The Latest Outdoor Living Trend: Comfort, Design, and Massage

Below-grade installations (without the cabinet) remain popular as it allows the consumer to customize the installation, whereby placing the swim spa inground, in a floor, or building a custom-deck surround. Photo courtesy BonaVista LeisureScapes

By Jennifer Gannon

Keep in mind there are many contributing design factors that can make a swim spa more or less comfortable for bathers. For instance, if the swim spa has ergonomically designed seats, let the customer know. This is important because the bather needs to fit comfortably into the seats to get the best possible soaking and massage experience.

Let customers climb in and test out the seats. If a seat is not comfortable when it is dry, the odds are it will remain uncomfortable when it is wet. Again, schedule a ‘wet test’ for customers in a fully operational version of the swim spa they are interested in, just like test-driving a car.

Encourage customers to take a closer look at other design features as well, such as multi-level seating, foot-well space, and safety steps. Leave no rock unturned, this way customers can ensure all body types are able to sit in the swim spa, there is plenty of space to accommodate multiple bathers, and ingress and egress is safe and easy.

Further, if the swim spa design allows, and depending on the customer’s installation preference, tell them the cost with and/or without the cabinet. Today, an increasing number of swim spas are being installed above-ground as the cabinet finishes the exterior; however, below-grade installations (without the cabinet) remain popular. The latter method allows the consumer to customize the installation, whereby placing the swim spa inground, in a floor, or building a custom-deck surround.

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The Latest Outdoor Living Trend: Fun and Fitness

By Jennifer Gannon

One of the most overlooked swim spa feature is their ability to provide additional benefits outside of swimming and massage. Today’s customers are looking for an aquatic centre in the backyard that can provide hours of entertainment for the whole family; therefore, it is important to stress these points as well. For example, some swim spas that can provide this type of an experience are fitness related, including rowing machines, tethered swim cords, or in-wall stair climbers. These swim spas can provide the customer with a home gym that is both convenient and effective.

For families looking for more entertainment value in a swim spa, show them models with lit water features that their kids can swim under, or a stereo for more leisurely activities. Some swim spas even have built-in wave pool features, which allow family members to enjoy hours of fun using a tethered boogie board to simulate wave riding in open water.

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The Latest Outdoor Living Trend: The Swim Experience

A swim spa that fails to meet the customer’s massage expectations can truly make or break a sale; therefore, it is critical to highlight these features as much as the fitness aspect. Photo courtesy BonaVista LeisureScapes

By Jennifer Gannon

When it comes to the swim experience, retailers should discuss the following four elements with their customers to make sure they are choosing the right swim spa. The first is pump design. Will the system provide enough power to achieve the results the user is expecting? Whether the customer is new to exercise, an everyday athlete, or a triathlete, the power of the pumping system, including the size of the plumbing, will help determine the experience.

The swim jet system comes second. It should provide a smooth, turbulence-free swim current. To create this environment, however, the swim jets must have a consistent flow rate capable of producing a flat and powerful current.

The third element is the ability to easily ‘dial in’ (i.e. adjust) the resistance. This is important for two reasons; it allows the swimmer the ability to customize their swim to achieve desired results, and for high-level swimmers, the ability to adjust the current is crucial as it allows for interval training.

The last feature, which some customers may not even consider, is the shell design. Swim spas that have a wide and deep channel, with no protruding steps or seats, provide an unobstructed swim with a consistent, smooth water flow. When demonstrating a swim spa during a ‘wet test,’ for example, show customers how the shell produces little, if any, backsplash. Should backsplash occur, it pushes the swimmer out of the swim lane and disrupts the overall experience. During the demonstration it is also a good idea to explain how the stabilization jets (if equipped) work to push the swimmer to the middle of the swim lane. Finally, if the swim spa also has focus points such as swim lines and lit swim jets to help swimmers identify their position in the swim spa, be sure to highlight these features as well.

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The Latest Outdoor Living Trend: Sell the Convenience Aspect

If the swim spa has ergonomically designed seats, let the customer know. Photo courtesy BonaVista LeisureScapes

By Jennifer Gannon

Those who own a swim spa find it easier to follow a fitness routine and, thus, make it part of their daily lives; however, there are several other features that should be discussed with customers to ensure they are purchasing the swim spa best suited to their needs. To do this, make sure customers remain happy with their purchase. It is important to make sure they have researched the product in terms of the swim experience, fun and fitness factors, comfort, design and massage, company/brand reputation, insulation, and ease of maintenance.

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The Latest Outdoor Living Trend: Marketing the Benefits of Aquatic Fitness

By Jennifer Gannon

For customers who are all about aquatic fitness and therapy, some swim spas are designed without side benches, providing swimmers the advantage of maximum arm and legroom—essentially converting the mini-pool into a mini-gym.

In this regard, retailers should stay informed about water aerobics and aquatic training programs as numerous exercises can be performed in a swim spa. In fact, the water’s natural resistance allows people to simultaneously exercise every muscle and joint in the body. Further, the water also serves to cool the body during the routine, which is beneficial during outdoor summer workouts. Many people who like to follow an in-water fitness conditioning program would be interested in these features.

When looking at demographics, in terms of swim spa sales and aquatic fitness, water aerobics is completely inclusive—age and ability are not factors. Therefore, not only is it important to be able to explain this to customers, but also to realize the market potential for these products. For customers who are unsure, it can be easily explained; water allows the body to be buoyant, causing less strain and stress on the joints and muscles.

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