Well, your wish has come true because although Swim Spas have actually been around for a few years, they are just now becoming much more popular and much more available throughout most of the UK.
So exactly what the heck is it anyway?
Quite simply, a Swim Spa is a machine that allows you to swim continuously against a water current. You never “hit the wall” or have to turn around to continue to swim laps like in a regular pool or a lap pool. Swim Spas provide the absolute best swimming exercise work out, using the least amount of space in your home or yard.
Swim Spas also act as smaller swimming pools in the sense that you can play around in them, or with some of the split-models, you actually have a hot tub spa in one end of it and a swimming area in the other end.
O.K……What are the different types of Swim Spas ?
Self-Contained “Portable” Swim Spa:
Many Swim Spas are also available completely pre-built. These are referred to as Self-Contained or sometimes “Portable”. Although big and bulky, they do not necessarily have to be permanently installed and can be moved from location to location in a yard and can be taken with you when you move. These units are fast becoming the most popular style of Swim Spas because of the ease of installation, the fact that all the pumps, jets, filters, heater and equipment are completely built inside the unit, within a wood or thermoplastic cabinet that is pre-installed around the unit. Think of it as a really big hot tub spa!
Are they all heated? Can I have the Hot Tub part hot, and the Swimming Pool part cold?
Some Swim Spa units are separated into two distinct bodies of water. One stays cool for swimming, and the other stays hot for hot tubbing. Units divided into separate parts are ideal if you want the best of both worlds. The down side to this is that the swimming end is normally a little smaller, until you get into the bigger units. If space is no problem, you may want to consider a larger unit like the one to the left (16′ or larger) that has two separate sections molded into it. Realize that these style units may be a bit more costly because they need two completely separate filtering, pumping and heating systems.
OK, I love this idea….How much do they cost ?
You are probably thinking, “Yeah, this sounds great, but it probably costs like a trillion dollars.” That is a common misconception about Swim Spas…that they are only for the fabulously wealthy. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. Swim Spas actually cost a bit more than a portable hot tub spa and a lot less than an inground swimming pool.
When Swim Spas first came on the market about 10 years ago, they were priced in the $25,000 range. At that time you could get a pretty nice portable hot tub for about $4000 and a fairly well equipped inground pool for around $25,000. At that point in time, the Swim Spa did not really seem like such a great bargain.
As time progressed though, the average price of a portable hot tub spa shot way up, mostly because of all the new features and advanced technology that was being built into them. This put the typical hot tub in the $8000-$12,000 price range, with the deluxe models approaching $16,000.
At the same time, the price of swimming pools rose greatly as well….partially due to advances in technology and features, and partly due to the increased price of installation and insurance that pool builders had to pay. So all of a sudden, a “nice” inground pool price was in the $30,000-$40,000 range, with deluxe pools going for upwards of $100,000. Add to that the price of the decking around the pool and the landscaping costs, and you have a very expensive (albeit beautiful) backyard project.
During the mid-2000’s, a few keen hot tub manufacturers saw that there might be a larger market opening up in the Swim Spa industry, and a number of them changed their production lines to also produce the larger, more bulky Swim Spas. Innovative jet pump & equipment technology and newer manufacturing methods made the cost of production of the Swim Spa to come down to the levels of a high quality portable hot tub.
All of a sudden, you could produce a 14′ to 18′ long Swim Spa and offer it for sale anywhere between £9995 - £14,995 complete, delivered, hooked up and installed and ready for use in a few hours. Now the price of a Swim Spa seems very reasonable when compared to a $16,000 hot tub or a $40,000 inground pool.
Who makes these things?
There are many companies making Swim Spas these days If you go to our new Swimming Pool and Swim Spa Buyers Guide page, we have a complete chart and directory where you can easily see the different Swim Spas offered on the market today, as well as getting links and contact info on each manufacturer.
Tell them you heard about them on PoolAndSpa.com!