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Revitalizing interest in public pools with inflatable play structures

By Annika Paus

An inflatable obstacle course can be customized to fit any aquatic facility.

In some areas, commercial pools can become stale as patrons lose interest in the entertainment value the facility offers. As a result, these aquatic facilities struggle to remain attractive for all target groups. One safe and budget-friendly way attendance figures can be revitalized is with the installation of an inflatable obstacle course, which can be customized to fit any aquatic facility.

Inflatable play modules offer children and adults a healthy, fun way to exercise—whether during free-play, facility feature events, or birthday parties. The modularity of these structures makes installation, operation, and maintenance easy. However, to determine the right combination for an individual pool, the following parameters should be considered.


Commercial pools vary in length and width. Modular play products have a length of 3 to 9 m (9.8 to 29.5 ft) on average, so the number of products connected can be adapted to the size of the pool, forming a track that is long but narrow to maintain several lanes for swimmers.

Water depth

Water depth is essential with respect to safety. The higher a play module is, the deeper the water must be. The formula is: product height + average adult height / two = minimum water depth.

Generally, commercial pools have a shallow end and a deep end. For an obstacle track, it is advisable to start with flat products and increase height towards the end so the highest module is positioned at the maximum water depth.


Depending on the number of visitors (and considering the percentage of those looking for exercise and/or recreation), an aquatic facility manager can start with a small investment in inflatable play modules and expand whenever their budget allows or when the number of visitors increase and more people want to be entertained.

Some manufacturers of floating playgrounds enable financial support of local sponsors by colouring the products individually or by attaching external logos.


Inflatable playgrounds are an easy investment and do not require constructional work within the building. They are especially designed to fit the existing venue and are flexible in terms of size, which makes expansion easy and the
budget distributable.

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