Introduction: Giant Slip and Slide

Picture of Giant Slip and Slide

Here is a tutorial on how to create a giant slip and slide. It takes a couple of friends and me about 3 different nights after work to complete.  As with anything, the more you do it the better you will get at it.  Truth be told, the end product is so awesome, I would still help put it together even if it took 50 times longer to set up.

Step 1: Things Needed

Picture of Things Needed

This is a list of the things needed to build this giant slip and slide.  Hopefully if you are trying this you have most of these items hanging around somewhere, otherwise it will be an expensive ordeal. 

A pond with a big hill leading right into it
A few free nights and 1 free day
Steel posts.  We used 24 of them
Post pounder
100x20 ft 8mil thick sheet of plastic
A couple old blocks of wood (2x8, 2x6, anything will really work)
4 metal stakes or rebar about a foot long
2 round bales, or something else heavy to keep the plastic from sliding (a tractor to move them too)
Tires, we used somewhere around 20
A whole bunch of wire
Drill and 3/8" or 1/4" drill bit and a drill bit big enough for your stakes/rebar
120 feet of 2 inch PVC pipe
9 straight PVC connectors
2 90 degree PVC connectors
1 cap for the end of the 2 inch PVC pipe
Pipe cleaner and glue
Sump pump
2 inch hose from pump to PVC pipe and 2 hose clamps
Hose from pump to pond
A bush hog helps too

Step 2: Lay Out PVC Pipe

Picture of Lay Out PVC Pipe

After doing this a few times, we discovered that the plastic will last longer if we bush hog the grass underneath where the plastic will be placed about 5 days before laying the plastic down.  The real building of the slip and slide starts about 3 or 4 nights before the big day.  We begin by laying out the PVC pipe.  We just pick a starting point (make sure it is close enough for your piece of plastic to reach the pond) for the slip and slide and go from there.  There is no shame in rolling out the plastic to make sure.  We also leave room at the top of the slip and slide for the round bales we will place on the plastic in a later step.  We start at the top and lay the pipe 50 feet down on each side or the 20 feet used at the top.  It doesn't have to be perfect since the water will have no problem reaching the plastic while it shoots out of the PVC, but remember that you are going to have to pound posts where you lay the pipe, and a little distance between where you are sliding and steel posts won't hurt. 

Step 3: Pound Posts and Wire PVC

Picture of Pound Posts and Wire PVC

After the pipe is in place, we can begin pounding posts.  We start up at the top of the slip and slide and put two posts in on each side of where the plastic will be.  Don't worry about leaving much space between the plastic and the post for safety, because there will be a hay bale in front of the post to take care of that.  Then we will take another post and wire it to the one you just pounded.  This makes the post about twice as high as it was previously.  From there, just move down about 10 feet and pound another post in.  Before you get too far down the hill, it is a good idea to wire up the PVC, just to make sure your posts are in the right spot.  Don't forget to throw tires over the post before you wire the PVC to it.  To do this we had one of us hold the pipe up at the top, one hold it at the next post, and we wired from there.  Keep on moving down the hill on each side, and on the side where water is not coming in, you need to clean and glue a 2 inch PVC cap on the end.  Now we are done with both sides of the slip and slide, and we can move onto the middle. 

Step 4: PVC at the Top of the Slip and Slide

Picture of PVC at the Top of the Slip and Slide

Setting up the top of the slip and slide is a little different than the sides as far as the PVC pipe goes, because of the 20 foot gap between the posts at the top compared to the 10 foot gap down the sides.  When water starts running through the top pipes, it is going to get heavy, and that's where these extra steps come in.  First off, we clean and glue the 2 PVC pipes together with a connector piece, as well as both the 90 degree pipe connectors.  Now we pound a post about 8 feet away from the top steel post at a 90 degree angle from the slip and slide.  This will serve as an anchor to the two top posts on either side of the slip and slide.  Then we wire the PVC pipes that we just glued to the two top posts.  With both sides wired, we will give a little tug and take a piece of wire from the anchored post to the top of the post where we just wired the PVC pipe.  We will repeat that on both sides to complete half of what we need to do for the top of the slip and slide.  Next, we will tighten wire onto the top of the top post that we strung our anchor wire to and spiral our wire around the PVC pipe at the top clear across to the other side of the slip and slide.  Then we will wire that up tight.

Step 5: Roll Out Plastic

Picture of Roll Out Plastic

Now we are ready to roll out the plastic.  Once that is done we can throw some more tires down the sides to keep the wind from picking up the plastic and causing trouble.  This is where the blocks of wood and stakes and hay bales come in.  Here, we will drill holes big enough to punch the stakes through the block of wood and then we'll pound the stakes through the plastic right underneath where we will place the round bale.  We decided to add this step after the plastic was still sliding out from underneath the bales.  Then we can place the bales on the plastic at each top corner. 

Step 6: Bring on the Water

Picture of Bring on the Water

With everything going except the water, it is time for us to drill some holes in the PVC pipes.  We don't really have any "best" method for this, so we will just take a 1/4" or 3/8" drill bit and drill holes in the pipes.  You can always add holes, but it is more difficult to patch them up, so just remember that when completing this step.  With the holes drilled, we can get the sump pump and hoses lined out.  Now came one of the more challenging parts for us.  We had to prime the sump pump, while the water we are pumping is lower than the sump pump.  After a while, we will get it to go, and we can connect the pipe to the bottom of the PVC that doesn't have the cap on it.  We can tighten up the hose clamps and not worry about priming the sump pump any more.

