How to Choose a Floating Swim Platform
If you’re like most boaters and waterfront property owners, few things are as enjoyable to you as taking a dip in the cool water on a hot summer day or spending a weekend afternoon relaxing in the sun. You could go swimming from the shore or near your dock — but wouldn’t it be better if you had a designated swimming platform where you could dive, lounge and fish? Floating swim platforms provide more options and versatility for water recreation, and they’re a great investment for commercial, residential and governmental property owners.
Why You Need a Floating Swim Platform
Floating swim platforms are safer and more versatile than fixed platforms or docks. They are a valuable asset for properties across many sectors, including:
- Residential: Having a swim platform on your pond or lake means your family and friends can swim anytime they want, regardless of the water level. It’s also the ideal spot to cast a fishing line or lounge in the sun. If you decide to sell or rent out your property in the future, water amenities will set it apart from other waterfront lots and excite potential buyers or tenants. Don’t want to leave it behind? Floating swim platforms are also easy to relocate and set up at your new waterfront home.
- Commercial: Commercial properties should always look for opportunities to add more value and interest to their waterfront. A swimming platform is a simple, cost-efficient way to boost attention and attract more customers to your business.
- Governmental: Government properties, like parks and outdoor recreation spaces, are always balancing public interest with the need for safe, strong and reliable products. A floating swim platform is a long-lasting investment that adapts to your specific needs and easily meets regulations and standards.
Guide to Choosing a Floating Swim Platform
Choose a long-lasting floating swim platform that is strong enough to withstand outdoor conditions — including bad weather. Your platform should also support the weight of its users without the need for constant maintenance and upkeep. Consider the following elements in your decision:
Because they have to remain structurally sound while potentially submerged in water, floating swim platforms are made from the same resilient materials and designs as docks. Construction materials are paired with different flotation devices to make them rise and fall with the water, like barrels, hoops, rollers or integrated airtight chambers.
Swim platforms are available in these materials:
- Aluminum: Aluminum swim platforms, like aluminum docks, are constructed entirely out of aluminum or combined with wood or plastic. Textured aluminum surfaces provide good traction, while specially designed aluminum decking will keep the surface from retaining too much heat. While aluminum swim platforms benefit from being lightweight and easy to handle, they require regular maintenance and upkeep and may hurt boats or swimmers if they don’t have rounded edges or bumpers.
- Lumber: Wooden docks and swim platforms are constructed out of pressure-treated and chemically-treated wood, so boards don’t rot, warp or weaken as quickly in the water. While wood is a renewable resource and cost-efficient building material, it is prone to splintering, heat retention and water-related wear and tear. The chemicals used to treat the wood can also be harmful to marine life and the surrounding environment.
- Polyethylene: Polyethylene is a type of plastic used for floating docks, swim platforms, boat launches and other waterfront accessories. EZ Dock swim platforms and docks combine this material with thick walls and unique airtight chambers that help the platform remain stable and usable on waves and fluctuating water levels. Polyethylene is also safe from splinters, rot, warping, UV fading and does not retain heat, making maintenance and upkeep virtually nonexistent.
Swim platform maintenance encompasses a wide range of tasks to maintain appearance, shape, durability, usefulness and longevity. A few maintenance tasks, like treatments and inspections, are performed on a regular or semi-regular basis. Other tasks, like repairs and fastener adjustments, are performed as needed and require a trained eye.
Consider the following tasks you will be responsible for completing throughout the year:
- Repairing: You should inspect your aluminum and wood swimming platforms before every swim season to check for damage like rot, warping, splinters, holes, rust, loose boards, sharp edges or insect infestation. Since polyethylene is not at risk for these damages, a simple once-over to confirm your platform did not suffer any damages during storage should suffice. Never ignore damage, or it may worsen and become more complex to repair.
- Treatment: Wooden swim platforms require regular treatment and sealing to remain structurally sound. This includes sanding boards before applying an environmentally safe sealant.
- Painting: While polyethylene and aluminum do not require paint and will not fade, you will periodically have to repaint or re-stain sun-faded lumber if you want to retain its like-new appearance. Be sure to use nontoxic, water-safe paint and seal it before putting it back in the water.
- Fasteners: Nails and screws on wooden and aluminum platforms may loosen, fall out, rust or corrode. They also require regular weatherizing treatments to minimize wear. EZ Dock uses a unique rubber coupler system that doesn’t need winterizing or replacement.
- Cleaning: Some materials, like wood and aluminum, need regular cleaning to prevent harmful buildup or erosion. For example, aluminum is prone to corrosive buildup and staining if you don’t regularly clean it with an aluminum-safe solution and wire brush. You also have to spray aluminum and wood with fresh water if installed on saltwater to minimize salt corrosion. Polyethylene platforms usually come clean in heavy rain, but you can make them look brand new with a bit of soap or a pressure washer.
Lumber and aluminum require far more upkeep and maintenance than polyethylene, making it the most low-maintenance option available.
