A Complete Review of Hydropool’s Swim Spas (Play, Aquatic and Executive Models)

 

If you’re shopping for a swim spa, you already know they come in a wide variety of formats, and with even more options. That can be confusing when you’re trying to buy because it’s not always clear what the difference is between the many different collections, lines and models that companies offer. 

“What’s the difference between Play and Aquatic?” “What’s the difference between Aquatic and Executive?” are questions we are asked frequently at Hydropool, especially by first-time swim spa customers (which is most of them, as the product is still relatively new).  

Swim spas, like hot tubs, are built for a variety of people. Some people:

• want swim spas to be places to party

• want places to relax in

• want places to work out 

• want a good swim

• others want a customizable swim

• still others want the ultimate swim 

• and most want combinations of two or more of these options

Hydropool, like other swim spa builders, wants to make swim spas that meet all these customer expectations. That’s why we have three collections, Play, Aquatic and Executive, and lines within each collection: We’re trying to build a swim spa for everyone who wants one, the way they want one.

That’s also why we’re writing this article, for anyone who wants to understand what we’re selling. This article contains: 

• An overview of the three swim spa lines Hydropool sells. 

• A breakdown of those three lines, Play, Aquatic and Executive

• What changes from line to line, and who each would be suited for each one. 

 

The Swim Spas Hydropool Builds: A Complete Review

 

Hydropool sells three of what it calls “collections” of hot tubs: Play, Aquatic and Executive. 

Who is each for? This is the simplest way we can say it:

• Play is mostly bought by families or for fun, by anyone who want a giant hot tub, with swimming secondary.

• Aquatic is a versatile swim spa, customizable for any purpose, so that you can work out in it, have a good swim, hot tub party, have family over, you name it. It is the most popular line. 

• Executive is the elite line, built as the closest replacement to an in-ground pool. With the largest water area of the group and programmable swim options, it is meant for anyone who wants the best overall place to swim, including former competitive swimmers, current ones, weekend warriors and triathletes. 

Of course, anyone can buy any of these. But this was the thinking behind developing each collection.

What are the Actual Differences Between Each of the Hydropool Swim Spas?

 

Although they are all made in the same plant in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, Hydropool’s collection of swim spas each have unique components and features that make them function better for different customers. 

Within each line, there are four main areas of difference between each swim spa where you can see the evolution of the swim spas and how they are built differently, for different people: 

• the pumps

• the jets

• the controls

• the shell

We will go over each of these categories when discussing each line. 

Hydropool Play: Families, Fun, Fitness: A Complete Review

 

Who is the Hydropool Play for? 

 

The Play is the easiest “collection” of swim spas to understand: It is one model. The model is called the 13FFP. That stands for a 13-foot swim spa, and FFP stands for Fun Family Pool. 

What’s the Hydropool Made Of? 

 

The 13FFP comes with:

• Pumps: 

A 4 hp motor, pumping water through 2” pipes wrapped around the swim spa

• Jets: 

Two jets, to create a non-adjustable swim

The jet openings are oval, which flattens the water, making the swim less turbulent

• Controls: 

An on/off switch controls the swim jets. 

For controllability, you can adjust the amount of air in the swim 

• Shell:

The shell design features built-in hips, which eliminate any reflective way created by the swim jets. In many swim spas, a wave is created when the jets come on, as the water is sent down the spa before hitting a flat wall. That design simply creates a reflective wave coming back at the swimmer. Hydropool engineered the “hips” on the Play shell to stop that wave from ever occurring, creating an eddy effect instead, and creating a better overall swim as a result.    

Noteworthy Features

 

• There is a lot of seating in this swim spa. Thanks to seating down the sides of the shell, there is room for nine, with more available if people are standing as well.

• The swim area is large enough for aquafit workouts and powerful enough for children to ride a boogie board into it. 

• Hydrotherapy is part of the package: You’re able to get a full massage with the jets.

• Two waterfall jets come included with the 13FFP.  

