How many of us have faked a swim in the backyard kidney-shaped pool out of simple necessity; six strokes, flip turn … six strokes, open turn … six strokes, flip turn, watch out for the steps.
The Fastlane, the brainchild of Endless Pools founder James Murdock, is the answer to the question, "Can I ever get an Endless Pools motor into my backyard pool?" We tested one of the first units at Villanova University.
A dinner plate-sized propeller draws water upward into finger- and hand-proof (and leaf- and pool toy-proof) grills at the unit's base, gently and smoothly drawing water from below. Using the same principles used in any wind tunnel, the water is then driven upward toward the water's surface through the prop by a hydraulic vegetable oil pump, then it is redirected through a honeycomb grill (for even distribution) into a horizontal flow of water. Voila, an endless river of water, in your pool. Without the constraints of a narrow pool, two swimmers can swim side by side as the flow path widens as distance from the unit increases.
Once shown, we were blown away by the simplicity of the unit. The Fastlane could help any landlocked athlete prep for an open-water race.
When done, a Fastlane owner can remove the unit from a singular fixed mount point on the deck, pull the light unit up to the deck and wheel it on attached wheels away for storage.
The Fastlane will work for anyone with a pool of at least 200 square feet, "which is a pretty small pool," Murdock notes.
Wondering if you can out-swim the current on the Fastlane? Good luck. With it at full blast, the best we could do was crawl up to it at about a 1:08-second-per-100 pace. Unless your name is Michael Phelps, that's well over what you'll need for your ego.
— Excerpted from a review by Triathlete Magazine