Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mikes Spikes Testimonials 2010

Your spike works beyond our expectations ! The other day we went to our favorite beach at Lani Kai and the wind was blowing a constant 35 mph . We had the only umbrella standing . It's well worth the cost .
Don Molina - Waipahu , Hawaii

I'm 75 years old and have been a widow for the last 3 years . Since my husband passed away , each time I go to the beach , I have to ask someone to screw my umbrella holder into the sand because it's too difficult for me . One day I noticed Mike putting up his umbrella on the beach and it looked so simple , so I walked over and asked him where he got his anchor . He said that he was the inventor and showed me how easy it worked . Now I can put my umbrella up by myself in less than a minute !
Betty Harrington - Ocean Drive , SC

I took your umbrella spike out to the beach as soon as it arrived . I was immediately impressed by how much easier it was to install than the Sun Twister anchor that I had been using . By mid afternoon the wind was blowing so hard that everyone was having to take their umbrellas down . I never had to . Thanks for a great product !
Robert Eaton - Deerfield Beach , Florida

We are year round residents at the coast and have always had trouble getting our beach umbrella to stay up . We met a couple on the beach using one of your Mikes Spikes sand anchors and it looked so easy ! Now we have the answer . Thank you so much !
Susan Osborne - Pawley's Island , SC

Our Mikes Spike is everything you said it would be . I have tried just about every sand anchor contraption out there , only to have them break or rust away . All were difficult to install and wouldn't hold up our umbrella in strong winds . Your spike is very easy to install and holds without fail . What else could we ask for ! Many people have watched me installing our spike and want to know where they can get one . Thanks for a great product ! See ya at the beach .
Charlene Horton - North Myrtle Beach , SC

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Stores that carry Mikes Spikes sand anchors

I am starting a list of businesses that carry or use Mikes Spikes sand anchors .

Laurel Hill , NC - East Coast Umbrellas , Outdoor Living ,

North Myrtle Beach , SC - Dews Hardware , Boulineau's True Value , Ace Golf Carts ,
Tropicasual Furniture , Casual Furniture World , North Strand
Rentals , Beach Bumz Rentals

Myrtle Beach , SC - Vacation Equipment Rental ( VER ) , Lack's Outdoor Furniture ,

Garden City , SC - Woody's Beach Rental ,

Murrells Inlet , SC - Perry's Bait & Tackle , Inlet Convenience & Fishing Supply ,

Pawley's Island , SC - Pawley's Island Supplies , Pawley's Island Beach Service ,

Sunset Beach , NC - Sunset Beach Trading Co. ,

Wrightsville Beach , NC - Redix Beach Gear , Craft Hardware ,

Holden beach , NC - Boomer's Rentals ,

Ocean City , NJ - Island Beach Gear ,

Merrick , NY - Shore Store ,

Erie , PA - The Patio Shop ,

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mikes Spikes beach umbrella holders go on vacation .

My wife and I took our week vacation this year from Sept. 17th - 26th . If there was ever a good time to put our Mikes Spikes beach umbrella holders to the test , this was it . With Hurricane Igor just 500 miles off the coast we were very impressed with their great holding ability . As usual , most screw in holders faired well through mid morning . It's in the afternoon when the wind picks up and the umbrellas start falling . We took the opportunity to rescue several of their users by loaning them a Mikes Spikes sand anchor . I can't emphisize how much better these spikes work than what people have grown to accept . Everyone who gets the chance to use a Mikes Spikes sand anchor has the same comment , " This is the best idea I've seen in years ! It's so easy . "
We also had a great time "people watching" during the SOS Fall Migration . It's the Fall version of "Spring break" for the over 50 crowd . My friend , Earl Dawkins who is the lead singer of The Entertainers got us into the Spanish Galleon on Sat. nite to hear him perform their #1 Beach Music hit "Thank Goodness She Cheated" . It's on their new CD called "The Inside Story" . If you like Beach Music , you'll like this CD .
Mikes Spikes sand anchors will be on display at the Big Kahuna in December . If you know of any stores that carry beach equipment , pass it on to come see us in booth " S " . Our website is http://www.mikesspikes.com/

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ocean Drive , SC - An Oasis From the Past !