• Insulation features thermal blankets covering the bottom, sides and ends of the cabinets, with foam insulation blown into the middle of the cabinet. 

• Current pricing begins at $25,395. 

Options

 

• The EZ Pure Ozone System is available. This feature combines UV and ozone elements to assist in removing contaminants from the spa water, by killing them before they can start. It’s a good addition if you’re concerned about high chemical usage. Standard filtration in the Play is similar to what is used in our Serenity models, containing industry-standard filtration. 

• Acrylic color is set at silver marble, while the outside cabinet is Driftwood Brown.

• Three cover options are available, although we generally recommend the rollaway in most instances. 

• A variety of fitness equipment packages are available. 

Hydropool Play 13FFP: Overall assessment

 

Buy the 13FFP and you get a large hot tub, where you can do some swimming and have room for aquatic workouts. You get a place for children to play in, as well as a place for adults to get a massage, host a party and have their own fun. This is Hydropool’s least expensive way to get into a swim spa, as it is actually less expensive than some smaller, high-end hot tubs. Is it for everyone? Someone who wants more room, options and a better swim is going to find a better match with Hydropool’s AquaSport, AquaTrainer and Executive collections.

 

The Hydropool Aquatic Collection: A Complete Review

 

The Aquatic collection is meant to have something for everyone: It’s a hot tub that you can swim in, work out in and play in. 

There are two sub-categories inside the Aquatic Collection:

• The AquaSport, which is best described as an overall aquatic fitness center. 

• The AquaTrainer, which is a great place to swim every day. 

As you can see, the primary difference here is the level of swim capability you’re looking for. What stays the same on both trims is the overall acrylic shell, cabinet and size options.  

AquaSport

 

The Sport Series: 14AX AquaSport, 17AX AquaSport, 19DTAX AquaSport. 

Who is the AquaSport For? 

This is an overall aquatic gym that can be had in three sizes, 14”, 17” or 19.” So it’s for anyone who wants hot tub functionality with the ability to swim. 

What’s the AquaSport Made Of? 

Let’s look at the pumps, jets, controls and shell to see what’s different in this line:

Pumps: One 5hp Aquaboost pump is standard, with larger pipes at 2 ½” also becoming standard. These are strong pumps and wider pipes, which moves water more easily, allowing for a better swimming experience.  

Jets: Two stronger AccuFlow jets create a strong flow, using the same oval face that flattens the current on the Play. A buoyancy jet is included, which helps you hold a flat position in the face of the current when swimming. The jets are covered by a laminar cover, which helps “shreds the vortex” – a cool way of saying it breaks up how the water is spinning out of the jets, creating a flatter, stronger wider and more consistent current and a better overall swim effect. Additional hip jets help you stay in place in the swim lane. 

Controls: Jets are hand-adjustable, giving you control over the current, which is strong enough for decent swimmers. 

Shell: In the AquaSport line, Performance Flow Intakes are placed into the built-in hips of the shell, which, as in the Play, are designed to minimize any reflective waves. These intakes take in even more of the impact of the wave created by the current, further reducing any reflective wave coming back. 

Noteworthy Features

 

• Insulation features thermal blankets covering the bottom, sides and ends of the cabinets, with foam insulation blown into the middle of the cabinet. Steel frames support the cabinet. 

• Because it has no side benches, like in the Play, you can actually fit more people in it, if they are standing in the swim area. 

• As of this writing, pricing begins at $35,995 for the 14AX, $41,985 for the 17AX, $50,495 for the 19DTAX. 

 

Standard Elements

• Hydropool’s patented self-cleaning system is part of the AquaSport line. This system is able to clean 100 per cent of the water in the swim spa every 40 minutes. Unique to Hydropool, it is the only self-cleaning system available in swim spas anywhere. You can see a full breakdown of the system here.

• The EZ PureWater System, optional on the Play and which uses UV and ozone to kill bacteria before it begins, is standard. 

