An Introduction to Able Canopies

Shade Sails

Shade Sails

Our commercial Shade Sail systems are extremely durable structures that offer high UV protection, making them perfect for use in playgrounds and recreation areas. All our Shade Sails are made to order and offer almost unlimited design potential allowing you to create a stylish, colourful and effective shading system to suit your setting.  

These premium products have been designed specifically for commercial use and are manufactured and installed with the same attention to detail as our canopies, providing you with a high quality shade system which is built to last. Our sail systems are designed to be left outdoors 365 days a year, requiring only minimal maintenance and no re-tensioning.  

Free Guide

Download your free copy of The Ultimate Shade Sail Guide to help you choose the solution for your needs. 

Commercial Shade Sails

Please Note:
Our shade sails are commercial structures that are not suitable for domestic use and cannot be attached directly to brickwork or buildings. Your site must have enough space to accommodate the posts that support the sails and the foundations that the posts are fixed into. We do however have a range of domestic canopies which can be seen here: Domestic Canopies, Carports and Verandas

If you have any questions about Shade Sails, or to find out if you qualify for a Free Site Survey contact our professionals today

Why Choose a Shade Sail? 

Able Shade Sails are versatile and stunning shade systems which keep children and adults protected from the sun's harmful UV rays. Due to climate change it is becoming increasingly important to provide shade from the sun in the UK, especially in schools and nurseries. Our shade sails are the perfect solution as they block up to 96% of UV rays. 

With the installation of shade sails, most activities can be moved outdoors creating a new, exciting learning environment for children and giving a space for activities which may not be suitable to do indoors such as large scale performances or arts and craft work.

Shade sails also create pleasant and cool seating areas, making them great picnic areas or a covered outdoor extension to your bar or restaurant, dramatically increasing your seating capacity.

Have a question? Click here to read our Shade Sail F.A.Q's 

A Recent Shade Sail Case Study

Shade Sails Installed at Castle Wood School in West Midlands
Castle Wood School, West Midlands
Castle Wood School required a number of
outside shaded areas for the pupils at their
school in Coventry, West Midlands...

Read the full
Castle Wood Case Study


What Type of Shade Sail is Right for Me?

Able Canopies have two Shade Sail categories to choose from these are: Sun Shade Sails and Waterproof Shade Sails. All three products are similar, yet they benefit from different properties making them unique from one another. We have created a handy comparison below which shows the benefits of each product so you can discover which shade sail is right for you.

shade sails Sun Shade Sails
waterproof shade sails Waterproof Shade Sails

  • shade sailsRobust Permanent Structures – Both shade sails are installed into the ground and are made from materials that have been designed to be left outside all year round.
  • shade sailsHigh UV Protection – The fabric for the sun shade sails block up to 98.8% of harmful UV rays, keeping the area underneath cool and shaded, protecting those underneath from the sun.
  • shade sailsWaterproof Fabric – The waterproof shade sail fabric is waterproof and therefore protects from the rain as well as the sun, keeping those underneath dry and sheltered. The sun shade sails are not waterproof and are therefore only ideal for creating shade from the sun.
  • shade sailsChoice of Singular or Arrays – You can choose to have just one shade sail installed, or you can create a striking focal point in your outside area and cover much a larger area with a shade sail array. You can also install various waterproof shade sails together but they do not create the same pleasing appearance as the sun shade sail arrays.
  • shade sailsChoice of Fabric Colours – The sun shade sails are available in 15 colours and the waterproof shade sails are available in 40 colours to complement your outside environment perfectly.
  • shade sailsChoice of Frame Colours – The frames for the waterproof shade sails are available in any RAL colour to brighten up your outside area further. The sun shade sails have a natural galvanised finish.
  • shade sailsAluminium Frame – The waterproof shade sail frames are made from aluminium which is naturally rust resistant.
  • shade sailsSteel Posts – The sun shade sail posts are made from steel and are galvanised as standard for ultimate corrosion protection.
  • shade sails5-10 Year Guarantee – The sun shade sails are supplied with up to a 10-year guarantee. The waterproof shade sails do not have a guarantee however, they have a life expectancy of up to 25 years.

Guide to Shade SailsFree Shade Sail Guide

Download your free copy of the Ultimate Shade Sail Guide to help you select the correct requirements for your shade sail project.

Download Now: Guide to Shade Sails

Made to Measure Shade Sails

All of the shade sails from Able Canopies are made to measure and are therefore bespoke to your individual needs.

