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Q&A: Endless Pools Swim Spas & Swim Current Generators

Swim Spas and Fastlane Swimming Machines by Endless Pools Offer At-Home Fitness








While many pool owners in seasonal climates are getting ready to close their pools, swim spas are an option that allow you to swim year-round. And for those who already own a pool, a swim current generator can turn almost any pool into a lap pool.

We spoke to Mark Langan, marketing director at Endless Pools, to learn more about the benefits of swim spas and swim current generators, and get tips on choosing the best model to fit your needs.

PoolSpaOutdoor.com: What are the top reasons your customers purchase a swim spa? Are they more interested in fitness, the swim spa/hot tub combination, at-home convenience, etc.?

Endless Pools swim spa modern indoor roomMark Langan, Endless Pools: People purchase an Endless Pool Swim Spa for all of those reasons and more.

Our customers certainly tend to be fitness-conscious, and the ability to offer them an unmatched swim current along with the relaxation and therapy benefits of a hot tub results in a great combination.

The at-home convenience of a swim spa is a major benefit. There’s a big difference in being able to relax and exercise at home versus packing up your gear, driving to the gym or pool, trying to find an open swim lane, showering and removing the excessive chlorine, and then driving back home.


PSO: What is unique about swim spas by Endless Pools? What special features do you offer?

Endless Pools swim spa exercise roomML: We have over 25 years of experience building swimming machines, and we've carried over the same fully adjustable swim current we perfected in the Original Endless Pool to our Swim Spa. We've also spent a lot of time developing two underwater treadmills—one manual and one adjustable in speed, which can be added to any one of our pools or spas.

Our integrated treadmills are very affordable and add incredible value. Users can walk, jog, or run for a challenging cardio workout with the help of the resistance of water. Add in our contoured hydrotherapy jet seats, LED lights, and a range of sizes and beautiful finishing options, and we believe our Spa Series offers something for everyone.


PSO: Do you recommend that customers take a test swim before purchasing a swim spa?

ML: Absolutely. We pride ourselves on maintaining a deep network of demonstrators who can provide people with the opportunity to visit a local Endless Pool. The best way to experience the Endless Pools difference is to hop into one and get a feel for the swim current, the hydrotherapy jets, the contoured seats, and more. We encourage people to try before they buy because we believe our pools and spas offer the ultimate user experience.


See photos and learn more about Endless Pools swim spas >>


PSO: Which one of Endless Pools’ four swim spa models is the most popular? What are the determining factors selecting a swim spa model?

Endless Pools swim spa with hot tubML: To be honest, each of our swim spas has been a hit. Most often, the planned installation space and the height of the customer are the biggest determining factors for which size they choose. For people who plan on spending a lot of time relaxing with family and friends, the 19-foot Spa gives them the most options, with a swimming area and an attached four-person hot tub. The 15-foot and 17-foot models are excellent for swimming, therapy, and relaxation as well.

Our 10-foot Exercise Spa is the latest member of our Spa Series and is really starting to pick up traction. It is a great option for customers seeking a compact swim spa. We’re excited to offer yet another option for home therapy and exercise.


PSO: Does a spa cover come standard on an Endless Pools swim spa or must it be purchased separately? Are both manual and automatic covers available?


ML: Each Endless Pools Swim Spa comes with a solar cover included in the package. In addition, we offer three upgradable options—a manual retractable security cover, a bi-fold 4-inch insulating cover, and an automatic retractable security cover. Each of these covers meets strict safety standards.

PSO: How can existing pool owners benefit from a swim current generator such as the Fastlane?

Endless Pools swim spa Fastlane current generatorML: If you already have an existing pool, we are able to offer the same swim current generator that we use in our Endless Pools. The Fastlane® can transform a traditional pool, making it a spot for exercise rather than just leisure.

Instead of constantly bumping into the wall and worrying about flip turns, we can turn an existing pool into an effective exercise pool with our swim current. It also widens the fun factor of pools as kids love to play in the river-like current.


PSO: How is the Fastlane installed? How does it operate?

ML: We offer a Wall Mount for new pool construction or a Deck Mount for existing pools. The Fastlane Swim Current Generator rests on the sidewall of the pool and is connected to the remote power unit through hydraulic hoses, eliminating the need for electricity at the pool.

Operation couldn’t be simpler, as our wireless remote control allows users to easily adjust the propeller driven swim current with the touch of a button

PSO: Anything else you’d like to add?

