Swimming is a great way to get fit – a low impact workout that’s easy on the joints and bones, but that can be as high intensity as you like in terms of cardio. For those lucky enough to have a swimming pool or lap pool in their backyard, it’s also a perfectly convenient form of exercise…
…until you have to turn around.
With most backyard pools measuring 10-15m long, the issue with this sort of workout is that it is constantly interrupted by the need to tumble turn. You get a few strokes in, you touch the wall, you push off, you get a few more strokes in and do it all again. Your rhythm breaks, and you give up before you get a proper workout in.
Swim jets offer a solution to this problem, by generating an in-pool current for you to swim against. Two of the most popular are the Fastlane Pro and the Badu Jet Stream 2. But which is best?
What is a swim jet?
A swim jet is a machine mounted at the end of your pool that generates a current within that pool.
In the case of the Fastlane Pro and Badu jet systems, water is fed from the pool into a power unit that propels it back into the pool via an in-water swim unit.
Both the Fastlane Pro and Badu swim jet systems can be retrofitted to almost any pool. The only real requirement is that the pool is at least one metre deep.
There are plenty of similarities between the Fastlane Pro and Badu jet systems, but what are the differences? If you’re looking for a bit of Fastlane Pro and Badu jet inspiration, to help you choose the perfect system for your situation, here’s all you need to know.
Fastlane Pro vs Badu Swim Jet comparison
While they are designed to do much the same thing – create a swim-in-place current within an existing backyard pool – Fastlane Pro and Badu go about this challenge quite differently. Here are a few of the key differences between the two products.
Jet vs propeller
These two machines generate their currents in two different ways. For the Badu Jet Stream 2, the clue is in the name: it creates a current through jets. These are similar to the ones you’d find in a spa pool, only more powerful.
The Fastlane Pro takes a different approach. It uses a 400mm propeller, which sends water through a conditioning grill that creates a smoother, less turbulent current.
The difference between these systems is immediately apparent when you take a swim. With water coming out of jets that are a few centimetres in diameter, the Badu Jet Stream 2 creates a narrow and rather turbulent stream of water, at least when compared to the Fastlane Pro, where the current is deep, wide and consistent, thanks to the combination of large propeller diameter and conditioning grill.
Power is critical for a swim jet system, as it defines both the speed and volume of water that can be moved. So which system is more powerful?
Badu have a number of swim jets in their range, but all offer similar levels of power: 3.5-4 hp. The Fastlane Pro, meanwhile, comes standard with a 5 hp motor. Combine this with the wide propeller and conditioning grill, and it’s yet another reason why the Fastlane Pro delivers a more immersive swim-in-place experience.
It’s for this reason that Badu offers the option of installing multiple units in your pool. But with the Fastlane Pro, you’ll only ever need the one.
Speaking of installation, this is another area of difference.
The Fastlane Pro system is made up of the in-water swim unit, and the out-of-water power unit. This power unit is designed to be installed far from your pool, to ensure that no live electrical wires get anywhere near the water. The only connection between the two units, apart from the water pipes, is a pipe filled with hydraulic vegetable oil that controls the propeller.
Most Badu models take a slightly different approach. The swim unit and power unit are all found in the one machine, which is placed on the edge of your pool.
Which is the higher quality option?
In terms of the brands behind the product, both have been making swim jets for a long time. Badu is an American company owned by Speck, a German corporation. The brand has recently entered the Australasian market.
Fastlane Pro, also American, offered the world’s first backyard swim current machine back in 1988, and has been the industry’s leading innovator ever since. In New Zealand it is offered by Endless Pools, a Hot Spring brand. From its beginnings in an Auckland garage in 1980, Hot Spring has built a reputation as New Zealand’s highest quality and most trusted spa pool brand. With dedicated dealers found up and down the country, support is available wherever and whenever you might need it.
As mentioned above, the difference in the quality of the swimming experience is notable – the volume of water moved by the Fastlane Pro, and the smoothness of that current, has to be felt to be believed.
What about the Fastlane Pro price versus the Badu swim jet price? It’s fair to say that the Badu swim jet cost is lower than that of the Fastlane Pro, although this price is a fair reflection of the quality of the experience that each unit delivers.
Fastlane Pro: the ultimate swim jet
The choice is clear: if you’re eager to turn your backyard pool into a swimming and fitness machine, and if you’re looking to enjoy the ultimate swim-in-place experience, there’s no better swim jet option than the Fastlane Pro.
Between the power, the safety, and the quality of the current, the Fastlane Pro turns your pool into an ocean – an infinite swim that can be found just a handful of steps from your back door.