Our Story

Growing up in the south during the 1950’s and 60’s, my brother Bill and I always shared a passion for the outdoors, spending most of our free time fishing or in the woods. It was a great way to grow up, but all those years of being in the sun took its toll—we both have spent many hours at the dermatologist’s office since. These days, we try to be smarter and always wear sun block and avoid being in the direct sun as much as possible—but we still love to fish, still love the outdoors, and don’t ever plan to give it up!

Fishing the shallow saltwater flats with a kayak has become one of our real passions in recent years, but there is no shade to be found anywhere on the flats and you’re exposed to the sweltering heat and the harsh rays of the sun the whole time—for us that’s usually 6 to 8 hours!

After years of baking in the Florida sun, we decided to try and find a way to get out of the unbearable heat and into some cooling shade. Regular umbrellas are meant to keep you dry in the rain, but are typically made of flimsy, lightweight fabric that doesn’t do much too actually block the rays of the sun. So we searched high and low and talked to a lot of manufacturers and finally found the answer we were looking for in the heavy duty, high-tech fabric we chose for Always Shady Umbrella Systems. But even with sufficient opacity to block the rays, we were only halfway there. After a few unsuccessful attempts at mounting an umbrella to my kayak, my brother Bill and I came up with an idea which incorporates an infinitely adjustable mounting arm that allows you to position an umbrella in virtually any direction to create shade where you need it.
Always Shady - Shady GirlIt worked so well on kayaks that we turned our attention to boats. Adapting this idea to a traditional boat seat, we developed an aluminum bracket that fits virtually any new or existing swivel boat seat. Once installed, this bracket allows you to mount our umbrella directly behind you for easy positioning and adjustment.

We use only the highest quality parts and materials in our Always Shady Umbrella Systems and we are very proud of our products. We’re proud of our company name too. Always Shady is not only an accurate and fitting name for a truly innovative umbrella company—but we chose it for more than just that obvious reason. In mid-2009, about the same time we were developing our designs for these umbrella systems, I lost my most beloved pet, friend, and companion. Shady, my 8 year old black lab, passed away. Although I don’t really need any reminders, it still makes me smile every time I see our “Always Shady” logo and I think of my Shady girl.