Basket Ball System Install Continued

Posted by Administrator at 2:57 pm

Another day, another blister….I got out the big rock this morning. I thought about wrapping it in chains which i would then pass over the round side of a bucket and attach to the car. In the end I just lifted it out instead. less interesting but much easier.

The real challenge has been not getting too wide as I go deeper. It is now about 30″ wide and keeps getting a bit wider every time I go in. The net result is that a project that started as 1/3 yard of concrete is probably going to be a yard+. not the end of the world, but something I would still like to control if I can. My thought now is to purchase a sonic tube or a form and fill in around it with dirt. I will write on that after I review options.

I am now digging with the little shovel and pot you see in the post. There is really no other way to get the dirt out at this juncture except to loosen and then shovel into the pot. Very slow going ( maybe a pro install is better…. )

The bball delivery is scheduled for Wednesday. the pour is scheduled for Thursday am.


Basketball system install

Posted by Administrator at 2:36 pm

It was 95 degrees here over the weekend and probably the same percentage of humidity. When I went to the Home depot to get a new digging tool their only advice was to find something else to do. It was really the wrong weekend for sure but the delivery is expected early this week and I wanted to have the hole ready.

The hole is supposed to be 2’ x 2’ by 3’ deep or below the frost line. Our frost line has been reported as 1 meter up to 40” . I found this map on line and this one as well which both seem to suggest that 36” will be safe. Just to be sure, I called our building department and they told me 42”. I am now really depressed and have a ton more digging to do.

I started digging Saturday morning using a post hole digging tool and a shovel. I ran into a bunch of rocks and went to the depot to get a 6’ pry bar. After that it was slow going, particularly as the hole got deeper without getting much wider. At this point I can only make progress by being in the hole and digging with a small shovel and a crow bar. The challenge now is to keep getting deeper without getting wider. The hole is already more than 2’ x 2’ and the wider I get the more concrete I am going to use. I am also working on belling out the bottom.

So now I need to lift the rock out of the bottom ( came from the side), go about 6” deeper and bell out the bottom. I then want to build a frame for the top so that I end up with a square pour. Lastly I am going to pull chalk lines from the house foundation so that the system will be exactly perpendicular to the house.


BCA show

Posted by Administrator at 5:54 pm

Where have we been ??? We went to the BCA ( Billiards Congress of America ) and have been bogged down with a ton of new stuff that we need to move onto the website. Additionally, we have had a large number of visitors who have been in the states because of the show. it is all quieting down now and we are really psyched about what we are going to be putting up on the site. From my perspective one of the most exciting introductions are the new licensed games from performance games. These are a really well done, high end way to make a statement about your school or team. So far they have NCAA and NHL but we are optimistic that NFL, NBA and MLB will be added soon.

We are so jazzed by the work that these guys did we are building a special section of the site to cover it. Watch for it soon.


Basketball system selected!

Posted by Administrator at 5:47 pm

So it took me a long time but I finally bit the bullet on my basketball system. In the end I went with a first team Powerhouse Challenger Nitro. I wanted 60″ and I wanted glass for better rebound and in the end i just was not willing to compromise on those characteristics . I did compromise a bit on the setback and the frame mount style, but I needed to economize somewhere. The setback should not really effect play. The frame mount style is only an issue with an acrylic backboard. With the style i chose, the bounce would have been reduced with acrylic. I did select glass, so I decided that was not critical.

I also went with padding and a retention net because there will be a hill behind my mount. now I have to get out my shovel and get to work! i am going to pre dig the hole and get my cement lined up and ready in anticipation of an arrival early next week. After that I will post some pictures of the completed project.


