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View Full Version : Swim jet vs. lap lane?



jscott
August 4th, 2008, 11:17 AM
Hello,

I am in the process of designing a new pool for my backyard. I have room and budget for a lap lane of 50 to 60 ft. After designing the details of the pool with the lead engineer, he suggested a swim jet as an alternative for me that would allow a cheaper (smaller) pool construction cost.

Does anyone have experience with these type of products from a true swimmers point of view? I have a hard time believing the jets can really reproduce the same workout/resistances as a full lap lane, but I'm open to suggestions. I do swim all strokes at a decent swim rate. I do not want to be "held back" by a weak water stream, or wishing I had done the full lap lane instead.

Thanks!

Jeff

PJElder
August 4th, 2008, 05:47 PM
Jeff,

I bought an Endless Pool in early 2008 and got it up and running in mid May 2008 to help me get back in shape and competitive again for masters swimming. I have a neighbor that has a Fastlane (a motor which attaches to an existing pool) for her outdoor pool which is what you would want for an outdoor swimming pool.

Endless Pools has a new 7.5 HP motor that goes fast enough to similate a pretty good sprint speed for most swimmers. I would guess by feel that the top speed of my pool is between 52-54 sec pace per 100 yards. They also have a 6 HP motor which has a top speed that is a sub-minute per 100 yards. I think the standard 5-5.5 HP is too slow for good swimmers.

Although swimming against the current feels slightly different than pool swimming (the current seems to make your arms work harder and your kick has it a little easier), I have been alternating between pool and endless pool workouts pretty seemlessly and have been improving my conditioning and weight using the pool. I think there is a lot of potential for good swim training with an Endless Pool if I stop swimming continuously (20-30 minutes straight) and start doing more interval work that would vary time of swimming and current speeds. All four strokes work well in the pool, although I am not sure if the current is changing my timing for breastroke since I have been swimming mostly freestyle this Summer.

If you get a current pool, I would definitely get an underwater MP3 player because swimming in place gets Boring.

I personally would not like a 50-60 ft pool as all that flipping would make me dizzy. Hope the above information helps.

geochuck
August 5th, 2008, 11:49 AM
I just checked the Endless info and they only mention 6HP. Is this something they have advertised somwhere other then their website???

xxsprint
August 5th, 2008, 03:34 PM
Jeff,

I think there is a lot of potential for good swim training with an Endless Pool if I stop swimming continuously (20-30 minutes straight) and start doing more interval work that would vary time of swimming and current speeds. All four strokes work well in the pool, although I am not sure if the current is changing my timing for breastroke since I have been swimming mostly freestyle this Summer.



Two questions:

-Do you have to breathe any differently?
-Why is it bad to swim continuously?

PJElder
August 5th, 2008, 04:57 PM
Yes, I have a 7.5HP motor for my pool. I am not sure why it is not advertised on the endless pools site better.

In response to the two questions:

1. I think my breathing is the same swimming against the current of the endless pool as it is swimming in a regular pool.

2. When I was only swimming continuously all the time instead of varying speeds, I was getting stuck at a comfortable pace and not pushing myself hard enough. Then when I would swim a pool practice or go to a meet, I had trouble shifting gears to go fast when I wanted to. For competitive swimmers, I think it is important to use different speed in practice to force your body to simulate race pace, adapt, and improve.

geochuck
August 5th, 2008, 04:59 PM
You can do all sorts of training in a current pool. Max Vo2, Aenerobic, and Aerobic swimming. Even Lactic threshold swimming.

PJElder
August 5th, 2008, 05:16 PM
I agree with GeoChuck about the different types of training in a current pool.

I was just stating in my initial post that I discovered that when I swam after work, I was often lazy and would set the current speed at a moderate warm-up speed and wouldn't bother to change it.

I recently started incorporating some kicking and sculling into my workouts, and need to think how I want to train. I have become too used to a coach telling me what to do at practice over the years.

marksman
August 5th, 2008, 05:58 PM
After looking at the swim jets, they seem pretty cool. It'd take a bit to get used to them but it'd sure be easier to clean, cheaper to heat, etc.

