RECENT ARTICLES
  • The Humble Slide, Amplified

    by Eric Herman September 2018

    For some products, form and function can be difficult to marry, and for years, waterslides have largely fallen into that category. While slides add big fun to many an aquatic environment, they also typically rank among the more visually awkward features.

    Enter Splinter Works, a British manufacturer that has introduced a line of waterslides that completely reinvents the concept. The company was formed in 2009 as a collaboration between design pioneers Miles Hartwell and Matt...

  • Hot Looks in Hot Water

    by AQUA Editors September 2018

    Hot tub design has come a very long way from the days of wine barrel tubs and the early portables. The industry now features vessels that complement and harmonize with architecture and landscape design in ways once reserved for their concrete counterparts.

    Back in our July issue, Senior Editor Eric Herman discussed how portable and pre-manufactured hot tubs have evolved in aesthetic design in recent years. The main point was simple: Where in-ground concrete hot tubs have...

  • The AQUA Truck & Van Contest Returns

    by AQUA Editors September 2018

    Urgent update: The deadline is just over two weeks away. Enter today!

    After sharing the winners of the first-ever Truck & Van contest, we were flooded with feedback. In particular: “When is this contest coming back so I can enter?”

    Now, in fact — we’re excited to announce we’re bringing the Truck & Van contest back for another spin.

    This year, entries will be...

  • New Mini-Movie Promotes Trade and Technical Careers

    by AQUA Editors September 2018

    For a generation kids have been told they had to go to college to get a good job. Technical schools rebranded themselves as colleges, and hard trade skills and job experience were de-emphasized in favor of classroom instruction and theory. But as pool and spa professionals know, there are good careers in the trades, and if more people knew about the potential more would be choosing that path. The problem is that too few do, as anyone who has problems finding good help knows all too well.

  • Selling as an Exit Strategy

    by Daniel Seeger September 2018

    Rod Sterling tells a story about a family-owned pool and spa business in which the married proprietors were getting ready to retire. They had two stores and owned the building where the main business resided. Although they had rock-solid financial planning in most areas of their lives, the worth of their business was a complete mystery to them.

    “They were ready to close the door and throw the keys away,” Sterling recalls.

    As the president and founder of Sterling Advisory...

  • Frothy Fun

    by Eric Herman September 2018

    Designing and building beautiful aquatic spaces is often about reflecting the clients' personalities — at least it should be, according to Dennis Loy of Loy Custom Pool Designs in Austin, Texas. The project you see here offers a perfect example. The husband brews his own beer under the brand name Splash Craft Brewery, and his wife is an arts-and-crafts and gardening enthusiast. Loy's design integrates these passions into a one-of-a-kind outdoor living space that includes a backyard brewery...

  • Developing Talent: Taking the Long View

    by Eric Herman August 2018

    Aquatic design and construction is a highly specialized profession that requires deliberate effort in attracting and nurturing the next generation of professionals. According to one millennial designer working in Texas, it doesn't happen overnight.

    Reid Schindler loves his job. As a designer for Claffey Pools in Southlake, Texas, the 30-year-old Schindler has been experiencing remarkable success. Since 2011, he has designed and sold more than 125 projects with an aggregate sales...

  • The Better Way to Train New Hires

    by Erik Taylor August 2018

    "All things are not created equal." We've all heard the phrase, right? Well, when it comes to hiring new service technicians, all things are definitely not created equal.

    See, most pool companies train new hires in the same way every time. But think of the chain pool and spa stores that have locations all over the...

  • Finding Efficiencies

    by Eric Herman August 2018

    There’s nothing ambiguous about saving energy. Whether out of concern for the environment or simply a desire to save money (or both), reducing energy consumption is always a good idea.

    When it comes to pools and spas, they can go either way. Poorly constructed and improperly equipped man-made bodies of water can squander tremendous amounts of energy both in heating and electricity, sometimes causing great frustration for owners when it comes time to pay the monthly electric and/or...

  • Are We There Yet?

    by Bil Kennedy August 2018

    Anyone who has raised children remembers the familiar refrain. No more than an hour into any road trip, there comes a small voice from the back of the car: "Are we there yet?" Which is shortly followed by, "How soon before we get to (Grandma's house, the lake, Disney World, etc.)?"

    I still hear that a lot. Not from my children, who are grown and on their own. No, today those plaintiff calls are from pool industry stakeholders asking if this is the year the business returns to those...