If you, like me, watched the Seattle Sounders lose to the Colorado Rapids 1-0 on Saturday night, then you immediately wanted to build a slip and slide of your own. Well, you've come to the right place, friends. In this week's article we'll go over how to go about building your own slip and slide, and not those chintzy little yellow plastic ones they subjected upon us as children.
Slide and Slide Option 1
The chintzy little yellow plastic one! You can buy one off Amazon and get it to you within a few days, (if you're a Prime member then it's probably one or two days). I'm sure there is some assembly require, and that assembly probably entails unfurling it and hooking a hose to some spigot. But good luck making yourself between the ages of 5-12 again without the use of a cursed gypsy or a genie.
Slip and Slide Option 2
This option requires you to be willing to buy a few supplies and have an open stretch of straight land that's longer than just 16 feet. First you want to get some plastic sheeting. You want it to be around 100 feet x 10 feet, and you're going to want it to be thicker plastic. Buy that cheap stuff and you'll regret it. You'll also either need a shovel or some tent stakes. The last thing you'll need is a lubricant of some sort.
So you've got that stretch of straight land that's longer than 16 feet? Good job. Does it have a slight downward slant to it? Does it end at a precipitous cliff? Avoid cliffs for now. If you're in sand, like on one of those rare Washington beaches that's sand-based and not rock-based, you'll need to lay your plastic sheeting down in a long, straight line. Then you'll need to grab your shovel and dig out a little trench on each side of the plastic. It doesn't need to be a deep trench, just enough to bury the edges of your plastic, anchoring it down. If you're on dirt or grass, you'll need to anchor it down with the tent stakes. Pretty straight forward.
Once you've secured the plastic and it's in place, pour some water down the entirety of the track and mix in your lubricant. Some people use dish detergent to do it, but if that gets in your eyes that's gonna be slightly unpleasant. So I'd recommend baby shampoo. No tears for you!
Now that you've got everything set up, just take a nice running start and plunge headlong down your nifty little slip and slide. If you're on an even plane, you'll probably only make it about 80 feet, so the end of the slide doesn't matter, but if you've got a downward slope to it, maybe put a kiddy pool at the end to soften your exit.
Bonus fun: Take two pieces of 10' x 10' plastic and use an iron to melt the edges together, all except one hole big enough to fit a hose. Fill that pocket of plastic with water and close up that open with some duct tape. Now you've got an outdoor waterbed.
Slip and Slide Option 3
Have you seen those slip and slides on ramps? There are two ways of doing it. You can build your own ramp down a big hill, or if you're not confident in your carpenter skills you can use some stairs to act as a ramp. Let's go through the stairs option first.
To start you'll need some plywood, probably about 1/2" thickness. You'll need that plastic sheeting again. In addition you'll need some water noodles, some tape, and padding. Lay the padding down the stairs so you know how long you'll make the slide. You can't use too much padding. You can use too little. Once you've got all the padding down, you'll want to lay out the plywood. Secure the plywood together using tape or screws if you deem it necessary. Pay attention to the transitions too, make sure they're fairly smooth. Now that you've got all that plywood making a nice slide, lay down that padding on top of it. You don't want to go sliding down on plywood, ya'hear?
Now you'll need to fasten the water noodles together using tape. You'll need two long runs of these to add as bumpers for the edge of your slip and slide. To make things safer, secure these in the plastic and fasten your safety contraption over the ramp, again, using tape. Now that you've got all this accomplished, you're good to go. Just add your water, your lubricant, and something to soften your landing, whether it's a kiddy pool or just a big pile of your excess padding.
But what about if you don't have stairs. If you've got a big hill you want to go down you can go through the same methods, but what if there's a lake at the bottom of that hill and you want to launch yourself into said lake? Well, you'll need to ramp it. Get some 2x4, a saw (a buzzsaw would probably be the best), some screws and nails, and the rest of the materials should be the same. You can apply the same techniques you used for the stairs, but this time instead of just ending, you'll want to build yourself a upward sloping ramp. You'll want to frame it a gradual upward slope, using progressively larger 2x4's on each side with cross supporters to the other side and to the next set of 2x4's. You don't have to worry about padding here under the plywood, but you do have to worry about securing the base of this ramp. Once you've got your slope up, secure the plywood (which at 1/2" thickness should have enough flexibility to navigate the curvature of your ramp), then lay your padding on top, put down your plastic and your bumpers, get a hose to produce a continual stream of water down, lube up, and have fun launching yourself into a lake.
Fun tip, if you cover your midsection with a plastic garbage bag, you'll produce much greater speed as you go down your slip and slide.
Slip and Slide Option 4
For our last option, all you'll need to do is lay down some temporary sod on an artificial turf surface.
I'm ready for another Sounders game where they're missing key players.
I hope Seattle's recent form doesn't continue this match.
Oh ho, now! The Sounders almost scored in the first minute?
There's something odd going on with this field today.
Nope, yep, that was definitely a goal by Colorado.
It seems like the Sounders are their own worst enemy right now.
Wait, the Rapids beat Seattle?
You know, for a while there I actually thought we'd at least escape with a point.
Now that the Sounders aren't winning any long, I'm not sure what to do with my life now.
Whatever, I don't care, we'll get 'em next time.