The problem with a pool < 25yds is that, if you have a decent turn, you'll only get about 10yds of actual swimming in. The rest is just pushoff/kick. You'd end up wanting to join a club :(.

geochuck
August 5th, 2008, 06:14 PM
My one daughter has a swim jet pool. 17' long and 8' wide. They do have a big problem with swimming in streamline. Her pool has four jets and even I have trouble staying in proper position when the flow is on a higher level.

Carl Spackler
August 5th, 2008, 10:29 PM
I swam in a jet pool several years ago and there were so many bubbles you couldn't see anything. Hopefully the newer technology for a jet is better.

As far as having a pool long enough, 60 feet wouldn't be bad. I grew up in 20 yard pools, and even had one through High School. You are at a disadvantage when you do swim in a 25 yard pool though since you are used to doing so many turns.

I think the way to go (and what I'm going to do) is to get one that use a propeller to generate the current and save some money by not building a big pool.

I swam in an Endless pool a few weeks ago as a test since I'm in the market too. It was a 5hp model that is touted as 1:06 100 yard pace. I cranked it up full blast and did not have a problem keeping up for 3 or 4 minutes, then stopped to switch strokes and turn down the speed. I was winded but could have kept going for awhile. If I do intervals in a 25 yard pool, a 1:06 for me is a really hard swim, and I could probably only do 2 or 3 of them with a minute rest in between. No way is that current a 1:06. More like 1:12 - 1:15. Make sure you get the stronger motor if you want to go faster than this. I'm going to swim in a RiverPool soon, and will post here what I think of the 2 in comparison.

I was also unaware that Endless Pools had a 7.5 hp motor, must be really new. 99% of their customers probably don't need it though, so maybe they aren't worried about advertising it. I'm also looking at the RiverPool and they advertise a 7.5 hp motor. Both can drop into an existing pool, or can be built into a new one.

I'm in the same boat as you are, getting ready to build but scaling back on the size due to cost. The money you save by not putting in a "long" pool can be put into the swim current device you choose.

PJElder
August 6th, 2008, 01:14 PM
Carl,

One thing that occurred when I was installing my endless pool is that the pressure guage was set too low. I found that I was able to overswim my 7.5HP unit pretty easily, which shouldn't happen with its top speed.

After a call with endless pools, I was able to adjust the gauge which increased the top speed of the pool dramatically. Perhaps the pool you tested was not set properly.

I will be interested to hear how you like the River Pool and its current.

Patrick

Carl Spackler
August 7th, 2008, 10:53 AM
Carl,

One thing that occurred when I was installing my endless pool is that the pressure guage was set too low. I found that I was able to overswim my 7.5HP unit pretty easily, which shouldn't happen with its top speed.

After a call with endless pools, I was able to adjust the gauge which increased the top speed of the pool dramatically. Perhaps the pool you tested was not set properly.

I will be interested to hear how you like the River Pool and its current.

Patrick

Good tip, maybe that was the issue. The guy who owns the pool said he only swims at lower speeds, so it didn't make a difference to him. I really didn't want to think that the Endless Pool people could be that far off in their speed calculations.

So how did you find out about the 7.5 hp unit? They still don't have that advertised on their website. They only talk about a 6hp upgrade.

So are you happy with the endless pool?

PJElder
August 7th, 2008, 06:03 PM
Carl,

When I was obtaining information about the pool, I found out from my sales rep because I kept asking about the top speed and what was the fastest that the current could go. I was not sure I could live with a top speed of 58 seconds per 100 yards for the types of training I wanted the pool for. That is when he suggested that I might be interested in the new 7.5HP that they had just developed which had a much higher top speed.

I am happy with the pool and it has been great for getting me back in shape. There have been a number of times I am able to swim a practice late at night or at random times during the weekends, when I would not have worked out before. I also started swiming once or twice a week with masters team so that my turns don't stink.

I am just now starting to use it for interval training and hope to become better at pushing myself without someone to race. I got all the bells and whistles too (MP3, front and bottom mirrors, lights, remote control, pace clock, etc.).

If I could make some improvements to the endless pool, they would be as follows:

(a) I would be able to increase/decrease speed more precisely and set intervals. You can't change the pace by 1 second, sometimes it jumps 3, 5, or 7 seconds on the pace clock. I would also like to autoprogram it for repeats/active rest, 1:00 minute at 58 sec per hundred, then 30 sec active rest at 2 minutes per hundred pace, then fast again. Perhaps I will be able to upgrade someday since my controls are all electronic.

