What you need to look for when buying a swim spa



The 5 key features that make the Jacuzzi® Swim Spa the best on the market

In the ever-growing swim spa market, it’s becoming more confusing to know exactly what to look for to ensure a great swim. There are many ways you can use a swim spa: resistance running, weight training, body boarding and massage… but the true focus of a great swim spa is a great swim! Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well, I can assure you it’s far from simple and takes a lot of research and development coupled with decades of experience to fully understand what helps and what hinders the quality of the swim. So, we’ve broken it down to the main 5 core components of the Jacuzzi® Swim Spa. Ultimately, the goal of a good swim spa is to create a large volume of water, with minimal turbulence and a reliable, predictable flow of water. Here’s how Jacuzzi® does it…

It starts with the pumps…

For the best swim experience, the pumps should be situated directly under the swim jets as this will create the shortest distance for the water to travel, ensuring the highest uninterrupted volume of water leaving the jet. Unfortunately, not every brand does this, meaning pumps tend to be positioned wherever there is space in the swim spa. Not in a Jacuzzi® though! Jacuzzi® also design their pumps with a 12 o’clock exit (straight up) meaning the water is fired straight up and out of the jet, creating a shorter journey. Be warned, not all swim spas are configured in the same way as a Jacuzzi® and most pumps will release their water at 3 o’clock (sideways) which means that water has to be redirected upwards and this affects the flow, the volume, the predictability, as well as creating turbulence - not good!

Next comes the jets!

Now we have the large volume of water leaving the pumps in the most efficient way, let’s take a look at the next, and smartest, part of the swim - the Patented Swim Jet… But a jet’s just a jet, isn’t it? Just fire the water out and swim, right? Erm… no. The jet technology is incredibly important and is the backbone of the swim, and that’s why Jacuzzi® created their impressive letterbox style jets.

More jets...

When the huge volume of water leaves the pump like a bullet from a gun, it creates a vortex spiral, in a powerfully frantic way, toward the back of the jet.

We don’t want to reduce the volume of the water, so it travels through a gentle bend in the pipework, so the speed remains high. Think about driving round a sweeping bend in the road, your speed can stay higher than if you have to turn hard left at a junction.


This is what other swim spa brands tend to do, create 90 degree bends in the pipework which slows the water down. At this point the huge volume of spiralling water needs to be organised in preparation to create your swim. Initially, it’s tidied to make the flow of water predictable and then needs to be calmed down to stop turbulence. This is done using patented fins, or shredders, that simply calm the water to ensure a consistent flow, giving you a truly predictable swim.


This isn’t as easy as it sounds, and other swim spas compensate by injecting water into the jets for additional power, but this creates turbulence, making your swim uncomfortable.

Finally, Jacuzzi® Swim Spas have a 48-inch swim channel, the widest on the market, meaning you don’t have to work hard to stay right in the middle of the swim spa. Other swim spas may look the same, but their swim channel is a lot smaller!

We’d always suggest investigating and asking questions… it’s important to know the how’s and why’s!

Controlling the water

With all the power, volume and predictable water leaving the jets, we then need to control it, and manage it to suit all needs, styles and intensity of workouts. Jacuzzi® makes that incredibly easy with its current adjustment control panel.

The 5 speeds are regulated by 4 pumps that simultaneously engage at high or low speeds to generate an increased flow, measured in litres per minute, and with a top speed of nearly 15kph, it’s very impressive! On top of this Jacuzzi® Swim Spas include a 2-speed buoyancy jet which does exactly what it says and adds a flow of water underneath to help lift the swimmer at lower speeds. Cleverly, it can also double up as more power for the advanced swimmers wanting to replicate a high-speed, open-water environment.



The importance of the shell

You might think there’s no further technology to add that’ll benefit the swim… Wrong!

In a swim spa, the shell design is critical. Firstly, you need the space to swim, and Jacuzzi® do this by creating a wide and steep walled tank. The sides don’t taper in like a lot of the other swim spa brands and this means the sides don’t inhibit your swim, regardless of which stroke you choose.

The second problem to overcome is simple physics. When at the beach, if a wave goes past you onto the sand, that waters got to come back from where it came. If this wasn’t addressed you’d have a current in front of you and water crashing into you from behind and you’ll end up thrashing around and not having a great swim. To prevent this, Jacuzzi® do 2 things. Firstly, they introduce what they call ‘hip joints’. These are 2 bumps that protrude into the water disrupting it bouncing straight back at you. It circulates the water at the back of the swim spa and feeds it up the sides minimising any swim disturbance.

Secondly, the suction jets are situated at the back of the swim chamber taking water away (the suction jets are there to pull the water in and circulate back to the pumps).


With oversized plumbing for a balanced flow rate back to the pumps, these features all work together to help reduce turbulence. Seems obvious, but in most swim spas the suction jets are commonly found under the swim jets which creates a fight for water, pushing and pulling against each other and essentially creating more turbulence and affecting the quality of the swim.

The cherry on top!

Finally, Jacuzzi® have partnered with Form, a high tec company that has designed goggles that act as a swim coach.  With a very cool heads-up display, you can track your performance, from how far you have swum to calories burned. Highlighting the technological advances that Jacuzzi® try to embrace, these goggles are calibrated especially for the Jacuzzi® Swim Spa range, meaning their accuracy really gives you a true ‘Garmin’ watch for your face! It’s not an official strapline, but we like it… A Garmin for your face!


And that’s it… In a fairly large nutshell! That’s why the swim in a Jacuzzi® Swim Spa is superior. However, being completely honest, this is only part of it and there’s so much more that Jacuzzi® consider in their thoughtful design to improve the performance of the swim spas. Little things that will only make a fractional difference, but it’s been evaluated and then implemented to cement their position as, not only leaders in the hot tub market, but now leading the way in swim spa performance and innovation.

Come and visit us to test out the Jacuzzi® Swim Spa range. We are here to answer all of your questions, and if the Hydrolife team don’t know the answer then we’ll go and get it for you from our friends at Jacuzzi®!

Oh, and crikey, this article is JUST about the SWIM, which doesn’t scratch the surface on what a Jacuzzi® Swim Spa can deliver, whatever family dynamic you’re aiming to satisfy. 

Come and visit, dive in and have a swim!