Fort Birthday

What’s a swim platform? Quadro Aqua Pool Dock

Swim Platform for expanding play time in pool for kids
Expanding the amount of ‘shallow end’ makes our pool more fun and safer for littles.

Problem: playing safely in the pool with toddler twins

When we bought our house three years ago we were delighted that it had a pool. A pool with a ripped liner. But a pool. It wasn’t until we replaced the liner and filled the pool that we discovered it has a problem. The Slope of Death. This is primarily a problem for day drinking adults (lol). But now that we have toddler twins we’ve discovered that the usable play area is actually quite limited. Enter, the Pool Dock a swim platform.

Diagram of my pool including the slope of death Quadro Aqua

Swimming with my toddlers and instilling a love of the water requires actually being in the pool with them. The design of our 35 year old pool is not conducive to supervising twins who are novice swimmers. And yes, we don’t use any floaties. We don’t let the boys assume a ‘drowning position’ which ‘puddle jumpers’ and ‘water wings’ force a toddler into. When we go out on a boat they wear self righting lifejackets that put them on their backs. This is a safe position for a novice swimmer to assume. 

My fantasy is to add a splash pad to the pool, somewhere the boys could splash around comfortably and where I could supervise them alone. But I changed my plans after being in a ‘modern’ pool with an extra shallow end. What I needed was a way to make my pool shallower…. I began brainstorming.

I am a huge DIY’er. Like: sure, I-can-design-and-build-a-structure-to-put-in-my-pool-to-make-it-shallower kind of DIY’er. After a little bit of research I ran into the typical DIY pragmatism problem: Buying a platform presented less risk (in terms of safety and not damaging the pool bottom) than making one myself.

Solution: A pool dock swim platform

Diagram of pool dock in my pool Quadro Aqua pool dock

The enclosed bottom of the pool dock – so no one can swim underneath it – makes it an easy place to play safely and practice swimming with my toddler twins.

Quadro Aqua relies on a 40+ year old German modular play unit. Distributed in the USA by Pool Docks. They are a flexible and modifiable platform you can put in your pool. I selected the ‘Crane’, an enclosed bottom swim platform 65×45 inches (about 5.5×3.75 feet – a little more than 20 square feet) with a bar railing along two sides. Around $700 (US) shipped. There are four colors to pick from, or you can do a mix and match. The designs go from ultra basic to fantasy playgrounds in your pool – and they also do custom designs – if you can dream it, then you can build it.

Quadro Aqua Pool Dock swim platform with two boys

Along with morning swim lessons and afternoon pool play we spend a lot of time in the pool.

It is a DIY assembly of modular plastic parts that connect using simple 90 degree twist connectors. It is robustly designed and built. Which translates to COMPLICATED. It came with two sets of directions: the first “Generic ‘How-To” Assembly Tips (18 pages long) and one specific to my model. I needed to refer to both – over and over again. And there was some amount of taking apart and redoing as I went along.

Once I got the directions out I spent some time familiarizing myself with the parts and then I dove in. The entire process took around 4 hours. This was more complex than an IKEA project, but not more complex than a fancy LEGO model.

Tah- Dah! This attractive swim platform. I’m in love with this.

The pool dock slid easily into the water and easily maneuvered once there. It is slightly buoyant in the water, so I used 3 20lb vinyl coated dumbbells to weigh the structure down (as per manufacturer recommendations). I will probably add a fourth to prevent any shifting that might rub against the vinyl bottom of the pool. It is very stable swim platform.

Pool Dock Quadro Aqua installed in a pool for expanded play area for toddler twins.

You can see here how the Pool Dock makes a natural transition from the stairs to an expanded play area for children. This swim platform is attractive and valuable addition to our pool.

I cannot say enough nice things about this.

Pool Dock Quadro Aqua installed in a pool for expanded play area for toddler twins.

Each individual cube of the pool dock surface is rated and tested to support 110lbs. For the most part, Grownups shouldn’t really stand on it. But it supports submerged lounging just fine.

The railing, as you can see in the video, allows for safe exploration of the water and fun. We use it for kicking practice and as a target for swim practice. It’s a very useful swim platform (Apparently, I’ve been watching too much Thomas and Friends).

Quadro Aqua pool dock in the pool swim platform

You can see the side openings that allow for the insertion of weights on the bottom of the pool dock, but the enclosed bottom prevents any person or child from swimming underneath the platform.

This was a big expense, but worth every penny. The space between the pool dock and the wall has become the perfect area for adults to supervise the twins while they play. And using another bar (DIY’d from pvc) they practice swimming back and forth. Even bigger kids who can swim and grownups have been enjoying using the structure. I’m waiting to see if my dogs figure it out.

Boy in a pool.

Don’t you wish you were here.

Make sure to look at: Swim Lessons, Sometimes Being a Good Parent Can Suck. my blog post about ISR swimming lessons.



Pin for Whats a pool dock how a swim platform makes swimming safer and more fun

Dum-Dum lollipops play a major role in pool fun at our house. I am so not above bribery.

Quadro swim platform makes our pool more fun for our toddler twins.
That smile speaks for itself.
Quadro Aqua Pool Dock swim platform with toddler twins

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