Sales: 800-248-5327
Your Cart   VIEW

Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

Solar Car Canopies Bringing Power To The People

Posted on: July 18th, 2014 by Quik Shade

Purpose of Solar Canopy

Solar power offers the potential to easily power buildings and homes without worrying about running out resources and contributing to global warming. When many people think about solar power, they think about solar panels on the roof. However, new solar car canopies provide another possibility for bringing renewable energy to homes and businesses.

What is a Solar Car Canopy?

A solar car canopy is simply a car canopy that has solar panels on the roof. It uses the same solar photovoltaic (PV) technology used in solar panels installed on roofs or used in solar plants. Solar panels can provide a significant portion of a building’s electricity needs, up to 100 percent. Solar power can be used anywhere, and the PV technology offers versatility that can be installed anywhere that can fit the panels. Typically, a solar car canopy needs to be built from scratch, as opposed to just adding solar panels to an existing roof.

Dual Purpose

Solar parking canopies have a dual purpose: generate power and protect your car. They feature solar panels on the roof structure to draw in the solar energy and convert it to electricity for the surrounding area, building, or home. They also protect the car from inclement weather and provide shading, just like any other car canopy. These panels do not just work in sunny, warm weather. They can withstand winter snow load, control the water runoff, and work through any type of weather. However, you will have to ensure that you purchase a canopy that is made to work with your climate. Additionally, solar car canopies help reduce the effects of heat islanding, which is what happens when the heat absorbed by the concrete and asphalt areas are released into the air at night. This can alter weather conditions, especially in large urban areas.

Parking Lot Structures

Businesses and apartment buildings can add parking canopies in their parking lots or adjacent open areas that provide covered parking in addition to generating on-site solar electrical power. There are several companies offering large-scale parking lot canopies that provide protection for the vehicles and create a power plant for the business. Many businesses have turned to installing parking lot solar canopies because of certain downsides and limitations to installing solar panels on their roofs.

Personal Car Ports

For individuals, solar car canopies can provide a way to bring solar power to their home. They are perfect for those who do not have the space on the roof for solar panels due to HVAC equipment or other issues. The solar canopy allows users to have significant space for enough solar power panels to power their house, or at least offset a significant portion of the energy use. Although these canopies are mostly used as carports, they can also be used to create patios in the backyard.

Electric Vehicle Charging

Solar car canopies can work in combination with electric vehicle charging stations to create a true zero emissions ride. The electrical vehicle charging station can be powered by the solar car canopies. These canopies can be used in cities to provide residents a place to charge their cars, or smaller canopies can be used in the home of the vehicle owner to charge their car.

Many people do not have a garage, or have more cars than fit in their garage. When this happens, they often consider installing a carport or a canopy in order to protect their car from inclement weather. Instead of installing a typical car canopy, consider using a solar car canopy. It not only protects your car, but it also will provide energy to your home, offsetting your energy costs and carbon emissions. In time, the solar car canopies will pay for themselves, especially if you have an electric vehicle.

photo credit: Tatmouss

The Best Rock Climbing Spots in North America

Posted on: July 16th, 2014 by Quik Shade

Best Rock Climbing Spots – North America 

Rock climbing is a fun and adventurous sport that does more than just keep you fit; it tests strength, resolve, endurance, and courage. Although climbing indoors can keep you fit and train you for getting outdoors, the best experiences are climbing some of the best rock formations in North America.

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite is a great place for rock climbing. It has two famous locations, El Capitan and Half Dome. El Capitan is a 3,000-foot vertical rock formation known colloquially as El Cap. Located in Yosemite National Park, people once considered scaling it impossible. However, now big-wall enthusiasts enjoy climbing one of the two main faces, either the Southwest or Southeast. There are more than a dozen routes one can take, the most famous being the Nose. Half Dome is the most recognized climbing site in Yosemite and is more than 4,737 feet high. It features over a dozen rock climbing routes, in addition to the trail and cable route erected in 1919 for those not looking to scale the face.

Rocky Mountain National Park

The Rocky Mountains offer numerous climbs within their many peaks. The best peak is Longs Peak, which offers routes for a variety of skill levels. Some of the most popular routes on Longs Peak are the East Face, Keyhole Route, and the Diamond. During the winter season, special climbing equipment is necessary due to ice and snow. Another great area to climb on the Rockies is the Flatirons in Boulder, Colorado. It also has routes for all skill levels, especially fro beginners.

