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FromTheWayside
11-17-2009, 08:01 PM
Hi Everybody -

I live on the California Coast, so I spent a lot of time hearing about the beach. I don't go terribly often because of academic commitments, but I know at least one thing that would get me to the beach more often...a uke! I have a minor problem, though. I only have one uke, and I don't want to risk it getting trashed at the beach (I'm very protective of my Fluke). To this end, I have spent a bit of time thinking about what might make the perfect "beach uke." Here's the qualifications I've come up with:

1) It must be durable!
The beach is full of sand, rocks, and lots of people! A beach-bound uke must be able to withstand these things without giving the owner too much reason to fret.

2) It must not be too expensive!
I dunno about you, but I would not take a $2000 solid koa wood uke to the beach. If it was my own private beach, maybe. I'd still have qualms.

3) It must be portable!
Ukes are inherently portable, but I think this quality is especially important for the beach, because you'll need free hands to carry towels, umbrellas, snacks, etc.

4) It must not be afraid of water (or have onboard electronics)!
In my experience, pretty much everything you take to the beach gets wet, whether you want it to or not (like my past cellphone! D'oh!). If the uke can't resist a little moisture (much less a full dip), it probably shouldn't take a trip to the beach. This is especially true for ukes with electronics in them because you don't want to render your pick-up completely useless through water damage.

5) It should attract people to you!
Many people (not just in California) go to the beach to "see and be seen." Why spend 4 hours at the gym a day if you can't flaunt your stuff? Moreover, why bring a uke to the beach if it doesn't look, or failing that, sound good? Granted, this is somewhat dependent on your own ability to play in the first place...but you shouldn't have to be as good as Jake S. to make your uke sound half-way decent. After all...what better way to attract that special someone than with a song? :D

---

So...what do I think is the best beach uke? Well...[/drum roll]

The Flea! (http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/store/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=57)

Honorable Mention - Malaka Soprano! (The http://cgi.ebay.com/MAKALA-PURPLE-SOPRANO-UKULELE-aquilas-HEAR-VIDEO_W0QQitemZ370290458429QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_D efaultDomain_0?hash=item563707ff3d#ht_1755wt_1167)

Does anyone else have any thoughts on what ukes to bring to the beach? Or perhaps what ukes to NOT bring? :D

ainokeato
11-17-2009, 08:33 PM
1) It must be durable!
The beach is full of sand, rocks, and lots of people! A beach-bound uke must be able to withstand these things without giving the owner too much reason to fret.


o.o Might I suggest, a Hardshell Case?



2) It must not be too expensive!
I dunno about you, but I would not take a $2000 solid koa wood uke to the beach. If it was my own private beach, maybe. I'd still have qualms.


I suggest Lanikai if you want small cheap and good, only because the smaller one I have is Lanikai



3) It must be portable!
Ukes are inherently portable, but I think this quality is especially important for the beach, because you'll need free hands to carry towels, umbrellas, snacks, etc.

Well unless you're going by yourself, you can get a backpackish gig bag or you can find a strap to put on the handle of your hardshell uke case then put it around you have it waddling behind you while you have two hands free. (Pro at ghettofying things :))


4) It must not be afraid of water (or have onboard electronics)!
In my experience, pretty much everything you take to the beach gets wet, whether you want it to or not (like my past cellphone! D'oh!). If the uke can't resist a little moisture (much less a full dip), it probably shouldn't take a trip to the beach. This is especially true for ukes with electronics in them because you don't want to render your pick-up completely useless through water damage.

I wouldn't dip any uke short of plastic toy ukes in water, so long as you wipe them or keep it in a case it shouldn't be to much trouble getting it a little wet, just make sure you wipe it off?


5) It should attract people to you!
Many people (not just in California) go to the beach to "see and be seen." Why spend 4 hours at the gym a day if you can't flaunt your stuff? Moreover, why bring a uke to the beach if it doesn't look, or failing that, sound good? Granted, this is somewhat dependent on your own ability to play in the first place...but you shouldn't have to be as good as Jake S. to make your uke sound half-way decent. After all...what better way to attract that special someone than with a song? :D
:D

:) Get a glossy uke finish and a nice wood grained uke.

johncaudrey
11-17-2009, 08:49 PM
Got to be the very inexpensive Plastic bodied Makala Dolphin as demonstrated here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mg3Okd_yIZQ by Ukisociety. Comes in lots of pretty colours too!

bazmaz
11-17-2009, 09:54 PM
Moving down in terms of cost..

1. A Flea - tough as old boots and sound great
2. Lanikai Lu21 - inexpensive, but nicely finished and I love the clunky sound
3. Makala plastic dolphin - cant wait to get me one - so cheap you should buy several!

luke'nlele
11-18-2009, 02:43 AM
We've taken our Makala concert and tenor everywhere-cars, boats, planes and RVs, sitting on beaches and hiking in mountains and deserts. We've never had any weather related problems. Although they don't have a glossy finish, getting caught in the rain didn't do any harm.

These are not the colorful sopranoes with the dolphin bridges. They are made of a durable laminate-Agathis wood, which we've seen described as "poor man's mahogany".They have a warm mellow tone. These ukes have geared tuners and have stayed in tune even when we travel.

We got our Makalas knowing that we would be trying to take them on planes, so we got a couple of inexpensive hard cases. They have double straps, so we can wear them like backpacks.

Our only problem has been with the decal around the soundhole which tore when it was scratched by a fingernail, but Kala is replacing it.

We think these are great little ukes for a great little price. We love them.

We've also heard that Kala is making a thinner travel uke. It seems that they may be the only company that offers this option.

