PICS: Clever gifts for the beachgoer


Arthi Gopi

No doubt the beach is the place to be this festive season, and The Independent on Saturday has trawled the online shopping world to dig up the latest trends in gifts. And we’ve packaged it all just for the beach. The products featured were selected randomly.

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An easy way to keep your cards safe: put them into your flip flops as this specially designed SlotFlop shows. Picture: SuppliedMaking intricate details on sandcastles is the aim of the sand funnel, which makes the normal mould redundant. Picture: SuppliedThis mini drone, seen in the centre of the photograph, is capturing the movements of the dancers. Selfie sticks are now outdated. Picture: SuppliedThis illustration shows how the Piqapoop concept works, aimed at leaving no mess when taking your pets for a walk. Picture: SuppliedAnother way to keep things safe while out in the sun is to place them in a vault which is buried in the sand. Picture: Supplied

Flying selfie sticks or drones

If you had been alarmed at sticks being pulled out of bags to take photos of toothy teenagers in front of the rickshaw at the Durban beachfront, then best you hear about the next invention right here, before you bump into it while jogging, or swat at it thinking it’s some kind of exotic flying superbug.

Welcome to the selfie drone, or flying selfie stick if you will. It’s going to take selfies to new heights, literally. Why squash dozens of faces behind a stick when a mini drone can hover above you and take a pic?

One of the types of flying selfie sticks is called Roam-e, and it’s a separate piece of equipment to your smartphone, and using facial recognition technology, it allows the drone to capture images and videos.

Airselfie is another brand that has attracted crowd funding. It uses four propellers to keep itself afloat, all the while taking those very important selfies.

Dog poop scooping

Piqapoo (as in pick a poo) is a product by GI Gadget, and be warned before reading further, that this may not appeal to all animal lovers.

We all know it’s no fun stepping into dog poo, especially on the beachfront, but the fact is not everyone picks up after their pets. This was why, in uMhlanga, bags were placed at points along the promenade which people could use to pick up their pet’s poo. Well, now, for those who don’t want to pick up their pet’s poo, a gadget called the Piqapoo allows your dog to poop into a plastic bag.

The bag is attached to its tail with a silicone clip, and when your pet poops, it collects in the bag. Some have called this the ultimate in laziness and cruel to the animal.

Keeping valuables safe

While some people trust car guards and others appoint a “watcher” over the sandwiches, keys and cellphones while the rest play in the water, sometimes neither of these options are suitable.

Introducing the Beach Vault, a capsule-like container you screw into the sand, and it’s out of sight. The vault will keep your valuables dry, and you can cover up the vault with a pillow or towel to identify the spot where it has been buried.

If that doesn’t sound the safest option, you could purchase flip-flop sandals called SlotFlops, which has a secret slot for inserting your notes and cards.

Sandcastle on steroids

If plastic sandcastle moulds don’t excite your child and they want to get more creative, a Sand Funnel may be the option. Much like an icing bag, one can use the sand funnel to create shapes slightly more detailed than a mould.

The chilled beach mat

So you’ve arrived at the beach and your phone is almost out of power and there’s no plug point in sight. Although not new on the market, these beach mats are used for more than just lounging on the sand.

The mat comes with a built-in charger for your phone, and there’s even a space where you can keep items such as cool drinks chilled.

Sounds like a perfect summer gift.

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