large reef step on a swimming pool

Some of us enter our pools with a running cannonball jump. But for those of us who are feeling a bit less boisterous, or for young children, the elderly, or disabled, that might not be an option. Aside from installing your standard metal pool ladder, we can design today’s pools with creative entry options that make your pool easier for everyone to use.

Reef step. A reef step, or baja shelf, essentially creates a shallow area at one end of your pool. One extended step is built a few inches to a foot below the water’s surface, based upon your preferences, that allows for easier entry. A reef step also provides an attractive option, and a terrific place to lounge in shallow water on hot days.

While a reef step is not the ideal entryway for a person who needs more assistance, it does provide a terrific option for children. Younger ones enjoy what is essentially a kiddie pool inside your pool, and can play within your reach. Of course, because they can still fall off into the deeper part of the pool, you still need to supervise the youngest ones carefully.

You will sacrifice a bit of the overall area of your pool to add a reef step, but most pool owners agree that the added feature is worth a bit less of the deeper area.

Beach entry. Beach entry is exactly what you’re picturing. At the ocean, we can walk into gradually deepening water, and a beach entry for a pool provides the same experience. These entries are fantastic for children, the elderly, and disabled alike. Dogs even enjoy it!

Beach entries can be designed to fit a variety of spaces by altering the slope, so it’s a very customizable option. If you hope to create a beachy atmosphere, you can add a variety of decorative elements around this type of entryway.

The only drawback to beach entry is that you do sacrifice some of your pool’s deeper swimming area, unless you have space to simply increase the size of the overall pool.

If you’re curious about the design of a reef step or beach entry, give us a call. We can take measurements and help you decide if one of these options would work for your backyard pool project.