What Are Conic Shade Sails? +5 Awesome Benefits

What Are Conic Shade Sails? +5 Awesome Benefits

what are conic shade sails

What are conic shade sails, and what are some of their biggest benefits? Continue reading to learn more.

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Shade sails are a must for any outdoor area, especially during the hot summer months. They provide protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays, maximise the utility of the outdoor space by making it cooler and more pleasant to be in, and also add a stylish and aesthetic touch

When looking for the best shading solution for your outdoor area, one thing you’ll need to keep in mind is that there are 3 different types of shade sails that you can choose from:

Hypar shade sails

– Flat shade sails

– Conic shade sails

In our previous articles, we zoomed in on hypar and flat shade sails, detailing their characteristics, advantages, and how you can use them to your advantage for your outdoor space. 

In this article, we will focus on conic shade sailswhat are they, what makes them different from flat and hypar ones, and what are some of the biggest benefits that you can expect to get if you choose them as your shading solution.

So, let’s dive right into it!

1. What are conic shade sails?

Conic shade sails (also known as conical shade sails), are a type of shade sail characterised by its unique conical shape. As opposed to flat or hypar shade sails, they have a curved surface that slopes from a higher point to a lower point, creating the resemblance of a cone-like or a tent-like structure.

Conical shades draw the attention with a refreshing, eye-catching design that enhances the aesthetic appearance of any outdoor area. The curved shape creates an elegant and modern look, making them a popular shading option for residential and commercial applications.

2. What are the benefits of conic shade sails?

There are multiple benefits of choosing conic shade sails for shading your outdoor spaces, from flexibility and versatility to cost-effectiveness and protection from the sun’s harmful radiation. Let’s take a better look;

2.1. Structural stability

One of the biggest benefits of conic shade sails is that they offer an inherent structural stability, which makes them a good shading option for harsher weather conditions. 

The tensioning and shape of the fabric create a self-supporting structure, which distributes external loads more efficiently, and minimizes the need for additional support posts or anchoring points.

Compared to flat shade sails, conic shade sails have a curved surface which allows for optimal tension distribution, reducing stress concentrations and minimising the risk of fabric sagging and flapping.

In addition, this type of shade sails also provides a great wind resistance, which is important if you live in a place with high winds. The curved surface allows wind to pass over and around the sail in a smoother manner, reducing the impact of wind forces.

Of course, there are other factors to keep in mind when it comes to stronger wind resistance – such as ensuring that the shade sail is appropriately tensioned and anchored, or choosing the appropriate tensile canopy fabric

conic shade sails

2.2. UV protection

Another benefit of conic shade sails is their effective protection against harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, as they are capable of blocking up to 99% of the UV rays. This reduces the risk of sunburn, and protects people and outdoor furniture from prolonged sun exposure.

This type of shade sails is designed to provide a large coverage area with shade, and the curved shape ensures that there is maximum blockage of direct sunlight. This creates a shaded zone where the UV exposure is greatly reduced.

In addition, the combination of the curved shape and the high-density polyethylene (HDPE) fabric of the conical shade sail creates a shading effect. This effect provides a further reduction to UV exposure by diffusing and scattering the sunlight that passes through the fabric.

This achieves a dispersion of the UV rays, preventing them from concentrating in specific areas, as well as reducing their intensity.

Another way in which conic shade sails provide optimal UV protection is through the so-called angle of incidence. 

They are designed to intercept sunlight from multiple angles throughout the day, which means that different parts of the shade sail are exposed to direct sunlight as the sun moves across the sky. As a result, the sunlight is deflected or absorbed by the shade sail from different directions, ensuring a more comprehensive UV protection.

2.3. Rainwater shedding

Among the biggest benefits of conical shade sails is their ability to facilitate rainwater shedding. The curvature encourages water to flow down and off the fabric, preventing water pooling.

This also reduces the risk of fabric stretching, sagging, or damage due to the accumulation of water on the shade sail, which would add an unnecessary load to it (this happens with flat shade sails, for example). 

Over the long term, this ability may even prolong the life of your shade sail because it experiences less load as opposed to other types of shade sails. Proper installation also ensures that rainwater runoff is directed away from the shaded area. 

You can also opt for waterproof tensile canopies if you live in an area that experiences a lot of rain throughout the year.

2.4. Design flexibility

If you are working with an experienced manufacturer of shade sails and tensile canopy structures like SD Sails, you can also enjoy a limitless design flexibility when it comes to ordering your conic shade sails. 

They can be designed and manufactured in a wide range of sizes, colours, fabrics and even hardware, ensuring that they perfectly fit your specific requirements and preferences. 

Having a custom designed shading solution also allows for a seamless integration into the existing architecture and design of your commercial or residential outdoor area. Different colours and fabric choices provide opportunities for creative expression and coordination with the surrounding environment.

Leading shade sail manufacturers like SD Sails also offer bespoke canopies options that can be ordered easily and seamlessly using our unique Free Form approach.

This online system has been designed to take out the complexity of ordering custom canopies, allowing you to get a quote instantly. 

2.5. Cost-effectiveness

Speaking of the benefits of conical shade sails, we can’t forget to mention their cost-effectiveness when compared to permanent structures like pergolas or roofs. 

They offer a practical shading solution without the need for extensive construction or complex installation, which is great news if you aren’t looking to invest a lot of money into a shading solution for your outdoor space.

Shade sails require fewer materials and less labour-intensive construction, resulting in lower upfront expenses and initial costs. They also have minimal maintenance costs as opposed to permanent structures because they are made from durable materials capable of withstanding different outdoor conditions.

Doing regular inspection, and maintenance and cleaning of debris is important if you want to extend the life of your conic shade sail, but this is usually enough and is not associated with high costs. In addition, make sure that the tensioning system remains intact.


In conclusion, conic shade sails are a great shading option for any commercial or residential area. They provide solid structural stability, effective UV protection, design flexibility and facilitation of rainwater shedding, on top of their aesthetic appearance and their ability to intercept sunlight for better sun protection.

If you are looking for a custom conic shade sail for your business or residential property in the United Kingdom, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We offer end-to-end shading solutions in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and many other cities within the Kingdom.


How do conic shade sails differ from other types of shade sails?

Conic shade sails differ from other types of shade sails primarily in their shape and design. While traditional shade sails typically have a rectangular or triangular shape, conic shade sails are characterised by their conical or hyperbolic paraboloid shape. 

Are conic shade sails customisable to fit specific spaces?

Yes, conic shade sails are perfectly customisable to fit specific spaces. You can order a custom conical shade sail in any size, shape, colour and fabric that you want. 

How do you install conic shade sails?

To install a conic shade sail, it is recommended to get it done by a professional. While the installation process is fairly easy and can be done by anyone, certain mistakes – such as not tensioning it properly or not determining the installation points correctly may reduce the lifespan of your shade sail, and worsen its performance.