• Two waterfall pillows are included (with an increased waterfall package available as an option, explained below). A waterfall pillow has a slit across it where water pours out.  There is hot tub seating for in the 14-foot and 17-foot spa, and five in the 19-foot. 

• The floor mat on the Sport is new to this line. This mat gives you better footing for workouts where you can run in place, for example. 

 

Popular Options

• Two outer cabinets are available in brown and black: Driftwood Brown and Midnight Everlast.

• Three acrylic patterns, all in greys and whites: Alpine Mist, Pure White and Silver Marble.

• Three covers are available.

• FORM swim goggles give you an optical digital display, allowing you to track your swimming progress. All information is stored in an app, where you can assess how you’re doing and create new programs.   

• A rowing kit and multiple fitness packages are also available.

• New bubble option: The HydroFlex Air Therapy creates 10,000 bubbles in your swim spa.

• New lighting option: The Northern Lights package places lighting all of the top-mounted valves and LED lights. The popular Bellagio package combines Northern Lights with a Bellagio waterfall feature. 

The Hydropool Aquatic Sport: Overall assessment

A swim spa you can get a good swim in. The Sport model is the beginning of Hydropool’s spas designed with swimming as a core component. You can work out any way you want in this spa, while using it as both a hot tub and a place for the family to gather and play in. But if you want more swimming options, like a range of swim settings from 1-10, and increased digital controls, then the AquaTrainer may be a better fit for you. 

 

The AquaTrainer Series: A Complete Review

 

AquaTrainer

The series includes the14AX AquaTrainer, 17AX AquaTrainer and 19DTAX AquaTrainer. As in the AquaSport, the number in each model refers to the size: a 14 is a 14-foot swim spa. 

What Comes with the Hydropool AquaTrainer? 

Who is it for? This is a spa for someone to swim any day they want, whichever way they want to swim. It can be had in three sizes, 14”, 17” or 19.” 

What’s it made of? Look for elements that lead to a big increase in swimming capability in this line:

Pumps: Two 5hp AquaBoost pumps are standard. This is double the amount available in the Sport and a significant boost to swimming capability. Elbows on all plumbing are no longer 90 degrees, but are “sweep” elbows, which have a shallower curve so the water can move through them faster. As in the Sport, a buoyancy pump is also included.  

Jets: Two V-Twin jets are the key addition here.

 • The V-Twin jet package is Hydropool’s finest, capable of moving 1,400 gallons per minute, which results in a wider, deeper and smoother current. 

• As with the Sport, buoyancy jets are included, which help you hold a flat position in the face of the current when swimming. 

• Additional hip jets help you stay in place in the swim lane. 

Controls: Jets are adjustable digitally, giving you control over the current, which is adjustable with 10 levels, from novice to triathlete (in the Sport any adjustability is done by hand). Like a treadmill, the digital control can track your calories burned, time, distance and speed, with some swim programs built in.  

Shell: The shell is the same as the Sport, with Performance Flow Intakes placed into the built-in hips of the shell, designed to minimize reflective waves. These intakes take in the impact of any wave made by the current, creating an eddy effect instead, which results in a better swim.

 

Noteworthy Features

 

• With the same shell as the Sport, because it has no side benches, like the Play does, you can actually fit more people in it, if they are standing in the swim area. 

• As of this writing, pricing on the Hydropool website begins at $44,295 for the 14AX, $50,385 for the 17AX, $59,295 for the 19DTAX. 

 Standard Elements

• Hydropool’s patented self-cleaning system is part of the AquaTrainer line. This system is able to clean 100 per cent of the water in the swim spa every 40 minutes. Unique to Hydropool, it is the only self-cleaning system available in swim spas anywhere. You can see a full breakdown of the system here.

• The EZ PureWater System, optional on the Play and which uses UV and ozone to kill bacteria before it begins, is standard. 

• The same floor mat on the Sport is standard on the Trainer as well. This mat gives you better footing for workouts where you can run in place, for example. 

