"I know deck space can be precious, so we don't take up a lot of that — leaving that for tables, lounge chairs or whatever they may need," says Amico. "The climbing wall is pretty minimal on the deck."
Depending on how high the wall goes, AquaClimb recommends a minimum depth of 6 to 9 feet — though its AquaZip'N product can be used over bodies of water just 4 feet deep. Four feet is also the recommended pool depth for NINJACROSS deployments, but Rieger adds that they can go as shallow as 3 feet, 6 inches by eliminating certain obstacles.
In addition to pool depth, the water's surface area can be a factor. Some equipment is best deployed with a buffer zone between the edge of the equipment and the pool wall. "The typical WIBIT installation locates the play products in the pool so that there is at least 10 feet of open water space around the entire perimeter," says Recreonics's Garland.
NINJACROSS Systems come in three standard sizes — 64 feet, 54 feet and 43 feet — but can also be engineered longer or shorter. "We want to keep people 8 feet from pool walls at all times," Rieger says. "If you have a 25-meter pool, you can get away with our longest course, because when you start and stop you're still 8 feet from the pool wall. Now, if you have a 25-yard pool, which are very common, we'd really recommend our 54-foot course, because the 64 just gets you too close to the pool wall at each end."
Indoor facilities contemplating a NINJACROSS have an additional consideration — the ceiling. Facilities can have different categorizations based on factors ranging from their initial budgets to regional factors, such as whether their roofs need to be rated for snow loads. "We can look at photos and drawings and kind of categorize an indoor facility as a category 1, 2 or 3," Rieger says. "That's the degree to which we think we need to frame, brace and support the NINJACROSS System across our connections."
Gustafson adds that, while general guidelines can be helpful, any local requirements must always be kept top of mind, stating, "It is important for the end user to check the local codes for deck space and pool depth requirements in order to ensure the installation is up to code."
Between the possibility of engaging current members, attracting new ones and introducing new and exciting programs to everyone, aquatics facilities have much to gain by adding the right recreation equipment to their space.
"We've posted some videos and photos of the system on our Instagram and Facebook pages, and there's been a lot of exciting buzz," Provo Recreation Center manager Bryce Merrill says of the facility's NINJACROSS System. "And once people see the installation — a big, boldly colored structure in the middle of our competition pool and highly visible from the upstairs fitness mezzanine — we think the natural curiosity will lead people down to try it out."
This article originally appeared in the Octoberr 2020 issue of Athletic Business with the title "Finding the right aquatic recreation equipment solution for your facility." Athletic Business is a free magazine for professionals in the athletic, fitness and recreation industry.
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