Hydropool has a lot going on. In February, it will launch the Aquatic collection, a third line of swim spas for Hydropool. The Aquatic collection comprises the 14AX, 17AX and the 19DTAX models, all available in both the AquaSport and the AquaTrainer series.
The Aquatic collection, touted as the “perfect aquatic center,” joins the brand’s Play and Executive collections. Play swim spas — the “perfect play pool” — are 12 feet in length and designed for families to have fun and splash around in the backyard, says Doug Gillespie, vice president of marketing for Hydropool. The Executive collection, available in 16- and 19-foot models, has a technologically advanced swim experience, creating the “perfect swim.” The Aquatic collection fits nicely between the two. Aquatic and Executive collections each have a Sport and Trainer model in all lengths, with Trainers taking swim skills up a notch in difficulty.
“We’ve concentrated on the massage in this collection,” Gillespie says of the Aquatic models. “We’ve created four different hydrotherapy zones where the consumer can move from zone to zone based on a wellness guide that allows the consumer to achieve their massage goals, like alleviating lower back pain or sports recovery.”
It’s a welcome update that is sure to do well, says David Hough, owner and sales manager for Zorra Hot Tubs in Ontario. “Hydropool has taken feedback seriously from its retailers and end customers,” he says. “The new models have a large emphasis on providing a balance between swim, play and exercise.”
Additionally, the Aquatic collection has a Performance Flow Intake at the end of the swim lane, which helps eliminate the reflective wave turbulence. Caused by swim jets pushing the flow of water to the back of the swim spa, the reflective wave hits the back wall and redirects water flow into the swim lane, Gillespie explains, making for a suboptimal swim experience. “The [Performance Flow Intake] has made a non-turbulent, predictable swim inside the swim spa,” he adds.
This year, Hydropool is also launching the patent-pending Variable Flow Pump (VFX), available only in Executive Trainer swim spa models. “Technology is changing so rapidly, and this is incredible,” Gillespie says. “The VFX has given us this unbelievable window into creating custom programmability, similar to a treadmill. When you walk over to your treadmill, you’re going to choose one of several preset programs. We’ve duplicated that in a swim spa with four personal programs tied to the Aqua Pro Control that sits inside the swim spa. At the touch of a button, you can click the type of program, duration and intensity. It’s super intuitive.”
This allows the swim spa to better adapt with swimmers as they develop athletically, Hough says of the VFX, while allowing fine control over the speed and swim programs. Couple this with Hydropool’s shell — designed to reduce turbulence — and the conveyor belt–style water collection for the swim current, “and you are presented with the most predictable and comfortable swim current Hydropool has ever put in their swim spas,” Hough says.
Hans Kissmann, owner of Georgian Hot Tubs in Ontario, says this is a huge change for the industry, providing multiple benefits to the consumer. “Currently, a pump that produces a current is running at full speed,” he explains. “To control the speed, the water must be diverted from the swim jet and, to accomplish this, a series of valves and extra plumbing must be utilized so the water does not interfere with the swim current. With the introduction of the Variable Flow Pump, Hydropool has eliminated the need for additional plumbing and valves.” This also provides a slight increase in the maximum speed available to the swimmer, Kissmann adds, ensuring less resistance to water flow, producing a faster and more predictable current.
Research and development shows Hydropool Executive swim spas using the VFX are 40% to 60% more energy efficient than other swim spas, Gillespie says, helping to produce the highest volume of water with the least turbulence and a more predictable current.
Kissmann likens other swim spa pumps to a car engine running constantly at full speed. “The gas consumption is high and, if you are trying to slow down, you add brake pressure, but the gas consumption would still be the same,” he says. “[The VFX] means money in the pocket of the consumer.”
Additionally, Hydropool signed an exclusive partnership with FORM, a technology company in Vancouver, to offer FORM Swim Fitness Goggles with Hydropool’s Sport and Trainer swim spa models. “The major move with any fitness activity right now is wearable technology,” Gillespie says. “This company has developed patented goggles that display [workout] analytics on the goggles. As you’re swimming, you have your speed and distance [in your line of sight].”
There is also an interactive app where customers can create, customize and track their workouts. And while distance measurements on most wearable technology are based on a GPS signal — which won’t work in a swim spa since there is no forward movement — FORM Goggles are calibrated to Hydropool swim spas to give accurate feedback in real time to the swimmer.
“They’ve got this patented AI technology that analyzes your stroke rate and body movement to predict how far you’ve swam, caloric output and pace,” Gillespie says. “They’re like having a coach swim with you every time.”
2021 marks the launch of many new things for Hydropool, and Gillespie says more is to come, including additional model sizes for the Play collection of swim spas.