• 2016 Award Winners Announced

    by AQUA Editors September 2016

    APSP has announced the winners of its 2016 APSP Awards Program. The program recognizes prominent achievements and outstanding performers in the pool, spa and hot tub industry. Being recognized this year are 74 pool, hot tub and water feature projects in the design competition, and 18 individuals recognized for their contributions to the aquatic industry. One APSP Chapter earned top honors.

    All APSP recipients will be officially recognized in the October issue of AQUA Magazine and...

  • The Enduring Appeal of Wooden Hot Tubs

    by Eric Herman September 2016

    If you know anything about the history of portable spas, you know wooden barrel hot tubs helped launch the modern hot water industry. Yet with advent of composite materials, fancy hydrotherapy jet arrays, ergonomic designs and control technology, the popularity of the wooden barrel tub has since waned — or has it?


  • Why I Love This Industry

    by AQUA Editors September 2016

    We don't claim it's perfect, and there are moments of frustration in any line of work, but overall, we have to admit the pool and spa industry is a great place to make a living.  The result of our toil and effort, in the end, is often a smile of relaxation and enjoyment on a little girl's face as she plays in a clean, clear water.

    Every year, in our State of the Industry Survey, we ask the professionals of this industry what they like most about the job. Today we offer a few of...

  • Defining an Age of Wellness: A Conversation with Alice Cunningham

    by Eric Herman September 2016

    By any definition, Alice Cunningham is a one of the hot-tub industry's true pioneers. For nearly 40 years, she has led the company she and her husband founded, Olympic Hot Tubs, based in Seattle, to become one of the industry's vanguard...

  • The Beautiful World of Pool & Spa Combos

    by Eric Herman September 2016

    Many years ago, in the early days of what was then known as Genesis 3, co-founder Skip Phillips of Questar Pools was delivering a lecture about water-in-transit design. Part of his discussion centered on what he saw as the lack of creativity and design ingenuity when it comes to attached spas.

    Paraphrasing, he explained it was a shame so many builders simply create unimaginative vessels that, his words, "indiscriminately puke water" from the spa into the pool. A rather vivid...

  • Healthy Hot Water

    by Barrett Kilmer September 2016

    The portable hot tub industry is in the midst of a makeover. Long viewed as selling products centered around socializing or relaxing with friends and family, many manufacturers and dealers are tweaking their sales and marketing to include stronger messaging around health and wellness. One manufacturer believes so strongly in the health and wellness angle that it's coalescing an entire company culture around it.

    Watkins Manufacturing, the Vista, Calif.-based maker of Hot Spring Spas,...

  • How Are Hot Tub Jet Configurations Developed?

    by Cailley Hammel September 2016

    For those who seek the health benefits a portable spa can offer, hot water isn't everything. Much of the allure of hydrotherapy — and a major draw for hot tub ownership in general — comes down to jets and the stimulation they provide to soothe aching muscles, relieve pain and reduce stress.

    And while jets have always been an essential part of the portable spa experience (and a huge marketing hook for manufacturers), the hot tub industry's continued shift towards health and wellness...

  • Born in the USA: The History of Portable Spas

    by Scott Webb September 2016

    We didn't start the fire that warmed the spa. No one can take credit for discovering the wonderful sensation of easing down into hot water.

    Long before the Romans built their hot tub palaces and made soaking together a social custom, one has to assume that stone age man discovered geothermal pools, slipped off the bearskin, sat down in the steaming water and said, "Honey, let's live here."

    No, we didn't invent hot water immersion here in North America, but we did invent the...

  • AQUA Celebrates Four Decades

    by Scott Webb September 2016

    Forty years ago this month, we started out in the magazine business. We were Spa And Sauna magazine then. It was September 1976, the Olympics had just concluded, Bruce Jenner was in the headlines…

    Obviously, some things have changed.

    For example, Spa and Sauna magazine became AQUA. We changed the name to reflect the fact that most North American spa dealers were leisure aquatics dealers;...

  • Top It Off: Hot Tub Cover and Lifter Roundup

    by AQUA Editors August 2016

    What are the three magic words every hot tub salesperson loves to hear?

    "I'll take it!"

    Not only does that phrase mean you're getting a hot tub out the door, it also means you have an opportunity to add onto the sale (and boost your commission) with accessories that make the hot tub lifestyle even better.

    First up: a hot tub cover. Covers protect the spa from the elements, help maintain proper water chemistry, save energy and offer a safety precaution when the hot...