Darłowko Mayor Proposes ‘Windbreak Free’ Beach Area

Arkadiusz Klimowicz, the major of seaside town Darłowko, has openly criticized the use of so called 'parawany' (windbreaks) and called for a stretch of his town's beach to be made windbreak free.

The move comes amid a substantial increase in the numbers of Polish people using the windbreaks, a trend that has grown further still as more Poles choose to holiday at home due to the fear of terrorism abroad.

Traditionally the windbreaks are of course used to protect sunbathers from the stiff Baltic Sea breeze. However some observers have pointed out that even on blazing hot summer days with little wind at all, the windbreaks are still all over the shop. It is also interesting to observe that the beaches in Baltic Sea countries Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia do not have anything like as many windbreaks pitched in the sand. Is it really much less breezy further north? 

A tale of two coastlines: windbreak clad beaches on the Polish coast (left) Jurmala beach in Latvia (right)

Erecting a windbreak early in the morning has recently become the beach equivalent of putting a towel on the poolside sunbed, with holiday makers waking up at the crack of dawn to snare the best spots and mark out a big chunk of space. In some cases sunbathers are even doubling up the windbreaks to create a so called 'super parawan' (like the one illustrated in the cartoon below).

The use of the windbreaks has divided opinion in Poland, and now the mayor of one seaside town has proposed that beaches be divided too. Posting his views on his Facebook page, Mr Klimowicz claimed that windbreaks make it difficult for families to keep and eye on their children and also make the beach more cramped than it should be.

His proposed solution to the problem would be to make the east side of the beach a windbreak free zone. Anyone who pitches a windbreak on that side of the beach would then be handed a fine and asked to move into the west section.

Other supporters of a windbreak free zone believe that the windbreaks create obstacles for rescue workers trying get to the water quickly and have an adverse affect on visibility too. If there are enough windbreaks the beach can also become a labyrinth that children inevitably get lost in. On top of that, many argue the windbreaks simply spoil the view.  

On the other hand, those who use windbreaks say they protect them from strong winds and splattered sand, while also providing a bit of privacy. Windbreaks can make it easier for people to keep all their beach gear in order as well.

The issue is clearly a divisive one, so could dividing beaches into two parts be the answer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!

About Gregor Gowans

Gregor Gowans
The founder and editor of Wroclaw Uncut, Gregor has been running the website since its inception in 2012. A Wroclawian for almost 10 years, Gregor writes on a wide variety of topics including, food & drink, nightlife, local news and politics. He is also a regular guest on Radio Ram's Sunday lunch programme.