New pool table shipping configuration #2

Posted by Administrator at 3:06 pm

Just some additional pictures from our earlier opost after all te straps are in place


New Pool Table Shipping Configuration

Posted by Administrator at 5:56 pm
We have decided to change how our Playcraft Knight series tables ship.  We have traditionally put these on two pallets but every so often the trucking company lets the pallets get separated. We recently had a time critical installation where a customer became very upset when FedEx lost one of the skids for a few days. We have now consolidated everything onto ONE skid. The slate can be seen in this photo on the lower right. The rest of the pieces that are Distributed across the skid are the pool table components.For reference, the skid in the background is going to be used on a shuffleboard table.
Pool Table Skid

Pool Table Skid


I want to buy an inground basketball system

Posted by Administrator at 1:47 pm

So this is a bit odd for me. I sell systems and yet I can not decide what system to get for my son. He has really improved his playing over the last year and I would like to support his game AND give him the best tools for success. Offset that with the fact that we think we will move in the next few years , budget constraints and concerns about potential vandalism to a glass board, and suddenly I am paralyzed and incapable of making a choice! Sound at all familiar?

I think this says so much abot the state of this industry. Why are there so many choices that seem to represent features that are very difficult for the consumer to assess? We want a robust, simple system that is going to perform great and not cost a fortune. Check back soon and I will start to narrow down my choices.


How to buy an above ground pool

Posted by Administrator at 8:48 pm

How to buy an above ground pool


Buying an above ground pool can seem like an overwhelming undertaking. In fact once it is broken down into reasonable steps, it is actually quite a simple process. As always, the experts at eFamilyFun are available to assist you every step of the way. Our goal is never to make the sale, but to help you select the right components that meet your unique requirements. We know from experience that if we can help you manage the process, and if we are competitive, the sale will take care of itself.


So let’s get started. These are the basic steps:


        Take a good look at the area where you intend to install the pool. You will ultimately need to have a completely level surface for the installation. Depending on how much work you are prepared to do, this can be the single biggest factor in determining the size and shape of your pool. If you do not have a flat area, or if it is not flat where you want to locate the pool, you can still install it with the understanding that you will need to excavate a base until it is flat.  You can also chose a pool that can accept partial or complete in ground installation, but please know that these are special features and not all pools can be installed in ground.

         Now that you have picked a shape and size, also consider depth. The most common choices are 48”, 52” and 54”. While these depth variations might sound minor, they actually make a fairly significant difference. Consider that upgrading from a 48 to a 52 is more than an 8pct increase. While none of these sizes are ever suitable for diving, a bigger pool will give you a different overall experience. Since you are already leveling the area, building the pool and equipping it, the relative cost increase for a deeper pool is a relatively minor part of the total cost. Also keep in mind that the water level will on average be 4″ lower than the pool walls ( so a 48″ is 44″ deep ). For this reason we find that many people do choose to upgrade the depth.

      Now consider what the pool is constructed of. Having chosen size, shape and depth, the universe of options begins to get smaller and the pool of your dreams starts to come into focus.  There will be different choices for the walls and the top rails, although sometimes these are of the same material.

a)      Galvanized steel is strong economical choice. Steel construction can be found in our Atlantis round , Atlantis oval , Aegean Round, and Aegean Oval where it is used in both the sidewalls and the rails. The width of the rail also increases as you move up in quality.

b)      The next step in quality is a polymer or resin pool. These are manufactured from high quality stabilized resins. They are strong, light and do not corrode. The Aruba Round and Aruba Oval are examples of great polymer pools. The Tahitian Round and  Tahitian Oval are hybrid pools that combines steel sidewalls with resin top rails. The resin feels better to the touch and is generally considered more attractive.The stell is stronger and therefore these hybrids combine the best of both.

c)      The last option is aluminum, which has the advantages of being very strong and not corroding. These are the only pools that should be installed semi or fully in ground. The Bermuda Round and the Bermuda Oval are outstanding aluminum pools.

When selecting quality and materials, an easy rule of thumb is to look at the warranty. The longer the warranty, the better the underlying materials are going to be. While you might not need a 30 year warranty (for example), it is a strong indicator that you can expect a trouble free ownership experience. This is obviously a huge consideration as your pool is going to be source a relaxation and recreation, not a new source of work!

