As a matter of principal we’ve always encouraged our readers in search of a hot tub to do a “wet test” before they purchase. Aside from features, benefits, curb appeal, and quality, the only thing left for a buyer to scrutinize is comfort and performance. The only way to do that is to actually take the unit for a test drive and try it out. Our motto is to “try before you buy” and the same goes for a swim spa or exercise pool. ? For the 15+ years I was in hot tub retail I would see people at home shows and fairs walk up to our massive looking swim spas and say “do these actually work?”. The simple answer is “yes” they do work but they all perform differently. In fact, there are three different types of swim current systems and each of those is going to feel different. We would suggest narrowing down the different brands and models to only two or three that meet your taste and budget and then requesting a “test swim” for each one so that you can experience them in action. Most good swim spa dealers keep a wet model so that you can do a test swim. When I was in retail we even had swim spa shoppers come to home shows and fairs to try them out so you’re sure to find a creative way to try one out.
Swim Spas range in price between $15,000-$40,000 so it’s extremely important that you purchase a unit that you are comfortable in or you will have an extreme case of buyer’s remorse.
Here are some considerations when doing a test swim (make sure to bring a bathing suit and towel):
- Bring Goggles – given the amount of turbulence it can be hard to see without goggles.
- Swim at Different Levels – most of your better swim spas have adjustable currents meaning you can increase or decrease the water resistance making it easier or harder to swim. Try out these different levels to see where your sweet spot is. Also make sure to swim with the air on and then with the air off to see what you like best. Not that it’s much easier to see and much less turbulent with the air off.
- Take Your Time – most people rush thru a test swim. If you want to get the full effect then we would suggest spending at least 20-30 minutes in the swim spa. It takes a few minutes alone just to find your sweet spot in the center of the pool so that you’re not bumping into the side walls or going too far forwards or too far backwards.
For more information on how to research and compare hot tubs or swim spas before purchasing please visit our hot tub buyer’s guide pages. You can also click on the pink boxes at the top right of every page to get a free local quotes from dealers in your area.