• As in the Sport, there is seating for four in the hot tub on the 14 and 17, and five in the 19. 

• Insulation features thermal blankets covering the bottom, sides and ends of the cabinets, with foam insulation blown into the middle of the cabinet. Steel framing is standard. 

 

Popular Optional Elements:

All these options are available on the AquaSport as well as the Trainer:

• Two outer cabinets are available in brown and black: Driftwood Brown and Midnight Everlast.

• Three acrylic patterns, all in greys and whites: Alpine Mist, Pure White and Silver Marble.

Three covers are available.

• FORM swim goggles give you an optical digital display, allowing you to track your swimming progress. All information is stored in an app, where you can assess how you’re doing and create new programs.   

• A rowing kit and multiple fitness packages are also available.

• A bubble option: The HydroFlex Air Therapy creates 10,000 bubbles in your swim spa.

• Lighting options: The Northern Lights package places lighting all of the top-mounted valves and LED lights. The popular Bellagio package combines Northern Lights with a Bellagio waterfall feature. 

 

Hydropool Aquatic Trainer: Overall assessment

 You get an impressive current with the AquaTrainer lineup. You get a range of adjustability and customization with your swim so that a good swimmer will have a good time in these spas. If you’re serious about swimming in your swim spa, this is where to start at Hydropool. But it’s not necessarily where you want to finish. The Executive series are the top-of-the-line models allowing you to further customize your swim. 

 

The Hydropool Executive Swim Spa Collection: A Complete Review

 

What’s most unique about this line is the shell and the top-of-the-line swim options available. These are both serious swim spas, providing top-of-the-line swimming experiences. As in the Hydropool Aquatic Collection, there are two lines in the Executive collection

• the Executive Sport 

• the Executive Trainer

The primary difference between this series and the Aquatic line is an increased focus on better swimming experiences. There is more pool and less hot tub in the shell design and a stronger current.  Really that’s the key difference between the two lines: That the Executive Trainer has more power for a stronger current, as well as increased customization and control. 

What Comes with the Hydropool Executive Sport? 

 

The Executive Sport Series: 16EX Executive Sport and the 19EX Executive sport are the two options here. One is 16 feet long and the other is 19. 

Who is the Executive Sport for? 

 

The Executive Sport: The two Executives share a shell design because their primary purpose is different from the Aquatic series. But like the Aquatic Series, the Executive Sport is about versatility. The Executive Sport is a gym, pool and water park, all in one. But there is an increased emphasis on swimming with the Executive Sport line over anything in the Aquatic collection. Anyone who wants more of a pool to swim in and less of a hot tub to work out in could find a home here. If you want it the other way around, Hydropool’s Aquatic collection is a better spot for you. 

What is it made of? 

Pumps: One 5hp AquaBoost pump is standard. Elbows on all plumbing are “sweep” elbows, which have a shallower curve so the water can move through them faster than the 90-degree bends on many other models. A buoyancy pump is also included.   

Jets: Two AccuFlow jets create a strong flow, using the oval face that flattens the current. 

• A buoyancy jet is included, which helps you hold a flat position in the face of the current when swimming. 

• The jets are covered by a laminar cover, which helps “shreds the vortex” – a cool way of saying it breaks up how the water is spinning out of the jets, creating a flatter, stronger wider and more consistent current and a better overall swim effect. 

• Additional hip jets help you stay in place in the swim lane.

Controls: Hand-adjustable swim controls are standard here. 

Shell: The shell is a significant change from the Aquatic line. There is seating for two in this line in the hot tub portion, as the main element in it is a shell designed for you to have as much room as possible to swim. It’s also designed for a better swim.

 • Instead of hips on the shell creating eddies like on the Aquatic line, the water is pushed down the length of the swim spa without any barrier in the Executive. Normally a significant reflective wave would occur when the current hits the far end of the spa. But a massive grate, called the “Current Collector” absorbs the current, before sending the water back to the front of the swim spa to be fed into the jets again. A predictable, conveyor belt of water effect is essentially created for you to swim in as a result of the shell design. 