         Select a liner .So now you have selected a size, shape and construction material. At this point it is time to move inside the pool and select a liner and any padding or cove strips:

a)      Gorilla padding: This is an excellent idea that will protect your liner and make your pool more comfortable. The gorilla pad is pre cut to the size of your pool. It is made of a super strong material that will prevent liner cuts resulting from rocks, roots and plant growth. It will provide an extra layer of protection that will feel good on your feet and prevent footmarks from forming in the bottom of your pool.  If you do not use gorilla padding you will need a foam alternative that will need to be cut, shaped sized and taped. Since this involves more work and an inferior result, we strongly recommend the Gorilla pad.

b)      Cove strips make a nice transition from the pool bottom to the pool sides. They go under the liner and their sole purpose is to make the pool fell better on your feet. They are a small investment with a nice return on comfort, so most people do install them.

c)      Liners cover the inside of the pool going over the walls, the padding and the cove strips. A lot of sellers claim mil thicknesses on their liners that are not actually accurate. Over the last several years some liners have gotten thinner but the quality has still improved. We therefore suggest finding a pattern that you like with an installation style that works for you and a warranty that evidences quality. There are three basic liner types:

1)      Overlap: For these liners you need to select your pool shape and diameter, but the depth is not a factor. The top of the liner goes over the side wall of the pool under the top rail. They are secured with coping strips (very inexpensive but must be purchased). The excess liner on the outside of the pool is trimmed off and the top rail is replaced or installed. An overlap liner is the most economical solution.

2)      Unibead: This kind of liner is sized for depth, shape and pool size. The top end of the liner has a built in bead that runs the entire circumference. This bead has a grove cut in it where the liner installs in the pool wall. The top rail is installed over the bead.

3)     Beaded : A liner with a bed ( like unibead ) that rests on s hooks that installs under the rail. Once the hooks are in place, you are able to remove and replace your liner without ever having to remove the top rail again.


Remember that a liner will have a big influence on the overall appearance of your pool. Pick one that is going to create the outside look that you are after.


          Pump, filters and Equipment packs. There are really only three more things that you need to do before you can swim. You need to select a pump, a filter and a ladder. After that you will want some tools to keep your pool nice and clean. Fortunately we simplify this process with our optional equipment packs. These include a pump, a sand filter , a ladder and cleaning tools. We recommend a 1hp pump for any pool up to 24’ round. Anything holding a greater volume of water should then use a 1.5hp motor. The filters are sand, although cartridge options are available. Some people prefer the cartridge because they are lower maintenance, but they do require greater frequency of cartridge changes.  Any ladder must have a fold up or lock out option for safety. The better ladders have greater capacity and are more comfortable with a less vertical assent. Our packages can be seen in detail at these links:

a)      Good

b)      Better

c)      Best

        Maintanence :The last piece of business is a regular maintenance program to keep your pool sparkling and clean. Please review our chemical options and – optionally- our chlorine generators.  You might also want to consider a heater and solar blankets to extend the season and increase your enjoyment. When the season is over, don’t forget to visit our winter cover section so that your pool is in great shape and ready to provide years of enjoyment


Ready to go shopping? Click Here to see the eFamilyFun selections. Have questions? Give us a call at 877 358 5579 and we will start getting you answers!


Sky Ski Roll

Posted by Administrator at 5:55 pm

mls_0001This is one of my favorite sports related pictures ( ok the kid is my daughter so I am biased ). We spend a ton of time on the water as a family. When my daughter was about 12 she started riding an air chair and then migrated to the Sky Ski ( both are sit down hydrofoils ). We arranged to get some professional instruction from Scott Honkola and he taught my daughter to “bunny hop”. Her wanted her to do those hops 100 times up and down the lake, which she did. Eventually she developed a really crazy jump that turned into a huge wake jump. She started trying to flip and would just crash all the time. I kept on coaching her to “jump first” but this was a dad to a daughter and would just dissolve into tears. In any case, this picture is lifted from a video made in the summer of 2009. She was 19 at the time. Way cool, I think

Next up pictures of my 12 year old son learning to spin on his board. he has invert aspirations as well so I imagine the tears are about to start all over again!

Do we sell wakeboards and hydrofoils? Nope, but we do focus on recreation. If there is enough interest, I would LOVE to add a water sports section or maybe start a separate site. it is a real passion of mine.


Chemical Packages Comparison Chart

Posted by Administrator at 5:41 pm

This is a usefull guide to chemical packages that are offered as an option with our pools