It’s been over twenty five years, but I remember it like it was yesterday. Standing barefoot in the damp grass with the sun beating down on my back, I waited patiently. When it was finally my turn, I sprinted and dove onto the wet plastic. Refreshingly cool water sprayed on me seemingly from every direction for the few seconds it took me to travel the short distance to the pool of water at the end of the slip n slide.
On Saturday I closed my eyes and remembered those days from my childhood and smiled. When I opened my eyes I found myself again standing barefoot in the grass, the sun beating down on my back and waiting patiently behind a group of kids the same age as my friends are in my memory. Except I’m a bit older now, and instead of a short, narrow, multicolor plastic slide, I was looking at a 130 foot slide made out of black contractor’s plastic snaking it’s way down the hill into the park behind my house.
I sprinted and launched myself head first down the slide being kept wet by 4 different sprinklers. I did barrel rolls all the way down, and slid off the end of the plastic skidding to a stop so suddenly that the grass almost pulled my swim trunks off my waist.
It. Was. Awesome.
The mega slide is something our neighbor has done the last few summers when they have their annual neighborhood pool party. I’ve written about this before on a different website, but it’s been a few years and that website is no longer around so I thought I would introduce the mega slide to the EOD Nation.
If you enjoy water slides, and are looking for a great way to cool down AND have a great neighborhood event, let me tell you what we’ve learned about building a successful mega slide.
- 8ft x 100ft roll of contractor’s plastic. You may need two of these, depending upon how big of a hill you have. The clear piece we had at the end (shown in the picture) was about 30 feet long and we were sliding off the end.
- Garden hoses
- Sprinklers (find the kind that you can connect in a series)
- Tent stakes
Note: Get as thick of plastic as you can. I believe my neighbor got either 6 or 8 mil weight plastic. The thicker the plastic, the better the tent stakes will hold, and the more likely your plastic will be reusable.
Plenty of Water:
Roll your plastic down a hill (do NOT stake down yet), and connect up your sprinklers in a series, spraying water onto the plastic. In our case we used water from my neighbor’s house, as well as from my house to get maximum coverage on the slide.
The wetter the slide, the better.
The Right Path:
You will likely have to adjust the path of your plastic, which is why you didn’t want to stake down your plastic yet. Now that you have it unrolled and wet, send down some test sliders to see where they go. The angles of the hill will cause the water, and sliders to take a specific course down the hill. Adjust the path of your plastic accordingly. Once you have it such that the sliders follow the plastic all the way down, secure the plastic using the tent stakes.
Be Ready For Repairs:
You will have stakes come out, requiring some repairs along the way. However, the better you adjust your plastic to the true course of the sliders, the less repairs you will have to make.
All the hoses, tent stakes, and sprinklers were donated by members of the neighborhood for the day. The only thing that had to be purchased was the contractor’s plastic, which can be picked up for about $50. Considering the length, the potential for reuse, and the amount of fun generated, I’d say the purchase was well worth it. Even if we all pitched in and bought a second roll of plastic, this is a great activity for the entire neighborhood to enjoy together, and form friendships that will last a lifetime.
What do you think, would you try to make a similar mega slide?