If you’re the type of person who spends most their time in the pool swimming laps rather than playing games or floating around on a water mattress, a backyard lap pool might be a good idea for you. At the same time, if you’re a homeowner who loves swimming, but lacks the backyard space for a full-sized pool, a lap pool might be a good alternative. So how do lap pools work and what makes them ideal for urban dwellers and fitness fanatics? Keep reading below to find out.
The Traditional Lap Pool
Modern-day lap pools became popular in California in the 1970s. They were designed for the serious swimmer to get in a workout. The layout is typically long and narrow – similar to a single swimming lane. The ideal dimensions were found to be approximately 45 feet long and 10 feet wide. This allowed a swimmer to get in a significant number of strokes before having to turn around. It also ensured the swimmer wouldn’t be adversely affected by their own wake. Not only does such a design work well for someone who would only use their pool for swimming laps, but its size is ideal for those with small backyards.
Endless Lap Pools
Endless lap pools are even smaller than traditional lap pools. The feature that makes the pool endless is a strong current produced by jets or paddles that keeps the swimmer in place as they perform their stroke, the advantage of an endless pool comes down to space. Because the swimmer doesn’t actually move that far when swimming against the current, the pool can be much shorter than a traditional lap pool. In fact, it resembles a hot tub more than it does an actual swimming pool. The intensity of the current can be controlled to match the style and strength of the stroke that the swimmer is practicing.
A tether system can be used in any style swimming pool to create a type of endless pool situation. The swimmer places a tether around their ankle and then works against their own resistance as they perform their swimming stroke. The advantages of the tether system is that they can be easily added to an existing pool at the fraction of the cost of a jet or paddle propelled system.
The Lap Pool for You
Choosing a lap pool that works best for you will come down to a number of factors. Do you already have an existing pool that you’d like to function as a lap pool? What kind of budget are you working with? And how much space are you able to dedicate to a swimming pool? If you’re a serious swimmer looking to practice your stroke in your own backyard, there’s a lap pool that can work for you. Download our free Backyard Escapes guide to find out more.