Moab, Utah

Many people enjoy climbing the rocks and sandstone towers in Moab, especially those who enjoy desert climbing. There are a variety of climbs suitable for all skill level from beginners to masters.

Smith Rock, Oregon

Smith Rock in Oregon offers more than a thousand routes. Many of the best climbers come to Smith Rock for the challenging climbs, and many consider it the birthplace of the modern sport.

Devil’s Tower, Wyoming

Devil’s Tower offers sheer rock walls with vertical cracks and columns for climbing routes for every skill level, from easy to some of the hardest in the world. There are over 150 different established routes, ranging from 500 to 600 feet.

Denali National Park, Alaska

The highest mountain in North America is Mount McKinley, which is known as Mount Denali to climbers and locals. The alpine conditions can be hazardous, so it is best for those with experience. Only about half of those climbing the West Buttress route actually make it to the summit.

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park in Maine offers solid granite rock formations perfect for climbing. The best spots are the Otter Cliffs, which are located on the southeastern side of the Mount Desert Island. These cliffs rise 60 feet out of the water. Climbers also enjoy the Precipice, which offers easy routes fro beginners.

Zion National Park

Zion National Park in Utah, made up of Zion Canyon and Kolob Canyons, feature big wall challenges best for those with experience. The best climb is most likely Moonlight Buttress, although climbers also enjoy Angels Landing’s Prodigal Sun.

Hueco Tanks State Park, Texas

Hueco Tanks State Park, near El Paso in Texas, offers climbers an incredible bouldering site. It does have limited access in order to preserve the formations, so most climbers have to join a guided group. North Mountain is available for unguided climbs.

This list is by no means definitive. North America offers numerous places to enjoy rock climbing, whether you are a beginner or a master. Some locations may just feature one main formation, while others have enough trails that you could spend a lifetime trying them all. 

photo credit: Markus_76

10 Greatest World Cup Hosts Of All Time

Posted on: July 16th, 2014 by Quik Shade

 FIFA World Cup 2014

The 2014 World Cup has ended, with the world congratulating Germany on its victory, the first European nation to win a World Cup title in the Americas. With World Cup fever beginning to abate and fans already anticipating the next cup in Russia in 2018, it is time to rank the 10 greatest World Cup hosts since its official beginning in 1930.

South Africa 2010

The 2010 World Cup took place in South Africa, making it the first time that the event took place on African soil. That alone makes the South Africa games memorable, but the culture and beautiful backdrops to the game intensified the experience for those who enjoyed the experience in person and on television. The games also introduced the world to the Vuvuzela, to much controversy.

USA 1994

In 1994, the United States played host to the World Cup, even though there was not a large population of soccer fans in the country. However, an average attendance of 69,000 set a new record, with a total attendance of 3.6 million that remains the highest. The games were played in nine cities across the country, showcasing soccer to Americans around the country. The tournament helped to bring professional football to America, and in 1996 Major League Soccer was established.

Korea and Japan 2002

In 2002, the World Cup made its way to Asia for the first time. Additionally, these games produced another first: tow countries hosting the event together. The event was held in venues that had scintillating perspectives, especially in Japan. The attendance was low, but it still ranks as a success for opening up the event into Asia, and for showing how two countries can successfully share hosting duties.

France 1998

In 1998, the World Cup expanded to featuring 32 national squads for the first time. Additionally, Japan and South Africa qualified for the first time, leading the way to their hosting the cup in the future. France not only hosted the games, they also took home the trophy.

England 1966

England last hosted the games in 1966, with the third most attended game with over 51,000 fans for each match. These games also are the last time England won the trophy. The games took place in many of the famous stadia around England still in use today.

Switzerland 1954

The 1954 games in Switzerland had the highest number of goals scored, with an average of 5.38 per game. For a game known for minimal scored games, these games must have been exciting for fans to experience.