Noteworthy features

• The shell is unique in the lineup. This line is closest to an in-ground pool, providing a sizable area to swim and play. 

• Pricing begins at $40,795 for the 16EX and $47,295 for the 19EX, at the time of this writing. 

Standard Elements

• Hydropool’s patented self-cleaning system is part of the Executive Trainer line. This system cleans 100 per cent of the water in the swim spa every 40 minutes. Unique to Hydropool, it is the only self-cleaning system available in swim spas anywhere. You can see a full breakdown of the system here.

• The EZ PureWater System, which uses UV and ozone to kill bacteria before it begins, is standard. 

• The same floor mat on the Sport is standard on the Trainer as well. This mat gives you better footing for workouts where you can run in place, for example. 

• Seating for two is standard on both the 16EX and the 19EX Sport models.

• Insulation features thermal blankets covering the bottom, sides and ends of the cabinets, with foam insulation blown into the middle of the cabinet. Steel framing is standard. 

Popular Options

• Two outer cabinets are available in brown and black: Driftwood Brown and Midnight Everlast.

• Three acrylic patterns, all in greys and whites: Alpine Mist, Pure White and Silver Marble.

• Three covers are available.

• FORM swim goggles give you an optical digital display, allowing you to track your swimming progress. All information is stored in an app, where you can assess how you’re doing and create new programs.   

• A rowing kit and multiple fitness packages are also available.

• A bubble option: The HydroFlex Air Therapy creates 10,000 bubbles in your swim spa.

• Lighting options: The Northern Lights package places lighting all of the top-mounted valves and LED lights. The popular Bellagio package combines Northern Lights with a Bellagio waterfall feature. 

 

Hydropool Executive Sport: Overall Assessment

If what you’re looking for is the closest thing to a pool, with all the watery space a pool offers, then the Executive Sport is for you. This is a pool you can swim in, with hot tub seating for two. You have room to be active and physical any way you like in the Executive Sport line of swim spas. It’s a great family place to play, hold parties and you have a top-of-the-line swim experience in it. But if you want even more customization, options and the most powerful current available, then you’re going to want to consider the Executive Trainer.   

What Comes with the Hydropool Executive Trainer? 

 

The Executive Trainer Series: 16EX Executive Sport and the 19EX Executive sport are the two options here, with the 16 and 19 referring to the length of each swim spa.

Who is the Executive Trainer for?

The Executive Trainer’s benefit is clear: It’s the best swim the company offers, with the most room for customization and the strongest current to swim against. If you’re looking for an in-ground pool replacement, without all the hassle of putting in an in-ground pool and want the custom options of being able to set your swim at anything from 1-10 the same way you’d set a treadmill to run on, this is the swim spa for you.   

What is the Executive Trainer made of? 

Pumps: Two 5hp Variable Flow Experience pumps are standard. A buoyancy pump is also included. 

Jets: Two V-Twin jets are key additions. 

• The V-Twin jet package is Hydropool’s finest, capable of moving 1,400 gallons per minute, which results in a wider, deeper and smoother current.

 • Buoyancy jets are included, which help you hold a flat position in the face of the current when swimming. 

• Added hip jets help you stay in place in the swim lane. 

Controls: Jets are adjustable digitally, giving you control over the current, which is adjustable with 10 levels, from novice to triathlete. Like a treadmill, the digital control can track your calories burned, time, distance and speed, with swim programs built in.  

Shell: The shell is a significant change from the Aquatic line. 

• There is seating for two in this line in the hot tub portion, as the main element in it is a shell designed for you to have as much room as possible to swim. It’s also designed for a better swim.

• Instead of hips on the shell creating eddies like on the Aquatic line, the water is pushed down the length of the swim spa without any barrier in the Executive. 

• Normally a significant reflective wave would occur when the current hits the far end of the spa. But a massive grate, called the “Current Collector” absorbs the current, before sending the water back to the front of the swim spa to be fed into the jets again. A predictable, conveyor belt of water effect is essentially created for you to swim in as a result of the shell design. 