(b) I would like an underwater digital clock that is reasonably priced. I bought an underwater lap counter for $70 from FINIS that works pretty well but I would prefer digital. I decided it was not worth $1,000 for one though. If you just swim without a clock, it is hard to gauge how long you have been swimming.

I am still relatively new to swimming in the pool, but it has been a good experience so far.

Patrick

3strokes
August 7th, 2008, 10:59 PM
Not that I could afford either but I would take a lap pool (25m minimum) anytime. I swim because I enjoy swimming. I race once a year to see if extruded disc has affected much (or little). When I swim, I vary distances and speeds and a swim jet would mean that I cannot vary my swimming pace whenever I felt like it in the middle of a swim.

Some of the things I do in a 25m pool are
1- push off easy and swim rather easily to the 12.5m mark and try to suddenly accelerate to the wall (as if I were a -water, of course- polo player who needs to get to the dropped ball because my team is counting on me for that (and nothing else).

2- Swim very hard and fast a 25m (90%+ power) then swim the 25m at 50% or anywhere near that would let me "catch my breath" by the 50m

3- Do a medium (50%) 25m and sprint home from the turn (not windmilling and slipping my arms through the water, but really powering it and accelerating to the finish.

4- push off doing the fastest SDK (not very fast) or SFK ( a whole lot better) that I can just past the 12.5m mark and then seeing in a how few -powerful- strokes I can finish fast to the 25 wall. So far my best has been 2.5 cycles.

5- I like being able to slow down, speed up, backhaul, u-turn, change lanes or make any change(s), should any Amanda Beard or Nathalie Coughlin-look-alikes or (you don't need to know) XXX suddenly appear in the pool.

cartermc
March 19th, 2012, 09:13 AM
Hi,
New member and first post. RE: Swim Jet VS. Lap Lane. I have been swimming most of my 62 years but not competitively . I do have an "Endless Pool" in my basement that is very convenient and one is able to go as hard or easy as desired. The current volume is very adjustable for all levels. I purchased the motor with extra HP for interval training and it is fine for me but maybe not for the elite swimmers.
Maintenance is minimal and easy to do for most handy folks. The initial cost was a lot for us but relative to ones resources. We spent about 50 K for the pool and finished room [ new construction] in our basement. It can be done much cheaper on a deck , slab , garage etc.
The motor needs to be replaced after 5 years which I did last year and I found that to be pricey but I was able to do it all myself in about an hour after draining down the water level.
All in all I love my pool for exercise and play for the grandchildren . I find it easy to "cheat" on effort as one can "almost surf" on top of the current with very little effort if desired. I am a "broken down" long distance runner and installed the pool to help extend my running / triathlon career which so far is working [ sort of] Feel free to be in touch and if in my area [ Downeast Maine] come try my pool . Good Luck , Mike

geochuck
March 19th, 2012, 02:12 PM
When planning a workout for a swim - in - place pool, use your heart rate as a basis to determine the type of workout you wish to do.... Aerobic, Aenerobic or Max Vo2..

To begin your workout - 4 min warmup strokes of your choice, rest 30 seconds.
Then swim 9 minutes take a 60sec rest, then swim 8 min - swim 7 min - swim 6 min - swim 5 min - swim 4 min - swim 3 min - swim 2 min - swim 1 min (resting 60 seconds between swims)
Finish with a 4 minute cooldown. This workout takes takes 60 minutes then a 2 minute calf stretch

Paul 1953
March 20th, 2012, 10:33 AM
As an "Adult-onset" "fitness swimmer" (30min mile) Here are my observations of my 55ft pool:

One person said:

I personally would not like a 50-60 ft pool as all that flipping would make me dizzy. Hope the above information helps. 30 years ago I got dizzy when I switched from a 50m to 25 yds :-) You get used to it.
On the other hand, your flips get a lot of practice (96 turns per mile) and you wont need to do crunches of sit ups anymore.


