Leave the plastic shovels and buckets at home, Mentor’s July 22 Headlands BeachFest is for seriously sandy structures. Local sand sculptor Carl Jara gives us the tips and tricks you need to impress during the family sandcastle building sessions. cityofmentor.com
Stay hydrated: Use lots and lots of water on the sand. Jara says the sand found at beaches such as Headlands is round and gravelly, so more water is key to a solid pack. Even bring a metal pail and a spray bottle. “The water sort of bridges the gap between sand particles, and you get this sort of stickiness,” Jara says.
Pancake house: If you’re sculpting a figure (such as Jara’s sandy Donald Trump), it’s best to build a tall column of sand and then carve out of that. Do so by building 2-inch thick pancakes of sand and stack them on top of each other. “You get this incredible, strong pack,” Jara says.
Tools of the trade: Jara swears by masonry trowels with a thin blade for initial carving, palette knives for fine details and plumbing supply tubes to blow away loose sand. “If you’ve only got around five tools, it’s easy to keep track of them,” Jara says.