Noteworthy features

• The shell is unique in the lineup. This line is closest to an in-ground pool, providing a sizable area to swim and play. 

• Pricing begins at $51,495 for the 16EX and $57,295 for the 19EX, at the time of this writing. 

Standard Elements

• Hydropool’s patented self-cleaning system is part of the Executive Trainer line. This system cleans 100 per cent of the water in the swim spa every 40 minutes. Unique to Hydropool, it is the only self-cleaning system available in swim spas anywhere. You can see a full breakdown of the system here.

• The EZ PureWater System, which uses UV and ozone to kill bacteria before it begins, is standard. 

• The same floor mat on the Sport is standard on the Trainer as well. This mat gives you better footing for workouts where you can run in place, for example. 

• Hot tub seating for two is standard on both the 16EX and the 19EX Sport models.

• Insulation features thermal blankets covering the bottom, sides and ends of the cabinets, with foam insulation blown into the middle of the cabinet. Steel framing is standard. 

Popular Options

• Two outer cabinets are available in brown and black: Driftwood Brown and Midnight Everlast.

• Three acrylic patterns, all in greys and whites: Alpine Mist, Pure White and Silver Marble.

• Three covers are available.

• FORM swim goggles give you an optical digital display, allowing you to track your swimming progress. All information is stored in an app, where you can assess how you’re doing and create new programs.   

• A rowing kit and multiple fitness packages are also available.

• A bubble option: The HydroFlex Air Therapy creates 10,000 bubbles in your swim spa.

• Lighting options: The Northern Lights package places lighting all of the top-mounted valves and LED lights. The popular Bellagio package combines Northern Lights with a Bellagio waterfall feature. 

Hydropool Executive Trainer: Overall Assessment

This is really a pool where you can swim in it any way you want. Want to train for a triathlon? You can do that here. Want a place where you can swim at a slow speed? This swim spa allows you to do that too. Just as you can swim any way you want in a pool, you can swim however you like in the Executive Trainer. This swim spa creates a powerful swim current, but an entirely controllable one, designed to be tailored to your skill and swim level. And as a bonus, two hot tub seats provide a place to relax after your swim workout. 

Everything You Wanted to Know About Hydropool Swim Spas

You can do a lot of things in a pool, and as a result, swim spas have to offer a lot of things to people. That can create confusion though for anyone considering swim spas: “What’s the difference between a Play and an Aquatic? An Executive and an Aquatic? Why are some things the same and some different?” 

It’s because at Hydropool we know that people use swim spas for different reasons. We have been in business for more than 40 years and we have learned that some people want a pool to swim in. Others want a place for their kids to play in. Still others want a place to host a party, a quiet moment with their spouse and a place to swim and play in, all in one! 

One of the first things anyone needs to ask themselves when considering any swim spa is, “What do you intend to do in it? Are you looking for a place to have fun and splash, with hot tub capability at night? Are you looking for a place to work out in as well, and do some swimming? Or do you want the best swim possible?” 

Hydropool offers all of these collections as answers to those questions: 

• The Play collection is one model, designed for families and fun: It’s the closest the company has to a giant hot tub, coming in at 13 feet.

• The Aquatic collection is meant to be versatile, allowing for good swims and acting as both a pool and hot tub replacement. It comes in Sport or Trainer as trims, and three sizes: 14, 17, and 19. 

• The Executive offers a total pool replacement, with the best swim potential and a more customizable swim, while still featuring a pair of hot tub seats. It comes Sport or Trainer as trims and in 16-foot and 19-foot lengths. 

We wrote this article to try and simply explain as best as possible who the swim spas we make are for, and what the differences and similarities are between them. Our engineers have put a lot of work into developing different swim spas for different customers. We hope there is one for you.

Have more questions? Are you ready to talk to a Hydropool dealer? Click here.

 

 

 

 

 

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