Dave Libhart came to work for Tempool four years ago when the economy tanked. Prior to coming to work for us, Dave owned and operated Libhart Pools. Over the years we plastered several pools for Dave’s company and developed a strong friendship. Dave now runs our remodel division and can build just about anything.
Five years ago, Dave’s buddy Mark Smith (AKA Otis) approached him about designing and building a swimming pool that he could not only ride his skateboard in but also provide his family with a backyard pool that was perfect for cooling off in the hot South Carolina summers. Tempool plastered the pool, and for the last five years Otis has been draining and filling it every year. We caught up with Otis recently to see how the pool was holding up and to get the story behind his backyard reinvention.
Q&A with Otis
How did you come up with the swim/skate concept on this pool?
I was in the process of building a wooden skate bowl in my backyard out of wood I had salvaged off my construction jobs over the years and it was time to start spending money on it. I decided I didn’t want to spend the next 20 years looking out my screened porch at the ribs of a ramp, so with support from my wife we got a home equity loan to build a home addition and a skate/swim pool.
How much of your skateboarding knowledge went into the design? Coping, walls, steps, depth, etc.
I’ve been skateboarding most of my life and have met some great people along the way who helped me design/build the pool so it would be perfect for riding.
How did you decide what interior finish to use?
Dave Libhart had a swim/skate pool with Diamond Brite plaster and it wasn’t holding up out of water. A new product that was able to keep its integrity in a dry environment called Hydrazzo was brought to my attention by Dave and Tempool.
How many times have you drained it?
I’ve drained the pool 5 times for a total of 40 months. My family and I swim in it for 4 months of the year and I skate it for 8 months a year.
How is the finish holding up?
The finish is holding up great. It hasn’t changed a bit, looks like it was done yesterday.
Have you recommended the finish to other skateboarders?
I talk the product up to any one building a swim/skate pool. A pool builder/skatepark builder in the outer banks (Artisan pools) has been using this product with the same success.
You mentioned that you will be polishing the pool? What are the benefits or the ideal uses for this technique?
I have decided to polish pool lately to be able to knee slide easier and get some more speed. From what I’m told polishing Hydrazzo for pure swimming pools is a common practice that makes it less abrasive on skin.