As a long time vacationer to the Grand Strand area of South Carolina , it is becoming more and more evident that it is slowly disappearing as we " Baby Boomers" knew it . As a teenager in the 60's and early 70's , a trip to Myrtle Beach was like going to Mayberry on the coast . During the day the beach was enormous and you could see forever in all directions . Only a few multi story hotels existed . At night the amusement park was reminiscent of a county fair with all the rides and smells of cotton candy . The Beach Music that echoed from cruising cars , would fade out , as the familiar clack - clack - clack sound of the climbing roller coaster would signal the eminent screams that were soon to follow . Getting a dipped cone and laughing at yourself in the mirrors that changed your shape was a favorite pass time . On the beach , the flash and pop of fireworks seamed to never end . As progress would have it , the word got out . This was the place to be ! Through the years , more and more beach front houses were leveled to make room for canyon like high rise condos and resorts . As Myrtle Beach grew the beach began to shrink . Instead of a single line on the beach , families were stacked up 5 or 6 deep . Any activity other than laying in the sun was a squeeze . At night , the sights and sounds that "used to be" disappeared . The Myrtle Beach Amusement Park and Pavilion have been razed to make room for some mega resort and will leave no trace of where our youthful memories were formed . Monster malls with themed restaurants and bars are now the new places to be seen . Just like the discount beach stores , if you've seen one , you've seen 'em all . Luckily there is still a bit of the past preserved in Ocean Drive , or OD as it called by us Boomers . High rise condos have reached here but the canyon effect isn't as prevalent . The beach is always crowded in front of these condos , but where ocean front homes have hung on , the beach is still pleasantly open . At night Beach Music is still the preferred sound of OD , and a hot dog with a cold beer is the standard bill of fare . Twice a year , in the Spring and Fall , OD hosts a week long beach music and Shag festival called SOS . Attendence is always in the thousands . It's equivalent to 2 spring breaks for the over 50 crowd without the drunks and beer pong . Recently a scaled down amusement park was erected on the ocean just south of Main Street . At night it takes you back to the sights and sounds of long ago when things were simpler . You can still get a dipped cone but the mirrors aren't needed anymore to laugh at our funny shapes ! Blog by Mike Haney / Mikes Spikes Beach Umbrella Holders http://www.mikesspikes.com/

Sunday, March 21, 2010

"Ultimate" fishing at www.mikesspikes.com

Over the years I have enjoyed surf fishing as much as any other form of fishing . For the most part I fish the South Carolina coast from late Spring to early Fall . Although this isn't considered the best fishing season , it gives me something to do while my wife enjoys the sun . My usual catch includes small Bluefish , Pompano , Croaker , Spot , Whiting , and the occasional Spanish Mackeral . My bait is cut frozen Balyhoo . Most days you can expect a strike at least every 20 - 30 minutes but gets less frequent during the heat of July and August . My rod of choice is a 6' Ugly Stick with a Penn openface reel and it is anchored in a Mikes Spikes "Ultimate" Fishing Rod Holder . When I get down to serious surf fishing in early spring or mid fall , I still enjoy the SC coast but nothing beats the Outer Banks of North Carolina . This is " the Mecca" of surf fishing ! My choice for the best of the best is Davis Island of the Core banks . This 20 mile long island is home to Cape Lookout National Seashore . It is accessible only by a few ferry services which makes it very secluded . Four wheel drive is a must . We've gone during the summer and actually not seen another person all day . In season there are fishing shacks for rent but you have to get on the reservation list a year in advance . The only thing provided is running water . The rest is up to you , incuding power . In early to mid Fall , the Flounder can be so abundent that catching close to 100 a day is not out of the question , although less than 25 percent are keepers . Most can be caught by tossing cut bait or small bait fish just 40' out and retrieving it slowly on a 6' rod . If the big fish is what your after , then a larger 8' - 12' surf rod is required . I use an 11' Ugly Stick with a Penn 8500 open face reel and anchor it in a Mikes Spikes "Ultimate" Surf Rod Holder . This new type of rod anchor is driven into the sand inless than 30 seconds by a built in driveweight and only takes one hand . Catches of large Blues and Drum are the norm . Take several big coolers and plenty of ice . At night this place is dark but on a moonless night you have never seen stars like you will see here . You owe it to yourself to go at least once !

