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Backyard Wave Pool (Design Options)

Here’s our guide to backyard wave pool ideas, including what it is, how it works, how much it costs, and how to build one using devices like wave machines.
Man surfing in a wave poolMost people find beaches way better than swimming pools because of the natural waves that make you feel easily refreshed and energized. However, it’s not really safe to go to the beach these days due to various pandemic restrictions. 

Even so, going to the beach can be a hassle as well as you’d need to prepare, organize, and pack so many things from food to beachwear and accessories. Some people are also not fond of dealing with sand. Fortunately, there might be a key to this dilemma.

If you have a swimming pool in your home, you’re already at a huge advantage. Because yes, it’s actually possible to bring the beach to your very own backyard.

And what could be more exciting than making your own backyard wave pool? But what exactly is a backyard wave pool? How does it work?

What Is A Backyard Wave Pool?

Clear pool surface in home backyardYou might already be familiar with wave pools that are present in some resorts or waterparks. This kind of pool is quite a tourist attraction because of its cool and natural-looking waves. No wonder why plenty of people also love playing and relaxing in wave pools.

But as mentioned, it’s risky to go to the beach nowadays because of the pandemic. Fortunately, you can have the ultimate wave pool experience in the safety of your own backyard pool. 

Since backyard wave pools are normally about 5 to 6 feet deep, it wouldn’t be too hard to imagine that you’re on an actual beach, enjoying the huge, powerful waves under the heat of the sun.  See more swimming pool sizes here. 

One way to build your own backyard wave pool is to use special equipment that helps blast pressurized air to the water surface, generating waves in the swimming pool. Some wave pool systems also use paddles in the water to produce small, natural waves. 

Wave Pool Machine

The wave pool machine basically creates ripple-like waves in the pool. Here’s how it works. 

Underneath the swimming pool, a high-speed fan in the pump room powerfully blasts air into a big metal pipe. Meanwhile, a butterfly valve located in the middle of the metal pipe blocks airflow.

Whenever the rod rotates to the other side, the disc moves perpendicularly to allow air passage. A hydraulic piston swivels or rotates the said rod back-and-forth at some intervals to allow bursts of pressurized air to flow up the exhaust section. The strong air is then blasted to the surface of the water to generate waves.

Using a wave pool machine, producing artificial waves is a piece of cake. However, it would be much more difficult to generate larger waves like what we commonly see on beaches. 

If you wish to create huge waves using a machine, you would need an ultra-powerful and intense air blast or a very strong plunger. But take note that these extra-strong machines might be dangerous to use, as they are also prone to malfunctioning. 

Backyard Wave Pool Cost

Swimming pool design art The overall cost of building an in-ground pool in your backyard might range from $30,000 to $70,000. 

However, if you want a pool that’s larger than typical pools, with special luxurious features such as a wave pool machine, the total cost might range from $90,000 to $300,000 or even a lot more.

There’s no definite cost of building a backyard wave pool, as this will ultimately depend on the materials, size, and other features of the pool. 

Still, here are the average costs to give you an idea about building a pool in your outdoor space:

Small in-ground pool with plaster, waterline tile, and wave machine: $50,000 to $75,000

Medium in-ground pool with plaster, waterline tile, and wave machine: $90,000 to $150,000

Large in-ground pool with full tile and wave machine:  $170,000 and up

If you already have a pool in your backyard, then you can just invest in a wave pool machine. The cost of swimming machines might range from $10,000 to $40,000, depending on the manufacturer and installation (labor) cost.

However, if you wish to use other ways to create small waves in your pool without using any machines, there are other inexpensive alternatives such as paddle wheel devices that will help in generating waves.

How To Make A Backyard Wave Pool

Refreshing swimming pool with strong wavesIf you already have a backyard pool, then great news! It’s actually possible to turn it into a wave pool. Check out various backyard lazy river pool ideas here.

You can do this by using a wave pool machine or resorting to other, more inexpensive alternatives to create waves in your pool. Below are some of the steps you can consider to build your very own backyard wave pool.

Place a Rotating Paddle Wheel Device in Your Pool

This might be a practical choice if you think wave pool machines are not within your budget. Also, this might be a great alternative if you don’t really see the need for enormous waves in your pool.

To create some small waves in your backyard pool, consider purchasing a water-safe rotating paddle wheel device. This device has the ability to function on its own; all you really have to do is place the device in your pool. 

Half of it will be sticking out while the other half remains submerged in the pool. It creates a motion that lets the water move, producing waves as a result.

You can also opt for oscillating plungers as they are quite effective in powerfully sending ripple-like waves on the surface of the water.

Compressed Air

Man surfing powerful wavesIf you have any machine or tool that can blast compressed air, you can just direct it to the pool to generate some waves. This is also an inexpensive way of creating small waves in your backyard pool. 

Moreover, this option lets you take full control of the degree of waves you are making.

Wave Machine

Wave machines could be the most effective yet expensive option to turn your backyard pool into a wave pool.

Also, take note that incorporating a wave machine into your pool is not a DIY task; you actually need to hire a swimming pool professional or contractor to get the job done. 

Even so, a wave machine can truly make your backyard in-ground pool much more beach-like, producing powerful waves in the pool without any difficulty. 

Check out this plunge pool ideas page for more related content. 

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