The problem with a pool < 25yds is that, if you have a decent turn, you'll only get about 10yds of actual swimming in. The rest is just pushoff/kick. You'd end up wanting to join a club :(. Good point, which may settle the issue if you are that good of a swimmer. But I'm not. At 6'1" I still get 6 strokes between each turn.

Here's what a 55' pool looks like with yours truly swimming & flipping in it:
http://youtu.be/E0BQ7Tkn7UI

I'm curious about the price difference between your two options.
Also, how do you track your time in an endless pool?

orca1946
March 20th, 2012, 11:22 AM
How long do the motors/pumps/jets last?

EJB190
March 20th, 2012, 11:51 AM
I'd much prefer a 25yd pool over an endless pool.

My backyard pool is 20x40 and it's way to short. After a flip turn you have 2 strokes before you go into a turn again. It's also not good at absorbing the waves and the pool gets choppy very quickly. If the water is within the normal level I get can very easily get waves going that get water out of the pool- and 20x40 is a pretty large. If the water is too low then than the water won't filter correctly.

If you build a legit "long" pool I'd just make sure you get it built to absorb the waves. That might cost money if you look at the design of lap pools.

Paul 1953
March 22nd, 2012, 10:13 AM
Tell us what you decided!

I'm surprised at the number of folks here that have "endless pool" experience.

Personally I think that an underwater-lit, back yard, single lane pool would look so cool. Someone mentioned wave action in a narrow pool. Has anyone tried one?

My personal fantasy has been to have an "endless pool'. as in a circular ring about 100ft diameter... no turns, just swimming in a continual curve.

mrdcdc
July 4th, 2012, 01:18 AM
if you want to save a ton of money, you can use swim chords.
they are basically a bungee chord attached to either your waist or ankles
(i prefer the ones that attach to my ankles) and you swim in place.
no need to stop and vary the motor speed.
they cost 30 bucks, a fair bit cheaper than an endless pool.
just my 2 cents

sydned
July 12th, 2012, 12:11 PM
I have a 25-yard indoor lap pool at my house. One lane, 8 feet wide.

I was basically opposed to our building it, feeling like it was so decadent--even though I am a somewhat obsessive swimmer. And now, it is my favorite thing about our home.

Yes, it does get wavy, but as an open water swimmer, that's part of training for me so I actually enjoy it. My times are a bit slower than they are when I train with my team but as long as I account for that, it's okay with me.

I would take it over an "endless" pool anytime, not just because of the swimming in place issue but also because it has proven to be so multi-purpose. My son and his friends love it, everyone in the family uses it all the time, and it allows us to do things I never would have thought of. For example, when it is snowy and icy around here, I can run in it and it's a killer workout.

Should we ever have to move, we won't get our money back financially, but we've gotten in back in so, so many other ways.

Good luck with your decision!

EJB190
July 14th, 2012, 06:57 PM
I have a 25-yard indoor lap pool at my house. One lane, 8 feet wide.

I was basically opposed to our building it, feeling like it was so decadent--even though I am a somewhat obsessive swimmer. And now, it is my favorite thing about our home.

Yes, it does get wavy, but as an open water swimmer, that's part of training for me so I actually enjoy it. My times are a bit slower than they are when I train with my team but as long as I account for that, it's okay with me.

I would take it over an "endless" pool anytime, not just because of the swimming in place issue but also because it has proven to be so multi-purpose. My son and his friends love it, everyone in the family uses it all the time, and it allows us to do things I never would have thought of. For example, when it is snowy and icy around here, I can run in it and it's a killer workout.

Should we ever have to move, we won't get our money back financially, but we've gotten in back in so, so many other ways.

Good luck with your decision!

Are you the one that posted here before the pictures? You were in Massachusetts somewhere... I'm stuck between Amherst or Newton- I know, not exactly neighbors.

If it's the pool I'm thinking of, it's beyond gorgeous. You might have to let me you borrow your pool.

My elderly neighbors have a 25 yard indoor lap pool. They are always inviting me to swim in it. I have and it's nice (though not as nice as Sydned's haha) but it's weird/creepy/annoying when they just watch me swim for an hour. Don't get me wrong, they're some of nicest people I have ever met and act like my they're my grandparents. They're like 70 and have 2 kids and grandchildren who all swim, but they live on the other side of the country. I sometimes feel like I am the substitute grandchild... but I really don't know them well. It's awkward being there to say the least.