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mikes Spikes beach vacation advice and tips !

Thanks for visiting Mikes Spikes ! This blog is our attempt to equip beach goers with the best knowledge that we have gained over the past 30 years from the trial and error of our own vacations . Hopefully it will save you some time and money in the long run .

It sounds a little technical but we have learned to time our vacations with the tide . It is possible to spend a week at the beach without being jammed up all day against the dunes with hundreds of other vacationers . If you google the beach tide tables for your destination , you will want to time your arrival so high tide on the morning of your first full day is close to 5:00 am . This means that low tide will be near 11:00 am . This is perfect as your family can get on the beach around mid-morning and have plenty of room . Since the high tide mark comes about 45 minutes later each day , high tide on your last full day will have only advanced to about 8:45 am , still allowing you to enjoy the beach without crowding . If you vacation as a couple only and prefer to sleep in and "hit the beach " in the afternoon after most kids have gone in , adjust your arrival so high tide is at 8:00 am on your first full day . You will find that the beach appears emptier and quieter each afternoon as you go out a little later each day .

Depending on where you stay in proximity to the ocean has a great effect on how you pack for your day on the beach . Our condo is 3 blocks off the beach and is more convenient than a oceanfront condo . We have a golf cart and garden wagon which we pile all of our stuff into and go to a beach access that has no stairs and is away from the crowd of a highrise . This tough plastic mesh wagon is currently available at Ace Hardware for $140 and is big enough carry everything mentioned hereafter . The handle even converts to a trailer hitch . From there we pull the wagon to our spot and camp out for the day . If you're in a highrise condo or hotel , a hand truck type carrier works best provided it has large wheels . If you have to carry it all by hand from the car or room , get some type of large beach bags or crates and delegate the load . Another option is to rent your umbrella and chairs by the day if you don't want to haul it around and are willing to spend over a hundred dollars for the week .

Next I'd like to address what the essentials are for a day at the beach . First and foremost is sunblock . Don't even think about anything less than a 30 spf . I say this because "everyone" applies it too lightly which equates to about a 15 spf . I prefer the waterproof squirt gels over the aerosol types due to the waste caused by the wind . Babies should be coated and kept under an umbrella . Children won't stay under cover so they need to be coated at least every 2 hours . The skin areas to pay attention to the most are the shoulders , back , feet , face , and ears . A 45 spf lip balm is mandatory . It's always best for everyone to wear a hat and keep a t-shirt handy just in case you over do it . One last sun protective item is a good pair of polarized sun glasses and some tissue to wipe off the salt mist that builds up hourly . Oh yeah , I forgot to mention to wear a pair of water shoes or sandals . Not only will they protect your feet from shells and hidden debris but also keeps you from scorching your feet in the hot sand at the dunes and boardwalks .

