider

You’ve been burned before, and you won’t let it happen again. Off to the beach you go with your giant hat, long sleeved rash guard, Zinc-covered nose and SPF-I-didn’t-even-know-that-exists. Though sensitive to the sun, you’re immune to such quips as, “What’s the point of going to the beach?” The point, you remind the haters, is to enjoy the shit out of summer. And if you want to do it in Morph Suit, so be it.

(That you’re the only one not glowing a fine shade of tomato red in all the group pictures hasn’t escaped you, either.)

The Beach Athlete

The Beach Athlete

First of all, you’re superhuman. Or you’re a toddler. But to have the energy to run, jump, bump, set and spike despite 90 degree heat and friction and sand is truly something of a marvel. But you beach athletes simply cannot sit still. Naps are a waste of time. You’d rather play Can Jam. Or that trampoline thing. Or football. Any casualty is counted as a badge of honor, and yea, you’ve gotten into an argument with a 10-year-old over an alleged foul. But per your motto: you snooze, you lose.

The Party Crew

The Party Crew

You don’t have “squad goals” because you are squad goals. Your crew rolls 10 deep at all times. You’re never not surrounded by a cloud of Spotify Summer Playlists and you’re all remarkably generous with one another over music despite the constant possessive declarations: this is my song!

Team Motto: will you take our picture?

The Early Riser

The Early Riser

Despite the fact that your summer share is packed with not just one Cub Scout but the entire Boys and Girls Club of America, you have zero time to wait because there’s only so many sunny hours in the day. But truly, it’s not about the sun for you — you’d go to the beach in a tear-away track suit if the occasion called. Rather, it’s about the real estate, and you, like my ex boyfriend, just need space.

Illustrations by Autumn Kimball


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  • Total sun avoider here lol but I used to be a worshipper.

  • AlexaJuno

    <—– Sun Avoider. I'm half Irish which means I can only go to the beach in a burqa.

    Flashback to last summer in Aruba, hot natives wearing little more than two band-aids and a cork as far as the eye can see. Cut to Alexa, slathered in baby strength sunblock (so strong you don't even get hot while wearing it) in a one piece and a long sleeved swim shirt. I looked like a lost SeaWorld trainer.

    • Aydan

      sublime descriptions!

  • Oddly enough, I am none of these in particular. I am part sun avoider but also part sun worshiper. I’d like a tan but only given that I’ve slathered on my SPF & my face is covered. I’m never prepared & always forget something. I hang around with a friend for a while, maybe take a dip in the salty ocean, then bounce out of there. :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

    • Selina Moses

      This is me also

  • Cub Scout all the way!

    There is no other way to go to beach…I never leave the how without the essentials. You just never know what you’re going to need!

  • Amelia Diamond

    I am … sometimes sun worshipper (usually over eagerly) which turns me into sun avoider. I am ALWAYS the cub scout, which turns me into the umbrella chaser. i’ve been known to be the party crew but will deny it in court, and I am NEVER. EVER. the beach athlete.

    • Lua Jane

      It’s simply not in taurean nature to be the beach athletes. We prefer finer things in life.

  • Allie Fasanella

    my mom tries to make me the beach athlete but usually i’m the sun worshipper and then subsequently the sun avoider. usually i’m just the person that reads in a chair and spiciously will look up over her book periodically to spot people peeing in the ocean.

    • Allie Fasanella

      p.s kimball killin it again as always you magical creature. like when can we hang out? #kimBALLER

      • Allie you made my day! And the # might be the best I’ve heard!

  • babs

    I’m a cub scout, beach athlete, and sun worshipper in one. Pro tip: always take a tub of pineapple and/or some kind of melon. Popularity guaranteed.

  • Buying a comfortable beach chair changed my life. I went to the beach this past Sunday and did not find sand above my ankles. Also, significantly more comfortable than the park benches in NYC parks.

  • I’m a little bit sun worshipper, a little bit early riser. But I wear sunscreen 🙂

  • Ilana Dwek

    I am definitly a sun worshipper+early riser!! where i live its sunny 9 months of the year, so im always tanned haha. Learned it from my grandmother that used to tan with Diet Coke when there was no sunscreen, so i guess it runs in the family!!

