How to Choose Lane Lines
Lane lines often get overlooked in the importance of what you need for your pool or swim team. Choosing a what is the right one can be a stressful thought-- how long should they be? How many lane lines do I need? What size or color should the line be? Whether you're a coach or you want to install lane lines in your own pool, making sure that you buy the right kind is an important decision. This guide will go over what you should be looking out for when you're making your purchase and ways to maintain your lane lines after.
Needle threading: Each disc that's attached to the lane line is threaded by a long stainless steel cord that is stretched down the entire length of the pool. It is then attached from one end of the pool to the other to create a lane.
Long Course vs. Short course:
The typical 8 lane 50 meter pool (75’ wide) can have the following (inches are approximate):
- Long Course: 50 meters.
- Short Course: 25 Yards (U.S.) or 25 meters (U.S. and International).
- Long Course Season: April - August.
- Short Course Season: September - March/April.
- Long course lanes – 8 x 9’ wide lanes as the competition set up – this allows for 18” between the outside lanes and side wall/gutter.
- Short course lanes – 20 x 8’ lanes for competition.
- Long course lanes – 9 x 7’5” wide lanes for senior practices.
- Short course lanes - 22 x 7’ lanes for senior practices.
- Long course lanes – 10 x 6’3” wide lanes for age group practices and lap swim.
- Short course lanes – 24 x 6’8” lanes for age group practices and lap swim.
- Most meets are run in a SC (short course) pool during the SC season and most meets are run in a LC (long course) pool during the LC season.
- During the SC season you can still find LC meets such as Grand Prix and US Open meets while during the LC season teams that only have a SC pool might host a meet as well.
Colors: In a short course pool, the floats will change color at the 15 meter (49 foot) mark. In a long course pool, they will change color at the 25 meter (82 foot) mark. If the floats do not change color for that entire stretch, the distances may be marked by a single float of a different color. Popular options include having alternating colors, such as two colors that your team represents.
Measuring up: Once you reach near the end you have about 15' of one solid color. We recommend having red near the end of the lane so swimmers see the color as a sign of the lane ending.
The typical 8 lane 25 yard pool that is 67’ wide can have the following: (inches are approximate)
- 8 x 8 foot lanes as the standard competition set up – this also allows for 18” between the outside lanes and side wall/gutter.
- 9 x 7’5” lanes for senior practices.
- Standard: Alternate colors ever 12”.
- 10 x 6’8” lanes for age group practices and lap swim.
Hot tip: Make sure that you're accounting for backstrokers as well. At the 15 meter mark you're going to have to have 2 discs that are set at 15 meters from the end of the line and must be a completely different color. This assists backstrokers so they know when the lane is about to end.
Maintaining lane lines
- Roll it up: If you're concerned about your lane lines being damaged from wear and tear from the chlorine, invest in getting a lane roller. These are helpful in quickly clearing the pool so the pool can be used for other uses that aren't lap swimming.
- All at once: Buy your lane lines all at once. We recommend this because it will help with shipping processes and costs. You'll be also be able to keep them together and if any of them need replacing you can do it all at once.
- Ultimate protection: By rolling up your lane lines at the end of every practice, you’ll increase the life of your lane lines. You will also protect them from the sun as well as chlorine that can wear away the color of the discs.
Hot Tip: We recommend purchasing higher quality lane lines because these are less likely to erode or have the steel cable rust in any way. Solid web design blocks wave transference to other lanes versus slotted web which allows the wave energy to pass through.
Shopping smart is an important factor whenever choosing items that will be lasting you for years. That's why picking out what you want and need are vitally important. These lane lines will be helping guide swimmers for months, if not years back and forth across your pool.