We had a beautiful, oblong in-ground pool nestled at the bottom of a dad-built, 3 story wooden deck in our backyard growing up in Piscataway, NJ. As soon as the warm weather hit there was a 75% chance that at any point of the day (and night) I could look out our kitchen window and see a neighbor’s kid, family friend, lacrosse player, relative doing flips off the diving board or barreling down the precariously high, twisty, turny, and treacherous 1980s slide. I loved it, my mother…not so much.
I think it was in the late 90s that lawsuits became a common element of life and wild summer days of freedom and pool hopping slowly faded away.
Well, it seems things may be turning around with the launch of Swimply on June 20th.
I have so many questions, most that begin with “…but, what if…?”, however let’s unpack exactly what Swimply has to offer first:
Swimply is basically the Airbnb for pool owners.
Swimply is an online platform for pool sharing that connects owners of private pools with people looking to get their hands on one. Swimply allows non-pool owners affordable access to an otherwise inaccessible luxury, while allowing pool owners to earn an effortless, substantial income from their underutilized pools.
Swimply guarantees owners an easy transaction within 24 hours of the reservation, and Swimply says owners will be able to restrict the number and age of people who use the pool. However, users will not be required to prove that they’re able to swim in order to use the pools listed.
Currently at pre-lauch, Swimply has pools available to book in the following U.S. states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont and Virginia, plus Canada and Australia.
I live in Washington State and went on the Swimply website and the closest one I could find to me was 20+ miles away in Oregon. Backyard pools aren’t real common around here so I went and checked in NJ where there is about 1 for every 20 houses, but I only found 2 listed so far. Perhaps after official launch that will increase.
‘yes, but what if…?”
Let’s tackle the safety issues first: If an accident were to happen while using a pool that was booked through Swimply, the company wouldn’t be liable for what transpired between the users. Nevertheless, they are already taking steps to make booking a pool less risky for both parties involved.
A rep from Simply told Working Mother that they’ve built in mandatory waivers to the booking process, and that they partner with certified pool service companies across the country to inspect pools for safety and health. Swimply is already working toward the goal of providing full insurance for each booking—something we can imagine all pool-renters on the platform appreciating.
Without diving too deep into the “what if” hole (or water hold?), I do have a few other questions.
What if you have to go to the bathroom – do you go in the person’s house to pee?
Are they home looking out their kitchen window watching you swim?
Can you use their bar-b-cue?
Are they swimming with you?
Then there are the… what if my kid falls and gets hurt, can I get into the house for first aid supplies or is there a cleaning fee or can I have a party…
So many questions, however like Airbnb and Uber and other “sharing” platforms, if executed properly this could be the very thing that brings us back to the wildness of the 80s, perhaps reconnecting to real, live in-the-flesh humans. Finger’s crossed for Swimply.