Posted by Dabney B. on Tuesday, August 7th, 2012
Yesterday’s post got me thinking about floating pool houses. I ended the post wishing that AirClad would improve their inflatable pool house design to make it seaworthy, but that left me wondering, “Has anybody already built inflatable hang out spots?” So, I scoured through the Internet and, as it turns out, they have!
I present to you Wibit Sports Park 60, a floating adventure island that’s sure to leave you wishing that you were eight years old again. I’m a full grown adult, and just one glimpse at this thing makes me want to strip down to my shorts and go romping through this plastic, aquatic jungle gym.
I’m not even sure where to begin with this thing — it’s got pretty much everything you could ever hope for. Part of the reason that it’s so overwhelming is that there isn’t an obvious starting point. Every part of the Wibit island is specifically designed so that kids can easily clamber up on top of it without needing to circle around to the ladder side. Once they’re up, they can enjoy water slides, climbing walls, giant floating pillows, rope swings, and trampolines. It’s truly the ultimate tool to get your kids social and active.
The Wibit island is also a great place to nourish burgeoning Olympians. It’s got an easy-to-measure long jump buoy to see who’s got the best dive, a high jump bar that includes a plummet into the deep blue sea, a balance beam that is just screaming for vicious king-of-the-hill death matches, and an Olympic-style podium for handing out aquatic medals.
As awesome as this thing is, it’s not for everybody. It takes up 131 feet by 105 feet and is as high as 10 feet above the surface of the water in some places. This definitely isn’t something that you can roll out in your backyard pool — anything short of a lake just won’t do it justice. Buying one of these beauties will set you back $75k. They may be pricey, but this is probably the closest that the average joe could ever come to owning his own private island, even if it is a few needle pricks away from being claimed by Davey Jones’ locker.
Luckily, Wibit offers a few other pool options for the more fiscally conservative swimmers out there. They’ve also got a much smaller floating park designed for 20 people, which costs less than half as much.
It’s great to see that floating structures can work — and excellently at that. The only thing to do now is to leave the kiddy pool and graduate into more advanced floating structures that are suitable for adults. I’m not suggesting that we float a Wibit sports pool out into the middle of the bay and host a wine and cheese tasting party or anything, but it wouldn’t be difficult to expand upon this technology to create something more practical.
We could stretch flat planks across the top of the flotation devices and add railings to create a relatively cheap, mobile bridges. I also feel like this could be used to create some sort of dry sanctuary for areas that are prone to flooding. I know there has to be more to floating architecture than just kids’ playgrounds, but I’m not quite sure how else it could be utilized. We’ll probably get an answer soon enough. As architects and engineers continue to look towards the ocean for sources of real estate and energy, it’s increasingly likely that mankind will experiment more with inflatable flotation devices.