11 different types of beachgoers seen at the Jersey Shore

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Beach bag Beach bag Everyone seems to have a different idea of how a day at the beach should go. As locals, we’ve seen all types of beach days, but the one thing in common is that it's always a good day for people watching. Below are the common beach types you'll see along South Jersey's shoreline:

The cooler people

These are the vacationers who show up with a cooler and nothing else. Most beaches have rules against drinking along the shores, but that doesn’t stop these people from filling up a cup and enjoying the sunshine. Their idea of vacation is a drink and the beach, and they won't let a few rules get in the way of that.

The Everything-but-the-kitchen-sink people

These people are well prepared for a full day at the beach, equipped with 10 beach chairs, a tent, an umbrella, three coolers, toys for the kids, rafts, boogie boards and a few hundred bottles of sunblock. These folks are known to stay all day long, and you can bet they’ll use everything that they’ve brought. You can’t help but snicker as these people struggle with the ridiculous amount of belongings, but say what you will, they will be making the most of their beach day. 

Naptime on the beach Naptime on the beach

The sleepers

Its one thing to take a nap on the beach, but these people take things to a whole new level. They’ll sleep like a log for hours on the beach, leaving them with a seriously unfortunate burn and a groggy mind. Usually these people and their lack of sunscreen skills produce bizarre patterns of red on their skin as they didn’t know that you’re supposed to rub it in.

The volume crankers

What starts as background noise, slowly becomes all that you can hear, and suddenly you know all about Sandy’s son who was arrested last year for breaking into a McDonald’s. How lucky you are, that loudest people in the world decided to sit right next to you.  These are most likely the same folks who have their radio blasting as though they’re the only people around. 

The gully waders

There are always at least 15 kids laying in the stagnant water collected in the sand from last night’s high tide. This pool of water, more properly known as a gully – and more commonly known as a bathroom for all animals and small children frequenting the beach – is always at least 20 degrees warmer than the ocean. The reasons for this are of course debatable, but finding at least a few diaper wearing gully-sitters is inevitable. 

The almost surfers

There are always those guys at the beach that dive into waves like they’re participating in Olympic body surfing, which I’m pretty sure doesn’t exist and for good reason. Watching them, you can never be sure if you’re annoyed, amused or you feel sorry as they furrow their brow and throw themselves dramatically into the oncoming waves. Of course these aren’t the only almost athletes utilizing the shores. The boogie boarders can not be avoided. Mostly because they’re usually around or under the age of 10 and they never seem to understand boundaries. Yes, they’re just kids, until they ram into you mid-thigh at full force, board flying into the air and hopefully missing your face. 

Lifeguards Lifeguards

The lifeguard chasers

I think that progress on our beaches looks like a clock on each lifeguard stand. You’d think that this wouldn’t be an issue with cell phones and electronics to give us the time, but there always seems to be a gaggle of teenage girls at the life guard stands inquiring about the time. Maybe lifeguards are your weakness, but excuse me for being worried about my safety in the ocean. Please let them do their job.

The sandy book people

These bookworms are happy to be on the sand, enjoying the sea breeze, the sun, and most importantly, a good book. There are couples, or maybe even an entire family, who have their noses in a book. There could be a Wiffle ball tournament in full swing not even five feet behind them, and they’ll never even notice.

The people who actually buy those velcro paddle games

You know the games I’m talking about. The two velcro paddles that come with the ball you’re supposed to catch with them. This is one of the funniest things you’ll see on the beach, as these people stand about five feet apart and toss the ball back and forth, almost touching the other with the paddle as they reach forward to attempt to catch the ball. 

Pizza on the beach Pizza on the beach

Pizza-on-the-beach people

I’m not sure if some people just do everything possible to avoid leaving the beach, but the amount of food is incredible. It’s one thing when the family next to you has a few packed sandwiches going around, but when Mom returns with five boxes of pizza, a sideways glance is well-deserved. There’s nothing wrong with a pizza on the beach really, it’s just very odd to see. It’s also a tell-tale sign that these people are from out of town, way out of town.

The beach Olympians

There are always about 20 kids toward the dunes setting up some sort of sport for the whole family to play. Volleyball, Wiffle Ball, soccer: you name it, they’ve played it. All day long, these people will be competing in a myriad of athletic antics, not excluding arguing over calls made, trying way too hard for a pick-up game, and screaming command to other, “teammates.”

Current Newspaper intern Jordan Montgomery of Wildwood is a journalism student at West Virginia University. 

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