The possibilities are endless

When it comes to getting up and about and trying to exercise, I tend to flit from one thing to another. Nothing really captures my attention, except swimming.

I do not like to go to the local swimming pool because (and this is probably another of my weird traits) there is no way of seeing how busy it is before you go in, and yet I don’t want there to be any kind of window with outsiders peering in once you get in the water.

I am hard to please.

Anyway, I recently found out what I really want, and it’s not going to be cheap: Endless Pools.

Endless Pools

It’s touted as the swimming version of the treadmill, and is a great thing for those who don’t want to install an entire pool in their homes.

There are three options, the Original installed pool as shown above, the Fastlane Pool which is a more temporary type, and then the Fastlane, which is simply the motor system to be attached to an existing pool.

I really, really want one. I wouldn’t have anywhere near the funds, and I have nowhere to put the pool, but it is the dream.

I also think there is a business plan somewhere in there, to get a couple of Endless Pools in private little rooms, and rent them out to the public for an hour or something at a time. I can imagine that swimming privately would be quite an attractive proposition.

It would take quite a hefty initial outlay though. Anyone got a spare £20k?

6 thoughts on “The possibilities are endless

  1. I’ve never thought about the busyness aspect of a swimming pool before. I rarely go to an inside one, but I can imagine it must be annoying – you pay, get changed, walk through the foot wash thing and then realise it is absolutely chocka. But then as you say, who would want a window to the outside world. They should install signs on the outside like how you get on car parks: “53 people inside, 47 places available.”

    Regarding the Endless pool, I have a couple of questions…

    I like to know I’ve achieved something if I go swimming. At that achievement is satisfied when I put my hand out to grab the rail at the end of a length. I know I have swam a length and can then make the decision to go for another one or stop. I’m not sure I’d get the same sense of satisfaction with an Endless Pool.
    With treadmills, when you want to stop or slow down, there is a button within arms reach. How does it work with an Endless Pool? How do you stop? Can you stop? Or are there people all over the world trapped inside these contraptions at the moment!?
    I wonder how noisy the motor is?
    I wonder how strong the motor is? What happens if the cat fell in while it was on?
    If you, erm, relieve yourself (because you’ve been trapped inside it since last weekend), it’s gonna keep coming back to haunt you. Every few seconds.

  2. All very good questions.

    The one thing I think is good about swimming over runnning, is to stop, you just stop. You’ll float back to the end of the pool. On a treadmill, I find starting and stopping always runs the risk of a broken leg.

    I don’t know about the motor, as I’ve never seen one in action, but I do know that the Endless Pool people think continuous swimming is better than having to stop and turn at the end of each lap. There are additional extras you can get like timers, counters and calculators so you know how well you’re doing.

    The car park/swimming count idea is a really good one. I might submit it to the local leisure centre.

  3. My university had a big version of this that they used for research and stuff, they used it to help develop those flash Speedo suits everyone broke world records in. I had a go in it on a school trip when I was about 13 and it was the weirdest feeling ever to be swimming and not getting anywhere.
    Google says “This circulating water channel is the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Water speed in the flume can be altered to between 0.3 – 5.0 m/s (0.6 – 10.0 knots). “

  4. This pool is quite interesting. I was in Aston, PA last Christmas and stopped by for a test swim. The motor itself is not inside the pool. Instead, there is a hydraulic motor that sits outside the pool. Inside the pool is a housing (protective cage) that contains a propeller that generates the current. That propeller is driven by the pressure generated by the hydraulic motor. Think of a bicycle – pressure is applied by your feet and a chain transmits this pressure to the rear wheel via a chain. In the case of an Endless Pool, the “chain” is the hydraulic fluid.

    The hydraulic motor is quite loud. It emits a high pitched humming sound that can get annoying. For this reason, the company had their motor inside of an enclosure that was insulated for sound. There are two options for motors, 5 hp and 6 hp. I’m not sure what this translates to in water speed, however. They have some statistics on their website that quote max swim pace for each motor.

    The current itself is limited to the middle of the pool, spans about 3 feet wide, and goes about 18 inches deep. If you want to “step on the sides of a treadmill,” you simply swim out of the current. The older models have an air pressure switch on the pools edge that turns on the motor. Then, there is a valve that controls the pressure generated by the hydraulic motor. The higher the pressure, the faster the propeller spins, and the faster the current. The newer models have a wireless key fob that both turns on the current and controls the speed.

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