Have fun at the beach!

Matt Clara
11-18-2009, 03:00 AM
Hi Everybody -

I live on the California Coast, so I spent a lot of time hearing about the beach. I don't go terribly often because of academic commitments, but I know at least one thing that would get me to the beach more often...a uke! I have a minor problem, though. I only have one uke, and I don't want to risk it getting trashed at the beach (I'm very protective of my Fluke). To this end, I have spent a bit of time thinking about what might make the perfect "beach uke." Here's the qualifications I've come up with:

[...]

Does anyone else have any thoughts on what ukes to bring to the beach? Or perhaps what ukes to NOT bring? :D

How 'bout you make your own (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21699)? Mine sounds much better than I ever expected, as good as my Ohana, even, and it looks cool, too. Slap some polyurethane finish on there and a little water won't hurt it. I wouldn't submerge it, or bury it in sand, or anything like that, though.

iDavid
11-18-2009, 03:08 AM
Moving down in terms of cost..

Makala plastic dolphin - cant wait to get me one - so cheap you should buy several!


I just got four :D

One for each member of my family.

They sound great, just love em

got it from MGM, great service

Ahnko Honu
11-18-2009, 04:57 AM
Hi Everybody -

I only have one uke, and I don't want to risk it getting trashed at the beach (I'm very protective of my Fluke). To this end, I have spent a bit of time thinking about what might make the perfect "beach uke." Here's the qualifications I've come up with:

1) It must be durable!

2) It must not be too expensive!

3) It must be portable!

4) It must not be afraid of water (or have onboard electronics)!

5) It should attract people to you!

So...what do I think is the best beach uke? Well...[/drum roll]

The Flea!



Just curious, why would you consider the Flea superior to the Fluke you already own as a beach 'ukulele? Made of the exact same materials, both come with handy dandy gig bags for over shoulder carry. Both are relatively inexpensive. Both have similar style so hated and loved equally. I find um cheap here on Craigslist, they are not as appreciated here in the land of Koa 'ukuleles so neither have that attractiveness you desire at least not in the islands. Make your Fluke your beach 'ukulele and buy yourself a K 'ukulele for home play. ;)

PaulGeo
11-18-2009, 06:57 AM
My first thought was "a Flea"... good luck.

haole
11-18-2009, 07:05 AM
I think an all-plastic uke like an Islander or Carnival would be the perfect beach uke, because there's no wood at all. The Makala dolphin is a good choice, too. Cheap enough to buy multiples! Fleas are great, but if you keep adding options to them (rosewood, pickup, etc) they start to become too nice to use as a beach uke.

Still, I've brought my Flea and even my Kamaka to the beach many times! Just need to keep an eye on them and scrub some of the beach crud off them when I get home.

RevWill
11-18-2009, 07:17 AM
Fleas, Flukes and Dolphins are the perfect go-anywhere knockabout ukes. I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the dolphins. Two live in my house - my wife's is purple and my son's is metallic blue (VERY nice color).

kenikas
11-18-2009, 07:41 AM
I just got four :D

One for each member of my family.

They sound great, just love em

got it from MGM, great service

I've got to agree, these are great little uke's and MGM's service is da bes! Also agree with Luke'nlele that the wood Makalas are great tough uke for the price.

molokinirum
11-18-2009, 12:03 PM
I am also looking for a beach uke. I am leaning towards the Makala Concert. I saw a review of one on YouTube and it sounded pretty good. In addition, MGM is selling them with Aquila strings for $65. Not bad. You should check them out!!

Brad Bordessa
11-18-2009, 01:12 PM
Rainsong needs to make an 'ukulele. I believe at some point back they took a poll on what instrument to make next and over half had said "'ukulele". Carbon fiber - you could even play in between sets!

http://www.rainsong.com/

FromTheWayside
11-18-2009, 02:19 PM
Rainsong needs to make an 'ukulele. I believe at some point back they took a poll on what instrument to make next and over half had said "'ukulele". Carbon fiber - you could even play in between sets!

http://www.rainsong.com/

I've heard some really good things about Rainsongs, but as I remember, they are a little bit too expensive for me. Carbon fiber uke = win.

I like the idea of getting a Makala, but for two or three Makalas (maybe two if you buy used), you could get a base-line flea. To be honest, I would not take my fluke to the beach because of the rosewood.

Also, I don't think the flea is inherently better than the fluke. Personally, I think the fluke is slightly more attractive (otherwise I would have bought the flea!), but not significantly so. I like the idea of having a completely plastic / laminate uke though...tough as nails and good to go is definitely "win," to me.

I think it would be amazing to make my own, but at this point I have neither the time nor the ability...someday, though.

Keonikapila
11-18-2009, 02:25 PM
My beach uke is a Pono mahogany tenor...its been making regular beach runs with me for 2 or 3 years now and I haven't had any problems with it...its been dinged, dropped, rained on, splash by waves, sat in the sun all day, layed on the rocks, played with slimy bait-juice covered fingers, and it's still going strong...as a matter of fact I used to record my last youtube video

The uke probably deserves better, but eh...it's a great uke and inexpensive enough for me to not worry about the dings, scuffs, and scratches.

pithaya9
11-18-2009, 05:40 PM
I'd have to agree with Ahnko Honu, you have the best outdoor uke.

SkeeterAsada
11-18-2009, 06:08 PM
Got to be the very inexpensive Plastic bodied Makala Dolphin as demonstrated here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mg3Okd_yIZQ by Ukisociety. Comes in lots of pretty colours too!

agreed, MGM's setup comes with aquila strings:D