Wednesday, 05 September 2012 16:55

Exciting in ground swimming pool slide designs

It is largely anecdotal, but legend has it that water slides may have originated around the time of the Ancients (as early as the 7th century B.C. by the Assyrians) which would coincide with the invention of modern irrigation systems and specifically the Roman-style aqueduct. Supposedly, laborers working on the construction of aqueducts learned that they could return to the lower levels of the aqueduct by actually riding in them. This concept allegedly also applied to the somewhat more modern logging industry, whereupon loggers built flumes to transport logs to the sawmill as well as to transport themselves. As swimming pools became popular in the United States in the early 20th century, it didn't take long for enterprising construction professionals to begin incorporating this concept into the recreational consciousness of Americans.

The typical residential pool slide has come a long way since the ubiquitous Aqua Slide n Dive of the 1960's and 1970's.


The Aquaslide n Dive, which was a pool owner's only option for many years.


Slides now incorporate multiple turns, innovative water-delivery systems, and numerous safety features. What follows are some  options for the modern residential pool owner that range from the simple to the sublime:

Wild-Ride tan

The "Wild Ride" (above) from S.R. Smith and the "Typhoon" (below) from Inter-Fab and the  represent the evolution of the basic swimming pool slide. 


These slides boast multiple color options, deep flumes for safety, improved water delivery systems and a molded stair system that is much safer than the traditional thin aluminum steps on the older slides.

turbo twister

The "Turbo Twister" (above) from S.R. Smith, and the " X-Stream" (below) from Inter-Fab introduce a two-turn feature into the mix.  These slides are taller at the seat than the other slides, yet include all the same safety features of the other slides.  The increased height coupled with the additional turn and the special water delivery systems provide a more thrilling ride.

X-Stream front

Many pool owners want to bring the thrills of the commercial waterpark to their own backyard.  Water slides that blend some of these commercial features into a smaller footprint for the residential pool owner are known as crossovers.

G-Force 02

The "G-Force" from Inter-Fab (above) and the "Vortex" from S.R. Smith introduce a 360 degree turn into the sliding universe. 

SRSmith Vortex Slide

The "Aqua Deluxe" (below) from Summit USA shows that the universe of quasi-commercial pool slides for the Residential pool owner is really limitless. 

aqua deluxe5

Inter-Fab has a product known as the Build-Your-Own-Slide, which is referred to as a semi-custom slide.  The product can be custom designed to virtually any configuration, yet provides the comfort and precision of a pre-fabricated slide.  This slide is often included in rock features and incorporated into grottos, providing virtually limitless possibilities.



Finally, a custom concrete slide is the option that provides the most flexibility with respect to design.  Since concrete can be placed or formed to virtually any form, there are fewer limits as to the configuration.  Special care must be taken to ensure a smooth ride, and cosmetic treatments are usually applied to make the concrete blend into the natural environment.  These slides will be the most durable, providing decades of thrilling rides.



keller 3

These are not your father's water slides!  After decades of monotonous and unsafe offerings, slide manufacturers and swimming pool designers are moving the art of the water slide forward.  These slide designs and options allow the residential inground swimming pool owner to bring the thrill of the commercial waterslide home; and the best part is that there is no waiting in line!

James Atlas

James Atlas, an 22-year veteran of the swimming pool industry, is the owner and co-principal of Platinum Poolcare Ltd., a residential swimming pool construction, renovation and maintenance company with service to several commercial aquatic properties including the Bulls, Bears and White Sox training facilities.

Platinum Poolcare Owner James Atlas came to the pool industry after three years of options trading after college, cashing in his chips to work with father Ronald Atlas, owner of Paragon Pools, a commercial pool construction and design company. An entrepreneur at heart, Atlas quickly started up an off–shoot company, Fountain Technologies, through which he designed and constructed water features for luxury residential and commercial properties.

When his brother took over that company, Atlas founded Pool Watch, a management company servicing recreational pools with lifeguard staffing, facility openings, closings and general maintenance. He sold Fountain Technologies and Pool Watch in 1994 and 1995.

Looking to broaden his skill set in the pool servicing industry, Atlas went back to his family pool business, working as a project estimator for multi-million-dollar waterparks, competition pools, high-rise pools, and other large-scale projects.

After a few years, Atlas began receiving consistent inquiries from residential property owners interested in pool construction and servicing. With his father’s blessing, Atlas took the reigns on those new accounts and formed a new company called Platinum Aquatech.

Again looking to go off on his own, Atlas teamed up with Terry Smith, owner of Poolcare Aquatech, another partner company with Ronald Atlas which focused on the service and maintenance. The two companies merged, with Terry and James owning a fifty-fifty share in 2007, effectively becoming Platinum Poolcare Aquatech, Ltd.

Company Background

Platinum Poolcare Aquatech, Ltd., founded in 2007, and resulting from a merger of Platinum Aquatech, Ltd. (luxury swimming pool construction) and Poolcare Aquatech, Ltd.(service, repairs, renovations of swimming pools and spas), specializes in all aspects of pool design, construction and renovation with added focus on specialty aquatic features such as waterfalls, lazy rivers, rock water applications, statuary and other luxury waterscape amenities. The company also provides installation and maintenance services for its customers.

Platinum Poolcare has raised the standards of excellence in residential and commercial pools, spa and waterscape design and construction. We have a combined half-century of experience in building, servicing, maintaining, and renovating award-winning and nationally-recognized gunite pools throughout the greater Chicago area and other Midwest states.

Based in Wheeling, Ill., the company’s headquarters spans 10,000 square-feet of warehouse and office space with 46 trucks, 130 employees during peak season, and one of the industry’s largest onsite replacement parts inventory for quick fixes.

Platinum Poolcare has repeatedly graced the cover of various industry magazines, and has earned hundreds of awards for its designs. The company belongs to the prestigious, invitation-only Aquatech Society for professional pool builders.

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