I was excited to be working with Endless Pools at the London Triathlon again. I was especially keen to try their new Fastlane Pool. Having helped install quite a few of the traditional pools, either at our various premises or the Sandown show, I conveniently arrived 2 hours late expecting to have missed most of the hard work lugging panels around. What I did not expect however, was to miss the whole install due to the ease of assembly of the new design. The design features a liner, suspended from a framework, ensuring far fewer nuts and bolts are needed. Ingenious!
The filter, heater and pump assembly were unchanged so assembly was quite straight forwards. The 'fastlane' unit that creates the current now neatly drops into the pool and again needs no nuts or bolts. Some simple plumbing, gluing of pipes, and just a little manual labour meant before long we were ready to fill it.
We gave ourselves most of the day to complete the installation and unfortunately needed it due to the demands on the resident Electricians at the Triathlon for the final hookup. In a normal non-show situation this would not be an issue. On the upside we had the luxury of a fast fill from the water supply that I assume is necessary for the boat show. In a normal home environment this could take hours. For us, with the heavy duty Fireman hoses, it took less than an hour to fill the 4000 gallons!
First swim came on Saturday morning once the temperature had risen a little. Climbing in I could not help feel a little apprehensive! Without steel panels protecting the liner it all seemed a little precarious yet Lee, the fine chap from Endless Pools, assured me that the six layers of woven material within the liner meant it was incredibly resilient.
Initially, I felt a little unbalanced while swimming at a steady pace. This could have been due to the slightly more turbulent current or due to lack of angled mirror hanging from the impeller unit. Over the years I have become familiar with the other more traditional Endless Pools design and, while more expensive, they deliver a slightly smoother current. Of course it could have been my front crawl but aren't we always meant to blame our tools?! Also, in the new design the angled mirror familiar to many of us is not available – instead there is a flat mirror on the bottom of the pool. Over the course of the weekend I did get used to the bottom lying mirror and eventually my stroke balanced up in the stronger current.
The curved sides to the liner take a little getting used to. If you stand up near the edge of the pool then of course it is a little wobbly. But once swimming it becomes an advantage as the curved sides help dissipate the current to keep it as smooth as possible. This does not work as well as in the more expensive Endless Pool but is more than acceptable for the price paid.
In my view this is a wonderful training option if you have room in the garage or conservatory. What greater convenience could you ask for? It is trickier to get your drills done well at slower speeds, due to the water collecting around the feet at the back of the pool, but then of course that is why you would visit swimfortri.com!< Return