Chile 1962

When the games returned to South America in 1962, it was to the victor Chile, who won hosting duties over Argentina and Germany. In 1960, a devastating earthquake hit Chile, making FIFA consider changing the event location. However, Chile’s FA president appealed saying, “We have nothing, that is why we must have the World Cup.” FIFA proceeded as planned, and the games successfully took place on two impressive stadia.

Germany 2006

In 2006, Germany hosted the games in twelve of its UEFA five-star rating stadia that had at least 40,000 seats for the matches. Visitors and natives enjoyed themselves during the games. The fans’ areas created an atmosphere for colorful congregations, providing a fun atmosphere to the games.

Italy 1934

In 1934, Benito Mussolini saw the potential of using such an international event for propaganda and hosted the World Cup with relish. Italy also brought home the trophy.

Brazil 2014

There are mixed reviews about the success of the 2014 World Cup games, but it deserves a place on this list for its news-worthy events, including the record-breaking, upsetting defeat of the host country in the semi-finals, the infamous biting incident, and more. About 3.5 million people attended the event, with an average 53,000 per match.

photo credit: Claudio Lara

5 Best College Football Games To Tailgate This Season

Posted on: June 9th, 2014 by Quik Shade

Football Game

photo credit: marcp_dmoz via photopin cc

Who doesn’t love a good tailgating experience? Those who don’t may have had a bad one at one point or never even tried it at all. With the trucks and the barbeques and the beer, the music, the neighbors, the fans, it is definitely a good time to be had by all. But one of the best ways to have a good tailgating party is to know where to go. The venue can make or break a tailgating scene, and it would do well to know where the best spots are in the country.

College football and tailgating have become so linked together it is almost impossible to see one without the other these days. Sure, NFL tailgating is where it started, and remains strong to this day, but the college tailgating scene is vibrant and energetic and has it’s own flavor. It might take a road trip, but hopefully it will be worth it. Here is a list of some of the best places to get your college tailgating done.

Florida State

Taking place in one of the most picturesque campuses in the country, the Florida State tailgating scene is one of the most expansive in the country. With the great weather, the beautiful sunshine, the palm trees and the enthusiastic fans, heading off to the world of Tallahassee to get the grill cooking and the canopy set up (they don’t call it the Sunshine State for nothing) is guaranteed to give you one good time you will not forget.


One might not expect Harvard to be a place to get your tailgating on, but over the years, this Ivy League college has become host to a very unique tailgating scene. One has to drop by and get set up for the competition against Yale, otherwise known as The Game. With great fans and heated games, as well as a large parking lot to set up the truck and open up the cooler, going to Harvard for your tailgating needs is a great idea and should be done at least once.

UCLA at the Rose Bowl

UCLA hosts its games in the beautiful city of Pasadena, California, at the infamous Rose Bowl. The parking lot there is massive (there are a few, even) and getting your tailgating on there is a great way to meet the locals and get to know what it is like to be a part of the Bruins fan scene. With the great weather that Southern California provides, as well as Old Town Pasadena not being too far away, this a great place to come not only to tailgate or watch a great football game, but experience a interesting local culture and a fine area to live in, with lots of history and class.

Army, West Point, New York

Once again delving into the realm of unexpected places one might find a good place to tailgate, the Army football games at the West Point Academy provide a relaxed atmosphere, one where you can join the cadets training studiously at the academy, along with their families, friends and the alumni. Despite other college campuses, the people at West Point don’t take the games as seriously. This is not to say they don’t care, but when it comes to the idea that they are going to be serving our country in the armed forces, making life-and-death decisions on the battlefield, a football game is where they go to relax and just enjoy the moment.


Now, there is something different and special about doing a tailgating party somewhere in the South, with a capital S. Let’s take a look here at Arkansas. The game does not confine itself to the stadium, for if one took a walk around Fayetteville on game day, you’d know that there was a game on for sure. With Southern gentility and friendliness, one is sure to have a pleasant, relaxing experience set up out under the canopy with the ice chest open down in the parking lot of the game. Try it out!


Standing Out As A Super Soccer Mom

Posted on: April 30th, 2014 by Quik Shade


There are lots and lots of cliches that go with someone who can be considered a soccer mom, and not all of them are flattering. What with the minivan or large SUV with the window and bumper stickers, the excess of enthusiasm (which can be a good thing folks, come on) the extracurricular activities other than soccer, the nice cookie-cutter suburban home (also not a bad thing) and several others.