ML: We appreciate the chance to answer these questions. We have a lot more information available on our website www.endlesspools.com. We’re also very active on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus, so everyone out there is more than welcome to say hello and check us out!


Endless Pools above ground swim spaView more photos and watch videos of Endless Pools Swim Spas and Fastlane >>





Photos courtesy of Endless Pools




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Waterproof Music Players, Speakers, and Phone Cases

Waterproof Speakers, Phone Cases, and music players for Your Pool







Sony Walkman Waterproof mp3 player sports portable music swimmingNormally electronics and water don’t mix—which can be a real bummer if you want to listen to music while lounging in the pool or swimming laps. Luckily manufacturers have developed waterproof music players, phone cases, and speaker systems that are ideal for swimmers, pool-goers, and pool owners who like to entertain.

With summer just around the corner, a waterproof phone case or audio system can come in handy and add to your enjoyment when spending time at the pool. Check out these waterproof devices to see which option is best for you.


Compact Waterproof Music Player for Swimmers

Sony Walkman Waterproof mp3 player sports portable music black

At first glance, you may mistake the Sony Walkman® Sports MP3 Player for just a pair of headphones… but look closer and you’ll see the music player is built right into the headphones!

This portable music player has a lightweight, compact design that’s not only sweatproof but waterproof up to depths of 6 feet, making it a great option for gym-goers, runners, and swimmers.

Whether you’re doing a moderate or intense workout indoors, outdoors, or in the pool, this waterproof music player has a new tension band for a supportive fit to keep it securely in place during all activities. With 4GB of built-in memory, users can easily drag and drop MP3s from iTunes® for Mac or PC, Windows® Media Player, or Windows Explorer.

The Walkman Sports MP3 Player delivers up to eight hours of audio playback on a full charge and is available in four colors: white, black, blue, and pink.


Photos courtesy of Sony


Waterproof Phone Case with Built-In Speaker


EcoExtreme waterproof phone case music speaker
EcoExtreme waterproof phone case music speaker redIf you’re like most people, you don’t go anywhere without your smartphone—including the pool and the beach. If you are looking for a waterproof case for your phone/portable music player, the EcoExtreme not only keeps your device safe in and around water, but also allows you to play music through its built-in speaker.

Place your phone or media device into the durable waterproof case and take it with you for any kind of outdoor activity. It also has an internal compartment to fit small items like keys, credit cards, cash, and other items you want to keep dry.

Designed to fit mp3 players and smartphones--including iPhone 4/4S & 5, Samsung S3, Android, Windows, and Blackberry--this waterproof phone case is ideal for swimming, hiking, going to the beach, and other outdoor activities.

The EcoExtreme speaker case is powered by 3 AA batteries and has a 30-hour battery life. It comes in seven colors: black, blue, green, yellow, orange, pink, and red.

Photos courtesy of Grace Digital


Floating Waterproof Speaker for Your Pool



EcoXGear ECOXBT waterproof portable audio speaker poolsideAnother option for playing tunes in and around your pool is a waterproof speaker. The EcoXGear ECOXBT by Grace Digital Audio is a portable waterproof speaker system that streams music via Bluetooth from your smartphone or Bluetooth-enabled audio device.

You can take the ECOXBT speaker right into the pool with you while keeping your phone safely away from the water. The ECOXBT streams audio from up to 33 feet away, providing a convenient wireless way to play music at your next pool party.

The ECOXBT is powered by a built-in rechargeable lithium battery and provides 10 hours of audio playback. It is available in three colors: black, orange, and red.

Photo courtesy of Grace Digital

Video: See the ECOXBT Floating Waterproof Speaker in Action



How Michael Phelps Trained for the London Olympics

Swim Spas Played a Role in Phelps' Olympic Training







Master Spas MP Signature Model After winning six more medals (four gold and two silver) in the 2012 London Olympics, Michael Phelps has a total of 22 medals (18 gold, two silver, and two bronze), making him the most decorated Olympian of all time!

The historic moment occurred on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 when he won his 19th medal, surpassing Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina for the title of most decorated. Phelps won the gold medal--along with teammates Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer, and Ricky Berens--in the men's 4x200m freestyle relay less than an hour after placing second and winning silver in the 200m butterfly. No doubt this event will be remembered as one of the most celebrated moments of the 2012 London Olympics.

Phelps may be enjoying retirement now, at the age of 27, but how did he train for his final Olympic Games? Part of his training involved swimming against a current in a swim-in-place pool, also known as a swim spa.