Midas
July 15th, 2012, 11:04 AM
I have a 25-yard indoor lap pool at my house. One lane, 8 feet wide.

I was basically opposed to our building it, feeling like it was so decadent--even though I am a somewhat obsessive swimmer. And now, it is my favorite thing about our home.

Yes, it does get wavy, but as an open water swimmer, that's part of training for me so I actually enjoy it. My times are a bit slower than they are when I train with my team but as long as I account for that, it's okay with me.

I would take it over an "endless" pool anytime, not just because of the swimming in place issue but also because it has proven to be so multi-purpose. My son and his friends love it, everyone in the family uses it all the time, and it allows us to do things I never would have thought of. For example, when it is snowy and icy around here, I can run in it and it's a killer workout.

Should we ever have to move, we won't get our money back financially, but we've gotten in back in so, so many other ways.

Good luck with your decision!

I have an Endless Pool and if and when I can ever afford it I'm going to build myself a full 25 yard/meter pool.

sydned
July 15th, 2012, 07:34 PM
I am, indeed, the one with the pool in Amherst. It's crazy, I know. And I love it. Spent nearly 4 hours in there today, between my own swim and teaching two back-to-back lessons. Another thing that's harder to do in an endless pool!

And thanks for the compliments. It's a gorgeous thing I can take virtually no credit for. :)

I know what you mean about the awkwardness but as someone with one of those pools, I know that we feel like it's this incredible asset we are compelled to share. Just doesn't seem right not to! My son even made one of our neighbors a "lifetime pass" for his birthday.

Chances are, they are just happy to be able to share their bounty with you. I know that we offer it to folks all the time and often, I think they feel too embarrassed to say yes, or else, don't believe we really mean it. But we do! Our water is their water! I say, talk to the neighbors about it, and recognize that it's a great gift if they are willing to share it.

Maybe offer to shell out a bit for chemicals once in a while, but otherwise, swim away!

EJB190
July 16th, 2012, 05:45 PM
I am, indeed, the one with the pool in Amherst. It's crazy, I know. And I love it. Spent nearly 4 hours in there today, between my own swim and teaching two back-to-back lessons. Another thing that's harder to do in an endless pool!

And thanks for the compliments. It's a gorgeous thing I can take virtually no credit for. :)

I know what you mean about the awkwardness but as someone with one of those pools, I know that we feel like it's this incredible asset we are compelled to share. Just doesn't seem right not to! My son even made one of our neighbors a "lifetime pass" for his birthday.

Chances are, they are just happy to be able to share their bounty with you. I know that we offer it to folks all the time and often, I think they feel too embarrassed to say yes, or else, don't believe we really mean it. But we do! Our water is their water! I say, talk to the neighbors about it, and recognize that it's a great gift if they are willing to share it.

Maybe offer to shell out a bit for chemicals once in a while, but otherwise, swim away!

I'd love to have something like your pool in my backyard. My parents have a beautiful 20x40 in my backyard but it's really seems to be more for aesthetics than anything. If you swim laps and tolerate the constant turning, the water gets so choppy it begins to overflow. Then the chlorine kills the grass since there's only 8" of stonework around the pool. If you lower the water then it won't filter properly. The stone work around the pool also overhangs and it's easy to wreck your feet on doing flip turns.

I have offered everything to my neighbors to thank them for letting me use it. I've offered to clean it, take care of the chemicals, etc but they say no because they have a service do it. I'm not sure if I'm more jealous of their pool or the fact they pay for a pool boy. I finally convinced my dad to get a robotic pool cleaner last year which has helped decrease some of the pool maintence I have to do when I'm home. I think I'd be more inclined to swim in their pool if they let me help them take care of it. I think they pay $150/wk to have the chemicals taken care of and an occasional cleaning (best benefit of the indoor pool- no leaves).

Then there is the whole watching me swim. I guess from a safety and liability standpoint it's a good idea... But they seem to enjoy watching me like watching someone swim laps is entertaining. I guess it's motivating to know someone's watching. I usually only use the pool if I'm outside and they invite me to swim that very day. Other than that I use they Y.