A quality floating swim platform made from durable, low-maintenance materials will last your property years to come. Longevity is crucial for commercial properties seeking a positive return on investment (ROI). If you own a waterfront campground and invest in a swimming platform to entice more campers to choose your property, you want the platform to last long enough to boost revenue to pay for itself and generate more income than you were making before.
One way to calculate your swimming platform’s ROI is by dividing the net return on investment by the cost of investment and multiplying by 100%. The final number is your total ROI in terms of monetary value.
Things to Consider Before Placing Your Swimming Platform
Consider the following before choosing and placing your swim platform:
- Water conditions: Floating platforms require the same water conditions as floating docks. Polyethylene is suitable in saltwater and freshwater. Though floating platforms can withstand most waves, currents and bed conditions, avoid tumultuous waters, which are too unpredictable to swim in safely and may make your platform unstable.
- Dock placement: Modular swim platforms function as either stand-alone units or connected to a dock. Consider how close you want your platform to be to the shore and dock and what configuration is best suited for easy access and safe water conditions.
- Local regulations: Consult all local ordinances and homeowner’s association requirements before adding a platform or similar structure to the water. Additional precautions may be necessary for government and commercial properties.
- Environmental impact: Never place a swimming platform on or near water that houses endangered species, protected marine life or similar environments. Though the platforms float on the water, minor changes can easily disrupt some vulnerable ecosystems. Contact your local governing body if you’re unsure.
- Storage options: You may need to store your swimming platform on land if you live in a region with frigid or icy winters. Make sure you have available space off the ground in an enclosed, weather-safe location.
Reasons to Get a Swim Platform
The right floating swim platform will bring your guests endless hours of entertainment while simultaneously boosting your property value — all without sacrificing convenience and ease of use. Consider the following reasons you’ll want your own swim platform:
1. They Are Versatile
Floating platforms are versatile, and swimming is just one fun activity you can use them for. You can also:
- Use it as a launch point for diving or snorkeling.
- Lounge on it for relaxing, tanning or reading a book by the water.
- Cast your fishing reel in hard-to-reach areas.
- Have an on-the-water picnic with friends.
- Study local marine life and ecosystems from a unique vantage point.
- Get a closer look at the water and wildlife for more detailed photography, film, painting or drawing.
- Pair it with accessories, like a bench, slide, towel storage container and ladder, to create a central focus point for a waterside event.
You can invest in a single swim platform or attach multiple to accommodate even more swimmers for backyard parties, campgrounds and marinas. Because you can connect the platform to your floating dock — which is available in several different sizes and configurations — you can mix-and-match pieces to choose the best waterfront layout for your property.
2. They Add Property Value
Outdoor features help set your property apart from the competition, garnering more interest and raising the overall value of your property. One reason waterfront properties are so coveted is the type of lifestyle they offer the buyer — permanent and easy access to boating, sunbathing, fishing and swimming on a pristine lake or ocean. Since more than 5 million homes were sold in 2019 alone, any desirable features and upgrades give you the competitive edge you’re looking for.
Additional EZ Dock products that may help you increase the value of your waterfront property include:
- Floating dock sections and configurations
- Personal watercraft (PWC) ports
- Boat lifts and boat launches
- Kayak and canoe launches
- Floating walkways
- Dock accessories
3. You Can Take It With You
While fixed swimming platforms offer a stable place to dive or swim from, they lack the versatility and adaptability of a floating design. They can also become submerged by high water levels, rendering them inaccessible when you’re ready to go swimming or enjoy a day in the sun. Modular floating platforms are easy to store, move, relocate and reconfigure, so you can adapt them to your property’s changing needs.
For example, with an EZ Dock swim platform, you can:
- Assemble and disassemble your swim platform when moving between locations for your traveling summer event.
- Store your platform before winter and replace it when the weather warms.
- Shift your platform’s location as you expand or rearrange your local park, campground or marina.
- Add more platforms as your hotel or resort grows more popular.
- Take your platform with you to your new waterfront property, home or summer vacation rental.
Benefits of EZ Dock Floating Swim Platforms
EZ Dock floating swim platforms offer the best value on the market because we construct them out of stronger, safer materials that require minimal maintenance and don’t harm the environment. Our team remains committed to helping waterfront property owners like you find the best docks and accessories to enhance your property and create lasting memories. With EZ Dock you can enjoy these benefits:
EZ Dock floating swim platforms are made from the same polyethylene as our docks, meaning they are not susceptible to rust, corrosion, cracks, rot, warping or insect infestation. Our coupler system holds modular sections together without the risk of loosening or corroded fasteners, helping your platform withstand rough water conditions and inclement weather.
EZ Dock products never require chemical treatments and will not fade in the sun. For you, this means no more sanding, repainting or refinishing. Once you’ve installed your swim platform, all you have to do is:
- Inspect it periodically: Our swim platforms are strong, but floating debris, boat impact or improper winter storage may cause minor damage that requires prompt attention. Fortunately, repairing a platform is usually a simple process. Inspect your platform before each season and note any changes.
