Do you want to be able to enjoy your backyard swimming pool without actually swimming? You could take advantage of the cool water by just sitting on the pool steps, but that’s not exactly comfortable for very long. Or you could float around in an inflatable lounger, except that’s not very practical or safe if the pool is full of splashing kids or people are diving.
For a place to relax and take in the sun – a place that lets you have the feeling of lounging poolside while you’re actually in the water – choose a custom pool design that includes a “baja shelf.”
Probably so named because it was popularized at resort pools in the Los Cabos area of Baja California, Mexico the baja shelf is a luxury pool feature that has become popular both for family pools and for pools that are used only by adults.
The baja shelf is a large shallow area in the pool, often only 6-8 inches deep but sometimes a little deeper, depending on the owner’s preference. Lounge chairs can be placed on the shelf as a place to comfortably take in the sun while reading and sipping a cool drink. Sometimes a baja shelf is referred to as a tanning ledge. Sunbathers on the shelf can conveniently cool themselves down with intermittent splashes of water, rather than having to periodically get up from a poolside chair and dive in.
Parents situated on the baja shelf can closely monitor children playing in the rest of the pool, although kids can enjoy it, too. Baja shelves especially great for younger children, for whom it’s like a built-in wading pool to play and splash in. Some pool owners have bubblers installed in the baja shelf area to give it some of the feel of a splash park. Either way, mom or dad is close at hand to keep an eye on little ones and keep them safe.
Many pets (water-loving breeds of dogs, for example) will love the baja shelf too. You probably won’t stock your pool with marine mammals, but another name for a large baja shelf is a “Shamu shelf.” If you’ve ever seen Shamu or any of the famous SeaWorld killer whales in action, you probably remember that the pool they perform in has a large shallow area where the animals come most of the way out of the water to interact with their trainers.
Although a baja shelf is often incorporated as part of the pool steps in the shallow end, a shelf can also be installed in the deeper end of a pool. For families with somewhat older kids, this arrangement provides a great diving platform, again with an area for an adult to supervise while still kicking back a little bit.
The main concern with a baja shelf is cleanliness. The shallow, placid area that it creates can be a little more prone to algae buildup, so extra care must be taken to keep it clean. Bubblers can help this task by keeping the water moving. But a baja shelf is well worth a little extra trouble and expense. Few pool owners have regretted installing them, and some wish they could do a pool remodeling project to make their baja shelves bigger!
For a custom Arizona swimming pool that will provide the ultimate in summer fun, Hop Cassidy Pools is the builder to go with. Hop Cassidy is a respected Scottsdale pool contractor with a reputation for performing the highest quality work and giving excellent customer service over the last 25 years. Call us today at 480-905-8780 or contact us online at http://www.hopcassidypools.com/contact.html for a free initial consultation, and get started on building the pool that you’ve always wanted.