CommercialPools WaterplayFeatures 1
The Aqua Zip’N is a poolside attraction that combines the thrill of ziplining with rope swinging. The design allows for clean entry with no swing back, giving users a safer experience.

Building on Trend

Popular waterplay upgrades in the commercial pool industry

Many aquatic facilities are turning to waterplay upgrades to bolster guest attendance. As the commercial pool industry emerges from the pandemic, commercial pool builders have the opportunity to guide facility owners toward the best upgrades for their spaces. From waterslides to sanitation systems, builders can advise what’s trending and what accessories will foster a better swimming experience for guests ready to get back in the pool.

Chris Thomas, director of marketing at Fountain People, an aquatic play equipment manufacturer for Water Odyssey, says one of the top accessories the company is seeing this year for swimming pools is Aqua Slides in different themes and designs.

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Fun Forms Aqua Slides are suitable for all types of pools, including zero entry/beach entry. They come in 40 different brightly themed, hand-detailed designs, and are sized for 2- to 5-year-olds and 5- to 12-year-olds. Custom designs are also available to add a theme to aquatic facilities. These slides are all ASTM compliant.

“Our Aqua Slides are one of the top sellers because of their ease of installation, big visual punch and increased fun for patrons,” Thomas says. “These smaller slides provide a quick and simple solution for aquatic facilities, particularly for the often-underutilized kiddie pool or beach entry shallow pool areas.” Builders working with facilities that want a quick renovation that packs a huge visual punch can look into these water slides for an easy facility makeover.

Thomas says the company works with aquatic designers and aquatic facilities to select the best feature upgrades for the timeline and budget. “We always work with the client to determine their short- and long-term goals and direct them to the products that will meet their needs,” Thomas says. “Many commercial aquatic facilities suffered from being closed during the pandemic, so we are showing them the benefit of installing smaller slides and sprayers to re-attract patrons without major renovation to the facility.”

When helping a facility choose a slide, Thomas suggests showing the many themes available and narrowing down to a slide that will fit into their kiddie pool, splash pad or beach entry area. Thomas says it’s important to also consider the safety zones and clearances needed around the structure to be in compliance with all ordinances.

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“Accessories [for commercial pools] have been trending for years, and we see the trend increasing in the future as facilities want to have some excitement that makes them feel more like a waterpark,” Thomas says. “Many of the accessories on the market are designed specifically for ease and speed of installation, using existing plumbing etcetera.”

Thomas also suggests facilities consider accessories that make them more inclusive of all needs, or at least upgrades that make better use of available space. “We find that the most successful aquatic renovations leverage underutilized space or underutilized water features, so there isn’t a need to completely overhaul the facility,” Thomas says.

Finding what features and plumbing are already present and building, or adding to that, is another way builders can maximize untapped potential. “The pandemic has pushed consumers to want to spend more time outdoors, so aquatic facilities have an opportunity to draw in new patrons with fun accessories like slides and spray features that are interactive and appeal to a large range of ages,” Thomas says. “From off-the-shelf solutions to customized designs, there are many play accessories available to meet the needs of any aquatic facility.”

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