- Store it for winter: Store your swim platform and floating dock in a secure, weather-safe area instead of leaving them on cold water, where they are susceptible to ice and snow buildup. Never attempt to use your swim platform in the winter if you live where ice is possible. If your winters get cool but never frozen, EZ Dock materials are rated for low-temperature impact performance.
- Deep clean as needed: While you don’t have to scrub or wipe your swim platform for it to stay clean, power washing it on occasion is a great way to keep your residential or commercial property looking its best. Consider cleaning your platform before replacing it every spring or summer to wipe away any dust or dirt it accumulated during winter storage.
EZ Dock floating docks have barefoot-friendly safety features that make them a better choice than metal or wood alternatives. For a swim platform or floating dock, being barefoot-friendly means you, your guests, your family or your customers can use the structure without fear of:
- Hot surfaces: As your swim platform sits in the direct sunlight, some materials are at risk for absorbing the heat and creating a painfully hot surface that could blister the skin on your feet, legs or hands. Polyethylene swimming platforms do not retain heat and stay cool and comfortable, even on hot summer days.
- Slippery surfaces: EZ Dock swim platform surfaces have textured grooves that give users better traction, decreasing the likelihood of accidental trips or slips. Unlike other textured surfaces, these grooves create tread without digging uncomfortably into bare feet or skin. Consider adding handrails to provide even more options for stability.
- Splintered surfaces: Wooden swim platforms are always at risk for splintering, even if they’re made out of treated lumber. Since polyethylene is a type of plastic, it will never splinter or peel.
4. Environmental Standards
Environmental impact and habitat conservation are always at the forefront of our design decisions. We work with environmental experts, governing agencies and habitat management experts to ensure our products are as minimally invasive and sustainable as possible. Some of our environmental standards include:
- Habitat conservation: We’re proud to say that our docks, platforms and other products have been used in wildlife and environmental research programs because they do not pose a threat to vulnerable ecosystems and wetlands.
- Recycled material: Our flexible coupler system, which helps you attach your swim platforms to one another or a nearby dock, was designed in conjunction with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to be as environmentally friendly as possible. We chose to construct it from 90% pre-consumer and post-consumer waste recycled rubber. Our unique air chamber design is also free of the foam filling that many similar products use in their designs. This material could escape and threaten the local environment if the swim platform or dock gets damaged.
- No chemicals: EZ Dock products are free of copper, chromium, arsenic and other chemical treatments you might find in a wooden swim platform. Chemicals harm marine life and ecosystems and may prevent your property from meeting environmental standards. Our swim platforms and floating docks are free of toxic chemicals and will not release toxins when ignited, corroded, crushed or otherwise damaged.
- Minimally invasive: Since you don’t have to permanently install a floating platform, you don’t have to worry about disrupting the natural water bed and ecosystems below or causing shoreline erosion with land-to-water anchoring systems.
- Product recyclability: Our swim platforms are manufactured out of rigid resin, suitable for recycling processing and aren’t listed as or constructed with hazardous waste, per the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
- Less waste: Wood and aluminum docks are more prone to damage than rigid polyethylene, and they’re held together with nails, screws and bolts that often fall into the water. Both materials require regular treatment, cleaning and occasional resurfacing. Since our products are so durable, you’re generating far less waste and conserving resources like fasteners, treatment supplies and construction materials.
5. Customer Service
When you choose a swim platform from EZ Dock, you can have peace of mind that your investment is backed by attentive experts who are ready to answer your questions, guide you through installation or schedule an in-person consultation. You can reach out to our prompt customer service professionals in several ways, including:
- Contact us online: Fill out an online contact form to submit a question, inquire about a product or promotion, or learn more about the environmental benefits of using an EZ Dock swim platform, launch or floating dock. A member of our team will be in touch once we receive your message.
- Request technical service: Already a proud EZ Dock owner? Submit a technical service request and tell us about your organization, location, industry, water conditions, product type and other relevant information, so we can match you with the right expert.
- Find a local distributor: Find a local EZ Dock distributor near you to see products in person and get to know the people who make our company what it is. Some local distributors may also be available to assist with product installation. We currently have locations across the United States, Canada and select international locations. Enter your zip code to get started.
You can also review customer testimonials to get an inside look at how EZ Dock products have helped waterfront property owners like you accomplish goals, boost property values and enjoy a lasting investment.
Request a Quote for Your EZ Dock Floating Swim Platforms
EZ Dock floating swim platforms offer more durability, flexibility and versatility than wooden, aluminum or permanent alternatives. Our modular platforms connect to create a swim platform as small or long as your property demands, perfect for increasing customer interest or helping your property stand out on the real estate market. EZ Dock swim platforms accentuate existing docking systems or pair seamlessly with EZ Dock floating docks, creating the ideal outdoor destination for your family or guests to create lifelong memories on the water.
Learn more about EZ Dock products and request a quote for your new floating swim platform today!