For those of you who have not heard of Spatex, it is one of the largest trade shows in Europe for the wet leisure industry. This week, I had the pleasure of attending, catching up with some suppliers and manufactures and chatting about all things hot tub and pool related. In this article, I will share some of my findings.
Big thank you to everyone that came over to me and said “hi, I’ve seen your videos on YouTube….” Really appreciate the kind words and glad to know my videos are making an impact on the industry in some way shape or form
Not a lot of new innovation
The first thing to point out that was perhaps a little disappointing, is that there seems not to be a lot of innovation in the industry at the moment. I love technology and gadgets, but unfortunately, there was nothing really new that stood out for me. I will explain some of my findings later on, but in short, there was nothing really new and innovative.
There were of course plenty of plastic shell hot tub manufacturers releasing new models but that really is not of interest to me. For me, I want to know about new tech that we can incorporate into our DIY hot tub builds.
Slow Down in the Market for Plastic Tubs
Chatting with plenty of my industry colleagues, what is really clear is that there has been a slowdown in the market for plastic shell tubs. There are a lot of manufacturers / vendors that are sat on an awful lot of stock.
During the COVID era, the market boomed. You simply could not get your hands on a tub. Now, it is the opposite. Driven more than likely by the rising electricity prices, the demand for plastic shell tubs, from what I am hearing, has dropped off a cliff.
Theme of Energy Conservation
The main theme of the show this year was energy conservation and how we can reduce the running costs of our hot tubs. It therefore, is probably not a surprise that Air Source Heat Pumps did feature quite heavily. Everyone seemed to have their own or be selling one. Not a real shock I guess.
I did get to see first-hand the Vian Power range of Air Source heat pumps, and I will be putting a video together for these as soon as they are available on the market.
There were also plenty of pump manufactures pushing more economical pumps. Again, a sign of the times I guess.
What is New From Balboa?
There were a couple of new products from Balboa – although they were only topside controls. There is a new Spa Touch 4 which will replace the “not so great” Spa Touch 3. What did catch my eye, and I want one when they are available, is the Spa Touch Mini. This is a small touch screen display that can control any of the BP packs.
I really liked the simplicity and the form factor; I can see myself adding one of those to my tub when they are formally released in a couple of months time.
One of my favourite things at Spatex has to be the seminars and presentations that the organisers put in place. This year, I especially enjoyed the ISPE (Institute of Swimming Pool Engineers) sessions.
There was a great presentation from the current Charman Jimmy on Pool Chemicals, I attended a session on Chemical Storage and it was scary to see what can happen, more so in commercial settings, when chemicals are stored incorrectly.
I also enjoyed the session on pipe sizing – yes, sounds boring I know, but far from it – really great presentation.
Keep up the good work Spatex with the sessions that you arrange!
Despite the lack of innovation, it was a good couple of days and always interesting to catch up with my colleagues and suppliers in the industry to hear their take on things.
Looking forward to next year already!
Happy “Spatex” Hot Tubbin’
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Thanks - Andi
Hi, Andi here. I own Buildahottub.com and also write all of the articles and info pages on the site. Some years back now, I built my own hot tub but struggled to find the information I needed. So, once my tub was complete, I started this website to help others in their own pursuit of hot tub and plunge pools DIY building information.
Today, I've helped over 900 DIY customers just like you all over the world build hot tubs and pools. Have a good look around the site, there are lots of resources here. Please do get in touch if I can help you. - Cheers, Andi