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Choosing a Swim Spa or Exercise Pool for Swimming

Updated on July 28, 2011

Choosing a swim spa, exercise pool, fitness pool or swimming pool is a big decision, as it's a choice you'll be living with for a long time. Choose the wrong type of pool, and you will drastically reduce the use you get from your new investment, choose the right swimming pool, however, and you will be delighted with it for years to come.

Powerful counter-current jets in a Riptide pool
Powerful counter-current jets in a Riptide pool

Types of Swim Spa

Swim spas can be grouped into three main types.

  • Spa and counter-current in the same volume of water
  • Spa and counter-current in separate two volumes of water
  • Exercise Pools with only counter-current, and no spa features

Which type should I pick?

The aim of this hub is to help you decide which type of Swim Spa is right for you, giving you the knowledge you require to go out into the market and see what's available. We also recommend trying before you buy - for the majority of people, buying a swimming pool is a very costly endeavour, and "buying blind" could potentially land you with an expensive mistake.

So without further ado, here is our brief run-down of the options..

Single volume of water allows swimmers and bathers to share the experience together
Single volume of water allows swimmers and bathers to share the experience together

Spa & Counter Current - Single Volume of Water

Pools which have spa jets and counter-current in a single volume of water are possibly the most popular, as you can freely use both the swim and spa ends of the pool without having to leave the water. It's also possible for a swimmer to be swimming whilst a spa bather enjoys the relaxing hot tub jets at the spa end, which can be very appealing to couples or families. These swim spas can often seat up to six people whilst the swim end is also in use.

The negative side of a single volume of water is mainly temperature. Often, the most suitable water temperature for swimming is not the ideal temperature for spa bathers, and vice versa. Bathers will want the temperature of the spa in excess of 37 degrees Celsius, however a serious swimmer will find this too hot.

Riptide Poseidon has two separate volumes of water with each end controlled independently
Riptide Poseidon has two separate volumes of water with each end controlled independently

Spa & Counter Current - Two Volumes of Water

Pools which have counter-current and spa ends of the pool using separate volumes of water can be a better choice for those looking to do some serious swimming. In this type of swim spa, you can adjust the temperature for swimming to something around 28-29 degrees Celsius, which will allow swimmers to exercise for long periods of time without overheating. Meanwhile, the spa end can be kept at a bather-friendly 37 degrees Celsius, providing the perfect environment to relax after a hard swim. Independent filtration, heating and covers for each end allow you to use each part of the pool as and when you wish.

The Riptide Atlantis is a dedicated exercise pool with powerful counter-current setup
The Riptide Atlantis is a dedicated exercise pool with powerful counter-current setup

Dedicated Fitness Pools

Dedicated fitness pools, sometimes known as exercise pools, are designed for one task only - to swim. There are no spa seats, jets or air blowers, meaning the entire purpose of these pools is exercise only. Dedicated fitness pools are usually deeper than other swim spas, and offer the ultimate home swimming experience, using powerful, zero-turbulence counter-current arrays designed to satisfy the serious swimmer. The counter-current can usually be adjusted to suit swimmer strength.

Swim Spas vs Traditional Swimming Pools

Swim spas offer a number of advantages over conventional, traditional swimming pools.

  • Reduced Electricity Costs - a well insulated swim spa with cover, kept at a constant temperature, will cost substantially less than a traditional swimming pool to heat
  • Reduced Maintenance - traditional swimming pools demand a lot of effort to maintain, with regular cleaning. Swim spas, especially those with modern filtration and corona discharge ozone systems, generally require a lot less effort to keep in perfect bathing condition
  • Easily Relocatable - the financial investment made in a traditional swimming pool is lost if you ever move home, whereas a swim spa can easily be relocated to your new home

Making a Choice

Hopefully this hub has helped you to make a choice about which type of swim spa to go for. If you've got any comments, questions, or would like this hub expanded with more information, please don't hesitate to leave a comment below.


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My dad ran a small business for years and I used to work for him when I was yuonger. I'll just say that you won't go wrong if you are providing the best customer service you can. That's where the little guy can win, by providing individualized service that big guys won't bother with. I'll aways remember my dad reminding his employees "If my customers want someone to point to where a product is they can go to [the chain store]. I want you to walk over there with them and then ask them if there is any other way you can help them."Good luck!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It was dark when I woke. This is a ray of suinhnse.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi Niko! I am envious of your tan huhhuu and wish I could take a vacation, would really really love that. by the way how would you rate the place you went to?

    • htodd profile image


      10 years ago from United States

      Great hub..Thanks

    • Deborah-Diane profile image


      10 years ago from Orange County, California

      Excellect advice about the things we need to consider before buying an exercise pool or spa. We used to have a spa, and loved it. Very relaxing!

    • kubth profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from UK

      Would love some feedback if anyone has it!


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