Problem Solver - August 2009
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Bringing Fun Back to the Deep End

Due to safety concerns, insurance costs and liability issues, many commercial swimming pools choose not to include diving boards. Even pool slides are sometimes removed when concerns about safety come up. But in existing pools, this can leave a large, vacant, unused space where the diving boards and slides used to be. Where swimmers once splashed and had fun, there is now just still water.

If you've removed your diving boards or slides and swimmers are crowding into other areas of your pool, or worse, they've just stopped coming, you need a solution to bring more fun to the deep end.

Q: We've removed our diving boards from our pool to improve safety and reduce our insurance costs, but now we've got a big empty space in our pool. How can we maximize our swimmers' experience and get the most use out of our pool?

A: Many facilities have realized that with the deep water required to prevent head and neck injuries when patrons are diving, their deep ends might not be deep enough! Others have chosen to eliminate diving boards and slides from their pools. But removing these amenities leaves a big empty space.

You can fill that space with an innovative solution that will not only draw more users to the deep end of your pool, but will also attract more people to your facility. A modular poolside climbing wall gives patrons the chance to have fun and splash in the water in a safer way than diving and sliding.

Based on 3-foot by 3-foot fiberglass panels, this innovative modular wall system provides a flexible design that can fit any pool. Your patrons won't get bored, as each panel can be turned in four different orientations. This can change the difficulty level, offer new challenges and keep the entertainment value going strong.

And in pools with unique shapes, guttering systems or decks, where diving boards might not even be a possibility, a poolside climbing wall still works. Its mounting system can accommodate all shapes and sizes of pools, decks and guttering systems.

Best of all, kids and adults of all ages will come back again and again to take part in this fun activity.

Q: Is a poolside climbing wall really safe?

A: Safety expert Dr. Tom Griffiths, president of the Aquatic Safety Research Group, sees these poolside climbing walls as a much safer alternative to diving boards and slides. Each wall comes complete with guidelines for safe use, and they are designed with safety in mind.

The bottom panels of the wall are partially submerged into the pool. This means users start and finish in the water. There is no risk of falling on the deck, and the risk is much lower than with many other types of aquatic equipment. The frame tilts over the water, which keeps falling climbers away from the edge. In addition, climbers fall feet first into the water, the safest way to reenter the pool.

Talk to the manufacturer about the right solution for your pool. The height of the wall will be restricted by the depth of your pool.

Once the wall is installed, you don't have to worry about restricting patrons. There is no weight limit or age requirement, so patrons of all ages will be able to have fun!

Q: We sometimes host swimming competitions in our pool. Can we remove the wall in these instances? Will that be difficult?

A: The poolside climbing wall can be removed from the edge of the pool, either temporarily or permanently. A temporary move is fairly simply, taking only about 20 minutes. Just the base of the frame will be left on the pool deck, and nothing will be left in the water. To remove the base, several deck anchors will need to be unscrewed, taking about 10 more minutes.

Q: Will our lifeguards need special training?

A: No. A poolside climbing wall doesn't require any additional lifeguarding skills. As long as you ensure your lifeguards are well-trained and engage in ongoing refreshment of typical guarding skills, they should be able to handle the addition of the poolside climbing wall with ease.

AquaClimb: 800-956-6692