Who doesn’t love a good water slide? The once simple backyard pool accessories – remember, those light blue, 6-foot-tall slides? – are now available in a variety of colors, forms, heights, and shapes. Most, if not all, with exhilarating curves. Many water slides are available in both right and left curve design. During the hot summer months, water slides – whether in your own backyard or at a water park – are increasingly popular. Here’s why.
Okay, time to put on your bathing suit. It’s about to be a wet and bumpy ride.
At its most basic level, a water slide is a relatively tame roller coaster, which is lubricated by water. Water slides must have a constant stream of water flowing from the top to the bottom. This allows you to zip down the slide without fear of friction. To maintain this stream, you must maintain a supply of water to the top of the slide. Most slides today have a pump, housed in the slide itself or near the base of the slide, which constantly recycles the water.
Water Slide Construction
Constructed with a thick, durable fiberglass runway, and reinforced by a fiberglass frame most backyard water slides have a water flow of up to 35 gallons per hour. Fiberglass is used due to its superior strength, safety, and durability – although concrete slides have become quite popular. The ladder, legs, and handrails should be constructed from heavy duty aluminum. Water slides should be directly cemented into the ground.
Most water park slides have a similar structure, but on a much larger scale. Just look at the slides at any one of Arizona’s water parks. Among the most popular are: Big Surf, Sunsplash, and Wet ‘n’ Wild. Water park slides of this magnitude are formed using dozens of fiberglass segments fastened together with heavy-duty bolts. Each segment has one end with a raised lip and one end with a sunken step; much like that of a toy railroad track.
These segments rest on a framework of steel girders, which are either positioned directly under the slide or adjacent to it, supported by sturdy cantilevers. Slides typically use completely enclosed tubes for the sharpest turns, thus ensuring the safety of its riders. Water slides, whether backyard or park, are designed and constructed with your safety in mind.
It’s really amazing how much fun you can have with a water slide.