Pool Climbing Walls Make a Splash

Swimming pool climbing walls are one of the newest features at many public aquatics parks around the country. If you haven’t seen one up close, it’s similar to a rock climbing wall sitting on the edge of one of your neighborhood pools. It’s a wall that stands over 15 feet in the air and reclines at a 15-degree angle towards the pool. Visitors climb as high as they can or reach the very top, then simply let go and free fall into the water.

Russell Moy, founder of the company Aquaclimb and a veteran of dry land climbing walls, has found in his market research that there are roughly 295,000 commercial pools in North America, and every year, roughly 4,000 of them are renovated. Recreation industry surveys indicate that swimming remains a popular activity, and interest in climbing is on the rise.

Undoubtedly, pairing these two activities just made sense for Russell. Just like everyone else trying to get people through their doors, the aquatics industry is looking for the next generation of pool activities and it looks like they’ve found it.

One of the leading climbing wall brands, Aquaclimb, employs the tag line “Redefining Aquatic Adventure” and states that their products are safe for pool play. Due to the slope on the wall, it is very difficult for the climber to fall any way other than feet first into the water, making it a safe activity for all ages. However, despite these safety precautions, there are still key areas that require the attention of aquatics and park management.

Just like a pool with a diving board or a slide, you will need to block off the climbing area and set up an area for climbers to line up outside of the pool. The last thing you want is for someone to be getting ready to climb while another person drops, causing a collision in the water. Naturally, lifeguard supervision and posted safety rules are essential to make sure rules are followed and everyone has both a safe and fun time utilizing the climbing wall.

The wall also has a few features built into the design to help with safety. For example, the top of the wall has a panel that prevents climbers from going up and over the top. There is also a panel that starts in the water and is tucked up against the wall to help a climber get started and prevent anyone from getting caught between the wall and the pool gutter.

A lot of people are looking for new and exciting things to try. Remodeling your pool with a climbing wall could be the way to get people through the door and into your pool. Just make sure you have taken all of the potential safety precautions into consideration.

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