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San Clemente Journal

Puddle Jumping - Making the Beach More Fun!

Aug 23, 2021 06:51PM ● By Donia Moore

The Beach Puddle in Action

by Donia Moore

Sometimes, the most obvious ideas are the most over-looked. When my kids were little we took them to Fiji on vacation. We also took our traditional very heavy playpen (35 years ago – no such thing as Pack and Play) to secure a safe place for them to play on the beach. In order to do that, daddy built a magnificent and very heavy wooden box to house it on the plane. People thought it was a precious artwork. 

 Upon seeing the Beach Puddle, I wondered that we had never thought of a simpler solution. So when someone like San Clemente resident and entrepreneur Larry Wares can see the bigger picture and find a solution that might make life easier and more fun for people taking little ones to the beach; it is something worth investigating.  

The Particulars
A resident since 2007, Larry saw a need to help grandparents and parents of small children to enjoy the beach in safety. As a result, he came up with a “Puddle,” one that can easily be set up anywhere near a source of water - beach, lake or river with sand - in just a few minutes. And grandparents and moms watching over young children on hot beach days have since become some of his biggest fans; the lucky owners of his patented Beach Puddle. 


The heavy duty, but not heavy (it only weighs a couple of pounds), 600 denier custom-made material with a non-slip surface, comes with its own shoulder carrying bag. Pack it to the beach; take it on the plane. This versatile pad can provide hours of fun at home or on vacation, for babies, toddlers and younger children. The non-slip puddle sets up in minutes. In effect, it really is simply a puddle placed on the sand and held in place by outer pockets filled with sand that can be set up anywhere on the beach. Its shoulder bag, acts as a bucket for bringing water to fill the puddle to a desired depth:  a couple of inches for a toddler splash with mom nearby; a little more for a sand castle building five-year old; or a bit more water for jump-happy seven-year olds.
Larry adds some tips. “We post about the bucket-bag fairly often because it’s a cool 2-in-1 feature of the Beach Puddle … but we still get questions! You choose how much water you want in your Beach Puddle, and it will usually be between two-to-four bags worth. Set the bag out to dry after filling up, so you can pack your Beach Puddle away when you are ready to go. 
Pro tip: walk out a few feet into the ocean, lake, river, etc. to fill up the bag- you’ll get clearer, less sandy water!”

 Locally Owned
Because the Beach Puddle is locally made and warehoused, typical delivery is only a day or two for local orders. The five-foot diameter allows for several kids to play in it at once. It even comes with a choice of a blue seahorse pattern or an orange crab pattern. 

Before the Beach Puddle was a twinkle in Larry’s eyes, he grew up in the Mission Viejo area, and attended Mission Viejo High School. Like many Orange County teens, his friends ranged from Mission Viejo to Dana Point to San Clemente. Weekends were mostly spent riding the waves or on the beach. And when it came time for college, Larry headed for BYU/Hawaii to work on his Construction Management degree. Eventually he transferred to the Provo, Utah campus to complete his degree requirements. It was a good thing he did because that’s where he met his lovely wife Cyndi, a California girl from the San Gabriel Valley. Larry describes Cyndi as an amazing “five - star” wife who ran her own catering company and now handles all the company’s fulfillment process. The couple has five adult children and 11 grandchildren, which makes beachgoing a wonderful but busy experience. The Beach Puddle grew out of a desire to help their kids and their friends have a more relaxed visit to sand and surf.

 Surfing the World
When he isn’t managing a building site, Larry loves to mix travel with surfing. He has surfed many of the top spots in the world, but his favorite, so far, is the Mentawais in Indonesia where he successfully rode some of the biggest waves of his life. He’s also surfed in Nias, Bali and of course Hawaii.

And while Larry is watching for more mega waves to ride, he also keeps his eyes open for ways to help his family and friends surf the smaller waves of life. In hindsight, I wish I’d had his foresight for the “Puddle”!