New Jets in UMD Pool Simulate Surfing, Rafting Waves for Training

It has one setting for swimmers to practice in smaller waves, another for surfers to work on maneuvers, and the last setting -- river flow similar to whitewater rafting and sea kayaking.

DULUTH, Minn.- Thanks to upgraded jets, the pool in UMD’S Sports and Health Center can now better train kayakers, surfers, and swimmers in rough water conditions through their Rec Sports Outdoor Program (RSOP).

The lap pool now has a “flow pump” system.

It has one setting for swimmers to practice in smaller waves, another for surfers to work on maneuvers, and the last setting — river flow similar to whitewater rafting and sea kayaking.

The roughly $2 million remodel, which also upgraded the deck and old tile from the 1950s, can help train community members who want to prepare for navigating the northland’s waterways.

“Especially with water safety in our area with the lake and all the rivers and streams we have going into it we feel this is a great education opportunity to heighten awareness of how to swim inflow and make you more aware of how the water can push and move you, and pull you out,” said Ted Patton, Aquatic Director for UMD RSOP.

According to the RSOP Director, this is the only rectangular pool in the country to utilize these pumps for whitewater rafting training.

But the University looks forward to partnering with the community for even more training and educational uses in the future.

“I think we’ve just scratched the surface and I think the more that we get ideas from the students and the more that we explore it’s going to be, it’s an exciting time to try new programming and to figure out just how we can use this system,” Patton said.

To set up training classes or educational programming using the new pool, you can reach out to the rec sports outdoor program office.

It’s located under the gym of the sports and health center right by the football stadium.

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