Is there anything that screams summer louder than a long, wet plastic ramp on which kids can slide belly first? Probably a lot of things. Like a man in a foam ice cream cone costume riding a surfboard and screaming SUMMER!! But you get the idea: Classic backyard Slip ’N Slides — or any number of other lawn water kids’ slides, if you prefer the un-trademarked name — are iconic of high summer, and a blast for sweaty kids and adults alike. What makes the best slip-and-slide? It’s not rocket science… except it is sort of like rocket science. The best backyard slip-and-slides are all about speed, velocity, and escaping gravity for a few exhilarating seconds.
First thing’s first, you need to know how to set one up safely. Number one: Find the perfect spot — ideally, a good hill (the steeper, the better), but a flat surface will work too. Number two: Make absolutely certain that there are no rocks, roots, or tree stumps in the sliding path. You want a clean and clear path to the end. Number three: Soften the ground beneath your mat with a little bit of water, to add some natural cushion beneath your tarp. Finally, be sure to supervise kids as they slide. Once all those steps are checked off, you can use any one of these setups to slide into the summer of the backyard, as we all stick closer to home — swimming, gardening, grilling pizzas.
The Best Backyard Slip ’N Slides
The souped-up edition of Wow's 25-foot slide, this 36-foot colossus is also constructed of heavy-duty, thick PVC and features the same zigzag sprinkler system running the length of the slide. Comes with inflatable sleds for water-park fun in your own yard. You can combine Wow water slides to create a longer slide too.
Short of building an actual water park in your backyard, there’s not much that can top the Intex Surf ’N Slide. The 15-foot inflatable slide launches from the jaws of an adorable shark for extra thrills. The slide comes with a pair of 'Surf Riders' (mini, inflatable boogie boards, really) that have heavy duty handles, so your little daredevil can hold on tight all the way to the landing pad.
No hose? No problem. With the Slip ’N Slide XL, all you need is a bucket of soapy water to lather up the double-lane runway, and you’re good to go. At more than 30 feet long, it’s designed for record-breaking rides, and features a pegging system to keep it in place. A soft cushion at the end of the ride also helps minimize any aquatic after burn.
At just over 16 feet long, this is the single-person slip n' slide for the younger members of your family. As with its brethren, you connect the hose to the slide and it's ready to go. It's made of durable PVC, so should last you quite some time.
This is one of the biggest backyard water slides out there — Wahii also makes a 75-footer, which they tout as the 'world’s biggest backyard water slide.' Hyperbole? Maybe. But, with the Wahii Waterslide’s beastly 50- and 75-foot runways, it’s hard to argue. At 12 feet across, the slides are wide as a country lane, with tons of room to slide around. The slide is constructed of specially-formulated, UV-protected plastic, making it extremely smooth, and rated to hold 256 pounds per square foot. A patented fastening system keeps the slide securely in place.
From Wham-O, inventors of the iconic raincoat-yellow Slip ’N Slide, a high-speed water ramp into the end zone. This 16-foot football-themed slide comes with an inflatable ball and a pair of menacing inflatable linebackers to be knocked over like a pair of bowling pins as kids hydroplane toward touchdown.
If standard backyard baseball is a little too dry for your tastes, try the Banzai Grand Slam Baseball Slide — a functional baseball diamond, slicked with sprinkling water all the way around. Step up to the plate, knock one out of the park, then give new meaning to the phrase slide into first. The diamond measures 14-by-14 feet, so you’ll have plenty of room to soak in an afternoon at the ballpark.
Three, count 'em three, sliding lanes. Coupled with a splash pool at the end. This epic 18 foot slide streams water from the end and sides so all participants get really and truly soaked.
This 16-foot triple-lane slide is built for high-speed tie-breakers. Comes with three sleds, an inflated launching pad and ends in a small crescent pool for soft landings.
For those backyards on a budget, this simple Speed Blast slide is really all it needs to be — a 16-foot long-sliding surface, featuring durable PVC construction and universal garden hose compatibility.
This 16-foot slide is the central piece of an entire slipping-and-sliding obstacle course, which includes hurdles, tire, jump and limbo bar, under which kids aim to slide as low as they can go.
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