Back in October, Master Spas’ CEO Bob Lauter, along with a group of Master Spas dealers, visited the Meadowbrook Aquatics Center in Baltimore, Md. There, they had a chance to observe Phelps training in the swim spa and understand its many benefits.

“[The underwater camera] is great for teaching because all the important stuff happens underwater—not on top,” said Bowman in footage from the event posted on Master Spas’ YouTube channel. “You can stay in one spot and see how the swimmer’s body reacts to different speeds without having to move around.”

Phelps also finds the underwater camera to be a major advantage: “I can look at stroke technique, how I’m catching the water, if my hips are late or if they’re early. I’m a visual learner so if I’m able to see what I’m doing wrong, I’m able to pick up on it and move on and make those small little corrections.” Both Phelps and Bowman can watch the recording at a slower speed to focus on Phelps’ movements and see how everything is connected. 

The adjustable current is another key component for training. “We’ll start out at a relatively slow speed so [the
swimmers] can have very good technique and don’t have to be stressed by the effort that they’re going to have to put in to keep up with the spa,” said Bowman. “And then I’ll gradually increase the speed as they go so they get more of a training effect.”

The Signature model used by Phelps features a wide range of speeds to accommodate swimmers at any fitness level; plus, users can do much more than swim laps in the swim spa. “You can do drills, kicking, pulling, and anything else we’d do in the regular pool right in the swim spa,” Bowman explained.

Michael Phelps Olympics training Swim Spa Master SpasYou Can Swim in a Michael Phelps Swim Spa Too!

One of Phelps’ major goals—aside from racking up medals—has been to promote the sport of swimming. Since access to a community pool might be limited or nonexistent for some people, Phelps believes a swim spa is an ideal solution. Not only does it provide the owner and his family with personal access to swimmable water, it also allows users to improve their abilities and adjust the speed as they work up to higher levels.

“Michael wants to bring more people into the sport,” says Lauter. “This is why swim spas appeal to him. A number of public pools are closing, making it harder for people to have access to water. This is the perfect alternative to a pool.” 


The Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spas by Master Spas feature five residential models, retailing for $29,995 to $44,500, based on size and features. The smallest model, the MP Impact, features three molded hot tub seats with a total of 51 jets. The largest model is the MP Momentum, which includes a five-person hot tub that is sectioned off from the swim area by a clear divider. The model with the largest swim area is the MP Signature model, which is used by Phelps at Meadowbrook.


In addition to developing a swim spa that can be used by competitive swimmers, it was important for the Signature Series to suit a wide range of fitness levels, including moderate exercisers and those who are just getting into swimming. 

For one Master Spas customer, Miles McDonough of Bedford, Mass., swimming is an important way to stay in shape, namely because it’s a low-impact activity. “I’m a big skier and snowboarder, but I have bad knees so I can’t run,” he says. McDonough loves the advantage of having his own private swim spa right outside his back door. “I used to go to a public pool, but my eyes would get irritated because I had to wear my contacts. By swimming in place against a current at home, I don’t need to wear my contacts or worry about running into people.” 

McDonough keeps his swim spa running all year and uses it almost every day. “I’ll get in, soak for a bit, stretch for 20 – 30 minutes, then begin my swim. I also use the resistance bands to work out my arms,” he says. On the weekends, McDonough relaxes by taking full advantage of the therapy seats. In the winter, he’ll set it to 92 degrees F; come summer, he’ll lower it to accommodate the warm weather.

Photos courtesy of Master Spas, Inc.

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Michael Phelps and Master Spas Create New Line of Signature Swim Spas

Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa by Master Spas
World swimming champion and sports icon Michael Phelps and the engineering design team of Master Spas® have teamed up to create and introduce a new signature line of swim spas. The collaborative effort has resulted in a full line of new swim spas under the brand name of Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spas by Master Spas. This new line of signature swim spas was debuted at the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo held at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, November 3 through 5, 2010.

 

The Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spas by Master Spas was designed and developed with the input of Mr. Phelps, Coach Bob Bowman, and a team of Master Spas’ experienced engineers. The signature line of swim spas provides a solution for all fitness levels, health regimens, and spaces not typically conducive for accessible, year-round aquatic exercise and hydrothermal therapy. The line features six new and different, premium swim spas for residential settings and one premium, commercial-grade swim spa ideal for fitness centers, universities, and physical therapy centers.

 

Mr. Phelps and Mr. Bowman, in conjunction with Master Spas, are actively promoting the sport of swimming and the health benefits associated with aquatic exercise and spa therapy.

