This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  MichaelDee 12 months ago.

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  • #14184


    The school where I teach is planning to build a new pool. I just attended a meeting with the architects in order to pitch my request for some sort of anchoring system for hanging slalom gates. The architects, naturally, wanted more precise measurements than I was capable of providing. The key is the height of the supporting, high tension cable over the water–what do you all recommend as an ideal height for the supporting cable?

    Meanwhile, I’d appreciate any rigging systems you recommend, particularly for ratcheting the cable. If it’s possible, I would like each cable to have its own ratchet device in order to expedite set-up and management of the gates.

    Judging by the response of the architects, I think they will probably favor poles on the pool deck to hooks set in the wall for the anchors.

    I welcome any and all advice! Thanks.

  • #14191


    Chris Matsuno and John Biermann can offer good feedback on the setup side. I can speak from the “owner” side.  Give me a call at six36two3six044three

    • This reply was modified 12 months ago by  cogaines.
  • #14199


    Michael – Yes, ChrisM has the knowledge.  Here is a website (I think this is Rich Kulaweic’s old site) that has the pool specs & some other helpful info.  Lots of broken & out of date links, but the pool slalom info is still good (get it while you can!).  Wayne Dickert also used to have info on-line, but the info is missing now.


  • #14215


    Michael, we used the existing sleeves in the pool deck.  I created poles out of Aluminum electrical conduit that I was able to get through work.  The poles didn’t fit tight but tight enough that with an extra line going back to the bleachers we were able to get the lines across the pool very tight.  Give me a call and I can give you all the details on how I created the poles and how Chris and I set things up.  Six 1 Eight-9Seven Five-Five2 Nine Four.


  • #14216


    Thank you all so much!!! If this all works out, I hope to host something down the line–of course, I’ll need to get approval…

  • #14217


    I should add that we’re hoping to create a system expressly designed and built so that we won’t have to do any jury-rigging like you describe John. Thanks though for the suggestion–I could use it for the pool set-up we currently have.

    I really have two key concerns: the elevation of the supporting wire above the water (which I’m figuring out thanks to the combination of Jim’s links and Chris’s description) and the dimensions of the course.

    About the dimensions of the course: the USACK diagram shows a 50′ course. The pool will be at least 75′ long–is there any downside to extending the dimensions for the course we create? It would still have three cross wires, but maybe more room at either end and in between.



  • #14219


    The actual course is 30 feet by 40 feet.  The 50 foot dimension refers to the minimum recommended length of the pool itself  – you need some space between the gates and the end of the pool.  I would say 5 feet is too tight.  I’m guessing that the standard distance for the backstroke flag poles is 5 yards from each end, since that is about what the Mehlville pool measures.   Using those pole locations gives you enough clearance at each end.  Subtract 2 x 15 feet from a 75 foot pool and that gives you a course that is 45 feet long, which is what we had at Mehlville.  The only downside to a longer course is that it takes a bit longer to navigate (and tires you out a bit more).

    You probably don’t want to go any wider than 30 feet.  At the Mehlville pool, that leaves about 6 feet between the outer poles and the side of the pool.  Less than that – people swinging wide through the gates tend to whack the sides of the pool with their paddles.

    The height of the supporting poles needed will depend on how heavy your gate system is.  If you use the crossbars and 5 foot, 1 inch diameter wooden poles we have used in the past, that adds up to quite a bit of weight.  I think 8 feet would be sufficient assuming the poles are well anchored and don’t bend inwards much under tension.

    The simplified system we used this year weighs less and would have worked with the existing backstroke poles, which were about 7 feet high, but a bit of extra height doesn’t hurt.  The poles were 4 feet long so that also reduces the height needed.  Eliminating the crossbars further reduced the weight of the system.

    In my opinion, there’s no need to go with the length and diameter of the gate poles described on the old USACK website.   5 feet long and 1 3/4″ PVC will be very heavy, which increases the height of the supporting poles needed.  Remember the KISS principle.


  • #14227


    Got it! Thanks again, Chris!

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