Choosing made to measure shade sails ensure that your design vision can become a reality; your outside area can be transformed into a bright, colourful and usable space, encouraging children and adults to spend more time outside whilst keeping cool and shaded from the sun.

With our Sun Shade Sails, the possibilities are endless. You can choose a singular shade sail in either square or triangle; or you can choose an array of multiple shade sails with square, triangle or both square and triangle sails.

Each sail in the shade sail arrays can have alternating colours, using as many colours as you like.

To find out more about how we can help you turn your ideas into a real, practical and useable shade structure, contact us here: Made to Measure Shade Sails

Shade Sail Reviews

Shade Sail ReviewsWe understand that when you invest in a shade sail, you want a product is of the highest quality from a company that is reliable, professional and experienced. Please see a selection of reviews from our customers that we have supplied and installed shade sails for.

“The design team were very helpful in their advice and the construction team were efficient and completed the work on schedule. Excellent Job, thank you”
- Our Lady of Pity Catholic Primary School, Merseyside – Sun Shade Sail

"Many, many thanks to the whole team at Able Canopies for our great shade sails, with best wishes from the children and staff at Kents Hill Infants."
- Kents Hill Infant School, Essex – Sun Shade Sail

"The product has far reached my expectations. Great colours, great size, a real benefit for the children using our service"
- Canon’s House, Wiltshire – Bespoke Shade Sail

"Installed on time and on budget by a friendly, professional installation team - well done!"
- White Hall Academy, Essex – Sun Shade Sail

"Really happy with the end result, Thank you"
- Cherry Tree Nursery, North Yorkshire – Sun Shade Sail

"Sales & Installation teams are fantastic."
- The Bridge School, London – Sun Shade Sail

"Very pleased with the installation which was completed with very little disruption."
- Barrington Primary School, Kent – Sun Shade Sail

Shade Sail F.A.Q’s

What Are Shade Sails?
A shade sail is a structure that is installed for the purpose of creating shade within your outside area. They are covered with fabric and are most popular within hot countries such as Australia, yet they are still very popular in the UK.

Whilst they are designed solely to create shade from the sun, some are in fact waterproof. However, it’s important to note that a traditional shade sails such as our Sun Shade Sails are covered with polyethylene fabric which is knitted and therefore benefits from a cooling breeze of filtered air that flows through the miniscule holes in the fabric. Waterproof structures do not have this benefit.

What Do Shade Sails Cost?
The cost of a shade sail varies extensively. They are bespoke shade sails made to order and can be supplied in many sizes, designs and arrays, it is therefore impossible to supply you with a standard price.

If you have a size in mind, we may be able to advise you of an outline cost based on one of our previous installations over the phone. Call us on 0800 389 9072 to talk to one of our friendly advisors.

What Are the Best Shade Sails?
There is no singular ‘best’ shade sail available, it all depends on what you need from your shade sail, you can then evaluate what shade sail is best for you. It is of course extremely important that you choose a shade sail that is of a commercial grade and is made from high strength and durable materials to ensure your shade sail will last for many years to come.

The main difference between our shade sails are shade sails for sun protection and waterproof shade sails.

Are Shade Sails Waterproof?
We are often asked “Are shade sails rainproof?” “Do shade sails block rain?”. The answer is yes and no. Traditional Shade Sails such as the Sun Shade Sail do not protect from the rain, they are designed to protect from the sun only, create a cooling shade underneath.

However, our waterproof shade sails have a slightly different design to traditional shade sails as they have a frame instead of posts and they are covered with waterproof fabric that shelters from the rain.

Do Shade Sails Need Council Approval?
This entirely depends on the requirements from your local authority. Most of the time planning permission is not required, however it depends on many factors. Please contact your local authority for more information.

Do Shade Sails Need Re-tensioning?
Our shade sails do not need re-tensioning, they are all permanent structures that have been designed to last for many years to come with just simple maintenance such as cleaning.

Inferior structures that are available on the market are made from cheaper materials and may need re-tensioning, so please bear this in mind when comparing costs.

Click here to read more shade sail frequently asked questions

Shade Sail Brochure DownloadDownload our Brochure

Download our brochure which showcases our shade sail range or request a copy in the post.

To view and save your copy now, please click here: Download Shade Sail Brochure

If you have any questions about Shade Sails,
or to find out if you qualify for a Free Site Survey contact our professionals today