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Pool Review (#605): Stepping & turning in Richmond

July 12, 2023

Traveling around pools of the world, you learn what different cultures, countries, and localities really care about.

In both Germany and Switzerland, the pool staff were very focused on cleanliness both before and during the swim:

  • Showers were mandatory and enforced before entering the pool

  • But, they must believe that we ignore our feet while showering, as you also had to walk through a footbath after the shower, but before getting onto the deck

  • Swim caps were mandatory during the swim ... but no one seemed to care if it was a porous/Lycra style or an impenetrable latex cap. And, it seemed like most swimmers, at the end of their swim, took their cap off in the pool and rinsed their hair out.

... but, no one seemed the least bit bothered by me taking pictures at these pools.

This morning when I dropped into Richmond-upon-Thames’ outdoor pool at their "Pools on the Park" facility, all they really cared about was me NOT taking pictures. Not showering before was fine, not wearing a cap was hunky-dory. However, after my swim, I dried off on deck, put on my glasses, and just pulled my phone out of my backpack ... which caused the lifeguard to have a screaming fit. His reaction was so strong, it was almost as if he was watching for phones more than he was watching the swimmers.

But, where's there's a will for this pool tourist, there is a way, so you can see the outdoor, 6 lane, 33 meter / 100 foot long pool in the picture I took from a sequestered position at the top of the viewing gallery of the indoor pool.

As for my swim, it was almost glorious in this, The water was a perfect temperature, they had 3 double-wide lanes aligned by speed and no more than 4 other people in the fast lane so I could easily pass up the middle when I needed to. The only downside of the outdoor pool is that the shallow end of the pool is a step entry across the entire width, so you could really only do an open turn there. Judging by the lines on the bottom of the pool, which ran for twenty-five meters from the deep end, I think they must have had a bulkhead at some point to carve off a proper length, but there was no sign of it.


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