Yet being a soccer mom isn’t as cliche as it might seem. Some would argue that aspects of being a soccer mom are aspects of someone who is a good mother. Yes, there are the ones that set the bad standards that our culture can go by, and here is a list of things to do that you, if you consider yourself to be a soccer mom, will be able to set some good standards with and fight the bad cliches that are out there.

Don’t Gossip

Being the parent of a kid who plays soccer means that you get to hang out with all the other parents of the rest of the kids on the team. And when that happens, people get to talking and get to knowing each other more and more. A community forms. For better or for worse, that community starts to grow and develop, with all the good sides and the bad sides that a gathering of people who know each other via proximity and similar circumstance can bring.

It is easy to start to become privy to other peoples business, and usually, if someone starts to reveal personal information about themselves, it is usually in confidence to those whom they are revealing it to. That takes trust, however much trust is felt to be had depending on what is being told. All the same, it is best to keep what is said in confidence as confidential, and not start to let others know in the group what is going on with Person A if they probably don’t want it to be known by everyone.

Don’t Try And Run The Show

Soccer teams have a specific order to them so that they may run as best as possible. There is the coach, the assistant coach, and then there is the team. If a parent starts to meddle in the affairs of the team and interfering with that the coach has set up as a good system, despite what anyone else may think, then let it run. Don’t be that person that has to step in and try to fix a situation that they may see as one that needs fixing, even if it does or not- it isn’t up to you.

As a parent, you are there to support the team and the coach through encouragement and enthusiasm. Not all the games will be won and not all the decisions the coach makes are going to be good ones- that’s just how it goes.

Contribute To The Scene

Aside from not gossiping about other players or their parents and not trying to run the show from the sidelines, here is something proactive that one can do to stand out as a good soccer mom.

By contributing in a constructive way to what is going on is a sure way to win the good opinion of others around you. Do things like cheer as much as possible, bring an extra few chairs for those parents who may have forgotten them or cannot afford one, bring an extra blanket or two, bring some canopies for those super hot, sunny days that you and the rest of the group can sit under (this one would really win the favor of others, for sure), encourage the coach and back them up if things get out of hand with other parents, and support your child as well as the others on things they did well versus scolding on what went wrong.

By doing these few simple things, one is sure to become a great kind of soccer mom, the kind that people start to trust and admire.

photo credit: Spree2010 via photopin cc

4 Family Oriented Surf Spots

Posted on: April 23rd, 2014 by Quik Shade


Where can one go to get some surfing in as well as having the family along with them? There are several great family oriented surf spots in America, but the ones that are family oriented are sometimes hard to find. One needs to have a friendly atmosphere, maybe a hotel or two, as well as a good place where the kids can be safe. Here is a list of 4 good places to take the family when you want to get your surfing on. Don’t forget to pack some canopies from QuikShade to keep safe from the sun.

Ocean City, New Jersey

Known as “America’s Greatest Family Resort”, Ocean City, New Jersey has more surf spots than most Northeastern states. Home to a few surfing champions, the city takes surfing very seriously. The local high school has won the state surfing championship eight consecutive times! That says something about the fact that the surfing scene there is not only just for people who are in their 20’s and 30’s.

Being near Atlantic City, if the parents wanted to get away for some nights in the casinos, that is, of course, always an option. The City of Brotherly Love is not too far away as well, which is renowned for it’s Philly Cheese steaks. And lastly, the city of Big is not too far away as well, which sports itself a nice big ferris wheel right on the beach.

The climate is, of course, rather cold, being in the Northeast and all. The water is usually around 60 degrees, so bring a wetsuit. And don’t worry about having to deal with a local bar scene going until the wee hours of the morning- Ocean City has banned the sales of booze since the year 1884, and is thus a dry city.

Malibu, CA

You might not necessarily be able to buy a house here, and staying in one of the hotels in Malibu will also cost you a little bit, but don’t get to thinking that the city of Malibu is any degree of crowded or smoggy like it’s parent city Los Angeles. Property value and environmentalist groups have made sure to keep the place nice and clean as well as sparsely populated. As a result, this is a nice place to come and visit with the family and maybe get some surfing in. But don’t forget the canopy, because it can get nice and sunny here.