  • I’m somewhere between the Sun Worshipper and the Cub Scout, to be honest! I love just basking in the sun, but I also enjoy being prepared by brining ample reading material, a large water bottle, extra sunscreen, and some kind of heat-friendly snack. Even us sun addicts get hungry!

    • Jessica Peterson

      The sun makes us hungry!

  • daniellak

    I used to be a bit of a beach athlete, but I’ve transformed fully into a beach napper (I sleep anywhere!!) with a hint of sun avoider (hat+long sleeve shirt+50 spf)

  • Sun worshipper! Im obsessed with being at Bondi in the summer

  • Lua Jane

    I am bipolar mix of sun worshipper and avoider. Both during different life phases and on an average beach day basis. I am a big part mediterranean, and have always enjoyed sun, tanned evenly untill I developed an abrupt sun allergy at the not so tender age of 23. My consequent summers in Croatia were spent looking like a cast member of American horror story The Coven, with the huge rimmed black straw hat long black pareo, glasses that would put Jackie O to shame, and a full body “embalming” as someone once put it into SPF 50 before even setting foot outside. But fortunatelly as abruptly as it came allergy went away after few years and I enjoy sun again in it’s full glory. I wear SPF30, though, because skin doctors say we should, but tan nonetheless. I just can’t spend an entire day just lounging on a beach bed and start ogling a place I can grab a coffee and a bit of shade after couple of hours. Occasionally I’m a proud beach napper, but athlete am I not, ever in any capacity.

  • Jessica Peterson

    So funny! I know people who fit into each category. I am The Sun Avoider (and am smugger than smug about my nicely browned skin when compared to the burn victims around me) and I am one piece of The Party Crew puzzle. “Who’s ready for another Margaret?!?? Is there more guac?!?? *Love me like you do…lah lah love me like you do…!*”

    • Amelia Diamond


  • soniadelvalle

    I didn’t know I was a Cub Scout but I so so am. If I have to go to the beach, I must fit my entire bedroom in my beachbag or else I won’t go.

  • Nooo doubt: early riser

    Not the kind of person that likes overloaded beaches at alll… lol


    Mani Piñeiro


  • parkzark

    Sun worshiper WHEN I CAN, we gotta cherish the nice days in Chicago.

  • claire bear

    I’m a sun worshipper, as well as the beach athlete and napper (is that possible?)
    Just got into an argument with a child about a BS line call they made during a volleyball game. Little one had no idea what he was talking about… I digress.
    As Sheryl would say, “I’m gonna soak up the sun while it’s still free”

  • Love these photos girl!

    XO, Jessi

  • Connie
  • starryhye

    Total “sun worshiper” right here. Although, at a wise 35 yrs old, I now (usually) wear SPF 30. Only sometimes 4 or 8. And yeah, I’m half Greek so that helps 😛

  • Sarah

    I look just like the lovely lady in the sun avoider illustration (both my hair and hat game run similar to hers), and for that reason alone I am forced to be a sun avoider… although more like a melanoma avoider, lol

  • Carlotta

    My two best friends are the biggest Club Scout ( I promise, she is not human. I’ve challenged her many times. Once I’ve asked her if she had a bin bag while we where waiting at an airport gate: she asked me which size of it I needed cos she only had two…) and the biggest a Beach Athlete (seriously, she is NOT human!!!) ever…

    I’m the napper ?

  • MilkVelvet

    Haha! Definitely the sun avoider! I have so much sun block on!


  • As a kid my parents would drag me to the beach. I hated it so much I would actually hide under a second beach blanket, just to ward off both the sun and the sand that would undoubtedly stick to me. Thinking about it now makes my skin crawl – one of the many (odd) things my husband and I bonded over in the beginning. As an adult, I take The Sun Avoider to a whole new level. Which is great when…you know….you live in a desert……

  • myszki

    Beach Napper full stop

  • Jul Mara

    I wanted to let you know that I came back to this post as a reference while packing for my beach trip tomorrow, because I’m trying to Type-A-minus being a cub scout. (like, I’m willing to do it, but I don’t totally know how on my own)

    Amelia, this is transcendent as usual.

  • Anne Itkin

    I’m either a sun worshipper or sun napper depending on the time of day. I love being out in the sun for as long as possible, and spend the time walking the entire length of the beach before plopping into my chair for a snooze.

  • Maria Parker