I have been building Asahi above ground pools for over 30 years. These pools were sold by Paddock Pools all over the Phoenix, Arizona area for many years.
In the early days they had a sidewall that was nearly indestructible. It has always been on the thin side but these walls were practically rust proof. I have moved and reinstalled many of these pools that were over 15 years old. The one below is one of them. I removed it from a customers backyard and set it up in mine. The old sidewall is faded but the pool is up and good for another 15 years. My girls could care less whether it was new and expensive or old and free.
Asahi above ground pools are made in Japan and imported into the US. They are sold by pool companies across the country, many times relabeled as a store brand. They are popular on the internet also. These pools are bought at such a good price they are a popular choice for many pool stores.
The greatest savings are for the larger stores that can buy a boatload of pools at one time. Paddock would get one shipment a year and then do their best to sell them out by summers end. Several hundred pools at a time takes a lot of cash and a lot of storage space. But the profits are outstanding for an outfit big enough to do this.
It is most common for stores to buy the pools only from Asahi. They then build a package using American made accessories. The skimmer openings fit a standard Hayward skimmer so that is a very common item found in most packages. A Hayward filter is also a popular addition. The cleaning equipment and ladders can be any number of different brands.
The liners that are sold with Asahi above ground pools are usually the internet variety, a little on the cheap side. At least I have never seen an Asahi pool package sold with a Doughboy brand liner included.
So, would I own an Asahi above ground pool? I have owned several and never had a problem with them. I have also installed several thousands of them with very few problems. This pool fits my basic philosophy about above ground pools. The money should go into the filter, skimmer and cleaning equipment. When these items are sub par there is no way you can enjoy your pool, even the most expensive pool made.
The pool does, however, need to be a sturdy structure that is easy to install. A pool where all the pieces fit together right the first time and where the quality control is good enough to assure all of the parts are included in the packages. The Asahi pool meets these needs exceptionally well, an inexpensive, yet quality pool that is easy to install.
And what about the liners you get with these pools? I prefer an inexpensive plain blue liner for my pools. There are several reasons for this. First off is I don't mind changing them, I do it myself so the expense is minimal. Less than a couple of hundred dollars makes my pool look brand new every few years.
Accidents can and will happen to vinyl liners. Chemicals can spill and stain the pool floor, the sun can dry rot a liner in just a few years in some places, grass and weeds can grow through a liner, cleaners can destroy a liner in no time if they are not operating correctly or the neighbors could decide to use your pool and forget to take off their golf shoes. I have seen over and over again, people spending close to a grand, liner and labor, to replace a liner that is only a year or two old.
I see nothing at all wrong in starting out with a cheap liner. Use it a few years, get used to taking care of it, get used to how the cleaners operate and train the kids and neighbors. In 3-5 years, when it is time to change the liner, decide then if you want to stay cheap or go all out expensive.
Another thing I find impressive about the Asahi above ground pools is they have a special website for replacement parts. Anyone who has ever tied to find replacement parts for an above ground pool knows how hard that can be. Not if you own an Asahi pool. While this store is not owned by Asahi, it does serve as a valuable US source for pool parts.
The store was called Asahiparts.com but it appears to be off the web for now. There were a lot of complaints about service last summer so it's probably a good thing. Not good for Asahi pool owners, however.
These ten pages are full of answers to some of the many questions above ground pool owners have.