 

“One of the biggest goals I have in my career is to grow the sport of swimming in as many ways as possible, and the ability to partner with Master Spas’ to create a signature line of swim spas is another unique way to help the sport,” stated Phelps. “Our goal with this line of swim spas is to create more and better opportunities for everyone interested in swimming, from exercise enthusiasts through the next generation of competitive swimmers.”

 

The distinguishing difference of the Phelps-designed swim spas is the unique, patented Wave Propulsion™ Technology that provides an exceptionally wide, deep, and smooth current for a superior swimming experience. The propeller drive system generates a turbulent-free current.

 

“Working with Michael Phelps and Bob Bowman to create this new line of signature swim spas is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us,” states Bob Lauter, CEO of Master Spas. “It is a tremendous honor to have this level of input that will draw global attention to the pool and spa industry and help promote the benefits of swimming and aquatic exercise.”

 

Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa by Master Spas For elite swimmers, the MP Signature Model features the largest swim area and more advanced Wave Propulsion™ Technology with an incredible 40 percent more power than standard Wave Propulsion™ Technology. All models include the exclusive, proprietary Swim Number System that allows swimmers of all levels to control the speed of the current—at the touch of a button, the speed is fully adjustable from 0 to 60.

 

“We designed the Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa by Master Spas as an efficient and effective training tool for competitive swimming,” explains Bob Bowman, Hall of Fame swim coach and personal coach for Mr. Phelps, “but our goal was to create a swim spa that can apply to individual fitness levels as well. Aquatic exercise is extremely beneficial for building overall strength and endurance.”

 

Each model of the MP Signature Model includes an Aquatic Exercise System, which includes a rowing kit and resistance bands and comes standard on all models. A workout DVD along with an exercise booklet designed specifically for Master Spas is available to assist beginning, intermediate, and advanced swimmers to fully maximize the swim spa’s capabilities. Optional underwater cameras can be installed to record a swimmer’s stroke for easy reviewing in order to help his or her performance.

 

As with all Master Spas product lines, a portion of the swim spa is designed with hydrothermal therapy jets and seating that target major muscle groups. A special standing therapy cove works on hard-to-reach spots like hips, lower back, and legs. The Xtreme Therapy Seat (XTS) is ergonomically designed for comfort and a twin power pump system for maximum muscle massage.

 

Installation is quick (typically less than a day), without digging for footers. A concrete pad, patio, or prepared deck is sufficient, and partial in-ground installation is also available. Climate factors are eliminated with the Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spas by Master Spas, as each unit offers maximum energy efficiency, and an optional automatic cover lift will remove the insulated hard cover at the touch of a button.

 

About Master Spas®

 

Master Spas is based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, 90 miles north of Indianapolis. Operating on a
27-acre campus with more than 250,000 square feet of state-of-the-art manufacturing and distribution, Master Spas is one of the largest manufacturers of portable spas, luxury hot tubs, and premium swim spas in North America. The company’s management team boasts more than 100 years of spa manufacturing success and one of the strongest track records in the industry. 

 

About Michael Phelps

 

Michael Phelps is widely recognized as the most accomplished swimmer of all time. Phelps—who holds more gold medals, world championships, and world records than any other swimmer—remains steadfast in his efforts to grow the sport of swimming and encourage active and healthy lifestyles, especially for children. He established the Michael Phelps Foundation in 2008 and launched the Michael Phelps Swim School in 2009.

 

About Bob Bowman

 

Bob Bowman is the CEO and Head Coach of North Baltimore Aquatic Club in Baltimore, MD where he also serves as the personal coach to Michael Phelps. Over the course of his 24-year-career, Bowman has established himself as one of the preeminent coaches in the sport of swimming with wealth of knowledge and experience on the international, collegiate and club levels. Recently inducted into the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Bowman has received USA Swimming Foundation’s Golden Goggle for Coach of the Year honors for three consecutive years (2006 – 08). 

 

Caption: World swimming champion Michael Phelps in his new signature line of swim spas by Master Spas.

 

Photos courtesy of Master Spas

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Fitness: Yoga vs. Swimming

Do you practice yoga and/or swim laps to keep in shape? Ever wondered which one burns more calories?

According to a recent post on iVillage.com, swimming burns about 60 percent more calories than yoga. Active yoga burns 166 calories/hour while swimming burns 270 calories/hour. The reason is due to water's resistence, which can be up to 10 times more resistant than air.

To get the most out of your workout while swimming laps, iVillage suggests alternating between the backstroke and the breast stroke, which burn more calories than other swim strokes.

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