My pole is broken due to being blown too hard.
It all happened during a bad thunderstorm. We noticed that the patio umbrella was unfurled just as it started to rain. I told Betty that I should go out and furl it. "I shall furl!" I announced, but it was too late - the storm was already too furious.
At our old house, we had forgotten to furl our umbrella before a bad storm once, and the wind had picked it up and tossed it over our fence and into the street. I just happened to notice it while backing out of the driveway to go to work. Ever since then, I've made sure to tighten it within the umbrella stand.
I like the pole to be tight in the stand. Especially when a storm's a'brewin'. Otherwise the pole flops around, and nobody likes a floppy pole.
Sadly, the storm was too much this time around. The wind blew too hard, and although our stand kept the pole firmly in its grip, the pole bent until it finally snapped.
The moral of the story is that it's not the size of your pole... it's how you furl it.
Knowing is half the battle.