Now on to the basic equipment needed . There are some decent 6' umbrellas out there for about $50 but the best choice is a good quality 8' umbrella that will cost from $100-$200 . If it costs less than $20 don't waste your money . It won't make it through the first windy day . Sam's Club offers an 8' rainbow colored beach umbrella that's excellent for $25 if you're on a tight budget but it generally won't last over a few seasons . The center pole is thin aluminum and tends to split at the joint and the tilt button will break if used very much . Also it has an anoying flap in the wind and it's color fades quickly . We found a good 8' patio umbrella 25 years ago at an end of season sale for $50 so keep your eyes open . We finally replaced recently with an excellent 9' market umbrella that we found at East Coast Umbrellas who carry an excellent line of oudoor furniture . One type of shade to avoid is the pop-up canopy . As a general rule , these dinosaurs can take over a half hour to set up and anchor and even longer to take down and pack up . If not rinsed out daily and allowed to dry , sand and salt tend to get up in the leg assembies and will rust them useless in a weeks time . If a sudden summer thunderstorm pops up and you have to run for it , the odds are it won't be there when you come back . With an umbrella , all you have to do is lower it down . Some beaches are already outlawing the use of canopies and most won't allow you to keep them up overnight . Of course a good umbrella is only as good as it's anchor . Don't waste your time or money with the screw in sand anchors . Most take several difficult and frustrating minutes to install . The absolute best is a Mikes Spikes "Ultimate" Beach Umbrella Holder . It easily cuts into the sand in less than 30 seconds which is very convenient if you like to move with the tide and it's superior hold allows the use of a large quality beach umbrella . These anchors excell on breezy days ! You should be able to find one for around $30 . They are also a great fishing rod holder ! If you are a serious surf fisherman and use a larger rod Mikes Spikes also has an "Ultimate" Surf Rod Anchor for $40 . To see this exclusive line of sand anchors go to http://www.mikesspikes.com/ .

Let's move on to beach chairs . Again , you get what you pay for . We like to sit at the waters edge so our chairs have to be good . Stay away from any type of coated steel . It will rust in a few seasons . A company called Rio carries some fairly decent aluminum beach chairs for about $30-$50 but still has steel pins at the joints that corrode over time . The best route is the wooden style recliner that has stainless steel or brass hardware but these will set you back anywhere from $70-$180 each . This seems expensive but if you have to buy chairs every 2-3 years compared to 25 years for the wooden ones , they're a bargain and can be re-slung . A few that come to mind are The Anywhere Chair , The Outer Banks Chair , and The Cape Cod Chair .

Next we'll discuss the secondary needs . This includes a cooler , beach bag , and toys . A medium size cooler is ample enough to hold your beverages (no glass please) and sandwiches for lunch . We always freeze water in large bowls which lasts longer and use the cubes for drinks . A large beach bag that closes is great for holding your camera , radio , lotion , and magazines . Zip lock bags are great if you absolutely have to protect anything from the sand and salt . Also a small fanny pack is good to keep your valuables and keys separate so they don't disappear in the sand or if you want to go for a walk . A secondary mesh bag works best for toys as they tend to collect sand and can be rinsed out in the bag . Two items that we always found invaluable were boogie boards and a real shovel . "Catching a wave" and a large hole will entertain kids all day !

Finally , I want to address beach etiquette . As crowded as the beach gets , never set up directly in front of someone else if there is room to the side . If it is necessary , try to stagger forward 20' at an angle between the two groups behind you . Don't play your radio so loud that it interferes with someone elses . If it is crowded don't throw any type of ball or disc . They tend to get away sometimes ! Keep an eye on your kids . They also tend to get away sometimes ! Some beaches prohibit surfing and boogie boarding and have deignated areas for these activities . Fishermen like to get an early start so if you come out later , try to honor their fishing space to prevent getting hooked . Most beaches prohibit dogs from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm during the summer . If you should bring your dog when it is allowed , be sure to bring some plastic shopping bags to pick up their "business" . You can deposit it , along with any debris , in the trash barrels provided at the dune line . Lastly , never leave your umbrella unatended . Lower it down if you have to leave , no matter how short the time . Your best bet for preventing your umbrella from becoming a tumbling weapon is to secure it with a Mikes Spikes "Ultimate" Sand Anchor !

I hope this information helps to make your trip to the coast more convenient and fun . If we missed anything or you just have someting to add , let me know . Thanks , Mike Haney