Most of the beaches in Malibu, from Zuma up to El Matador, can accommodate some surfing, but Malibu’s famous Point Break is where you’d want to go. The water isn’t that cold, per se, or at least compared to the East Coast. And not only is there surfing, but a few beaches allow for smaller waves and better waters for the kids to play in.

Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Despite the sinister name, Kill Devil Hills is a good small town, away from any bustling metropolitan area, to take the family and get some beach time in. There’s enough people there to make it feel like you’re not in a one-horse town, but small enough to offer the peace of mind a small town can. Don’t expect any kind of crazy fashion statements or Lamborghinis, because this small Southern town likes to keep things simple. With calm beaches and a lighthouse, this is a great place to get away with the family and enjoy some relaxation.

San Clemente, CA

This town between Los Angeles and the Marine base Camp Pendleton is an ideal spot to take the family and have some beach surfing and boogie boarding fun. It has a consistent year round surfing scene due to its geographic location. There are also a lot of festivals that happen there during the summer, which makes it a great spot to go and get some entertainment. Sporting several hotels and spots to take surfing classes, San Clemente is a good place to get away from the city life and take the family for a good summer vacation. And, once again, take the canopy because it is pretty much always sunny down there.

photo credit: geezaweezer via photopin cc

Best MLB Parks For Tailgating

Posted on: April 21st, 2014 by Quik Shade


Going to a ballgame is not just only about the baseball. There is a whole experience to it all, from the fans to the food, the music and the showmanship, the equipment (the barbecue, the coolers, the canopy, the chairs, so on and so forth) and lets not forget about the culture of tailgating. Entire product lines have spawned up around the scene of tailgating, and people have built up quite the culture around it. Who hasn’t been to a tailgating party at least once in their lives? If you haven’t, then it is highly recommended. Not only are you socializing with friends and family and even strangers, but there are the people nearby who provide a community of fun and good memories.

If you fancy yourself as someone who would be up for something like a good tailgating event, then you have to know where to go. Not all baseball parks are great for tailgaters, but there are a few out there that are ideal for this kind of an event. Here are a few that you should check out if you’re ever in the area.

Angel Stadium, Anaheim, Los Angeles

What makes a good place for someone to go to and have some tailgating fun? Ideally, a huge, flat parking lot is pretty much what is primarily needed, but it also has to be allowed in the park as well. Tailgating can also cause havoc on traffic, i.e. people simply trying to leave the park and tailgaters kind of take up the lanes.

So, under this light, the stadium for the Anaheim Angels is a great place to set up your canopy, open the back of the truck up and do some tailgating. The best place to park it for a tailgating setup is right underneath the giant A, right next to the freeway. Seeing as Los Angeles does not have the NFL team, tailgating at baseball games get a lot more elaborate. The tailgating scene gets especially interesting when the Freeway Series starts, which is when the Los Angeles Dodgers play the Anaheim Angels.

On the other end of that spectrum, tailgating can be difficult at Dodger’s Stadium due to the fact that the park lot there is not necessarily savvy towards tailgating- it could get a little cramped. There was also an incident wherein 132 people were arrested for trying to tailgate in Dodgers Stadium. So, let’s just say it might be a bit hard to tailgate there. Head to the Angels Stadium instead. And don’t forget to bring the canopy- it can get quite hot and sunny down there in Anaheim.

Miller Park, Milwaukee

In the homeland of beer and brats, tailgating can get up into the realm of epic proportions. It is a major part of the tailgating experience that happens in Milwaukee. Most Brewers fans have partaken in the experience at Miller Park, and are usually seasoned Packers fans who also take their tailgating prowess to the football stadium as well.

Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia

Closely rated with the fans at Miller Park, Phillies fans also have an extreme passion and aptitude for the tailgating experience at Citizens Bank Park. It is well known that people who live in Philadelphia are hardcore sports fans, so it makes a lot of sense that they would take their tailgating to the max. It is almost heresy for Phillies fans to not tailgate before they go off to a game. With prowess and style, it is recommended that one head over to the Philadelphia stadium and get in on the tailgating scene there for a great experience.