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YOUR SWIMMING POOL IS UP AND RUNNING and now it’s time for the fun stuff – pool accessories! Take your pool to the next level by adding pool accessories that will make your kids – and you – squeal with delight.

A popular addition to swimming pools is diving boards. A diving board is an excellent way of getting in the water for the first time, and practicing those fancy moves whether you look like Greg Louganis or simply want to cannonball off the end. Diving boards have some special considerations to keep in mind, however. First off the height of the board off the water is directly proportional to the depth of the water, meaning that you can have a taller diving board if the water is deep enough to sustain it. For safety’s sake, don’t put a diving platform on a pool with a six foot water depth – you’re just inviting disaster. Pool depth with diving boards should be eight feet or greater, and the position of the board and how much it protrudes into the water are also critical placement measurements, so consult a pool contractor who has installed diving boards before. Also check with your home insurance provider, as most diving board installations have a tendency to raise insurance rates.

Water slides are another popular feature, and are frankly overtaking diving boards in popularity, especially amongst homes with children. Nothing is more fun than a waterslide that drops you off into the deep end on a hot day. These pool accessories are designed a couple of different ways, from having their own water feed to lubricate the slide to simply being made of a slippery material. The designs of the slides go from anything to a straight slide to curves and full spiral designs, some being quite tall. There’s a lot less danger with a pool slide as opposed to a diving board since no matter how tall the slide is, it still drops you off at a constant level above the pool, say 18-24”, and you’re almost always in a safe cannonball like position. Additionally, because there’s less velocity and momentum, they can be used in swimming pools that have less water depth in their deep end because the risk of injury simply isn’t as prevalent with these slides. Considerations when mounting slides are anticipating the trajectory of the swimmer, and making sure he or she lands in a deep , open area, and properly anchoring the slide to the concrete or decking material to ensure it doesn’t move. Also select a slide that has non skid steps, and remember that stainless steel rails get hot on summer days, so be careful.

Another set of popular pool accessories are handrails to enter and exit the pool. Getting out of the pool can be a challenge, especially if you’re a little older – or perhaps a little younger. A handrail on the steps goes a long way to making a secure entrance into and the pool and a secure exit out of it. A pool ladder might be an option for the deep end in especially long pools where making your way back to the steps might take too long – it is incredibly difficult to lift yourself out of a pool without a ladder or steps because you have nothing to grab except the pool coping, so consider a ladder.

Pool accessories will be what separate the casual pool homeowner from the fun loving backyard amusement park you can build. Young and old alike will enjoy a good dive off the deep end on a custom board or a fun filled cannonball down a water slide.

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