Step 7: Slip and Slide!!

Picture of Slip and Slide!!

Now, we can crank up the sump pump, and watch the water run up one side of the PVC, across the top, and down the other side.  Get your swimming trunks on and start sliding!


YoChuck (author)2011-06-29

Great project! I'd love to see a video of it in action! Also, one cool addition could be a ramp at the end to launch into the pond.

mitchells365 (author)YoChuck2015-08-16

That is what I would have done if I had a pond to use... I'm surprised this guy didn't, all you would need is some plywood ramp sides cut with a jigsaw, a 2 by 4 frame and some foam mats to put underneath the plastic for padding

mitchells365 (author)2015-08-16

You stole my idea... This is what I was planning to do using similiar supplies, 2" PVC Pipe, a sump pump, a bunch of 2 by 4's and plywood, foam mats pool noodles, and a bunch of screws. It was going to be more like an actual waterpark slide though with a high up starting platform and a smallish hill...

Ricardo Furioso (author)2011-06-19

You can find billboard tarps for around fifty bucks on ebay.12 by 48. Should work fine. They say they're three-ply and waterproof. Yipes.

You should definitely ask about the kind of billboard it is before you buy. My roommate works for a billboard company, I'm actually looking at a bunch right now. They have different weaves. I think "posterflex" might be a thicker weave, and you def don't want that. The tighter the weave, the better. I'm a photographer and I use them for backdrops (the white or black side). I always head into the shop with her to pick out the best ones. You want the smoothest surface possible. I'd ask for a closeup pick -- sliding on a thicker weave would probably hurt a ton!

treehouse24 (author)2013-12-31

great instructable , here is a few hints, my ex had one for 10 years , about 200 meters long ended in a shallow pool to slow and stop sliders, dish soap went a long way , using only a sprinkler to supply water. and word of caution , my daughter had her friend bang heads as they went down one behind the other , one caught the other and her front tooth broke off in my daughters scalp, not hard to get out and stitch but did need a tooth capped, all in fun no lawsuit.

slavik1 (author)2011-09-29

Thought some of you might want to see this since it is closely related to the topic.

World's widest slip and slide -

frollard (author)2010-03-01

Wonderful project!  Shame I don't have a pond quite appropriate for it...

In your materials used, it might be important to note you're referring to 8 "mil" (thousandths of an inch) plastic not 8mm plastic, as 8mm is nearly a centimeter thick...

looks like a LOT of fun!

awsumpawsum (author)frollard2010-03-01

Yes, good catch.  I edited that accordingly.  Thank you.

um lawsiuts anybody? i can picture somebody slipping and dying and you being responsible.

yanksguy (author)awesomekitteh2011-06-20

It would be better if everyone just stayed inside on the couch and didn't move.

Valster (author)yanksguy2011-08-17

Then they'd get fat, the couch would collapse and Raymore & Flanagan would get sued.
I'll bet any amount that the lawsuit comments are all from Americans who live in large cities.
Can't we all just have a little fun?

Spokehedz (author)awesomekitteh2011-06-19

Considering the REAL slip and slide has been used for 40 years, and it has yet to be taken off the market even though thousands of lawsuits have been brought against it...

Yeah. I think a couple of country boys making the most out of a hill near a pond is going to be A-OKAY.

AwesomeKitteh - If you take 5 days to make this, and then hurt yourself--what were YOU thinking during those 5 days? I don't think any judge would hold someone on the internet responsible for a project that takes 5 days to assemble and then they hurt themselves. Plus, they tell you to use the innertube.

mscalora (author)Spokehedz2011-06-19

From: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Title: WHAM-O Backyard Water Slides Are Dangerous For Adults And Teenagers


spark master (author)mscalora2011-06-19

I must say he is right like it or not. Many people do stuff saying regulators or others who tell you "hey that is dumb you could put an eye out with it" . Most walk away unharmed but enough get a cracked chord and end up as a quad or para palegic. Then they find their new best friend, a lawyer.

Then those who said mind your buisiness as they gleefully slid down the track only to wake up in a fracture ward want to sue. They may need to since they can no longer work or play or barely breathe on their own.

I think this is a great inspired instructable, but the gent who posted th ewarning brings a great point. You are responsible and it will be your fault. If you cause your kid to be a quad or die , it is your fault. And no one should be able to sue, cause the danger is always there, and you chose to do it or let your kid do it.

We had a neighbor lose his house over a pool accident. On LI a pair of idiot parents ignored medical advise and let their kid with HCM play football on a team. Now training on a team is NOT the same as on a sandlot team. His heart popped on a beautiful day. The parents said"we couldn't stop him from playing he loved it he was 13" ghee not really. To be on a team around here you mus have the cash for the togs and be driven everywhere, school teams require a MD clearence, (just change MD's to get a clean one).

In HCM one wall gets huge in the heart. Uder stress of activitiy it closes the output valve and the pressure simply over inflates the chamber and the heart pops .

In my opinion they needed to be brought to trial, except they provided a darwinian approach, not unlike the situation discussed here, leading to a very stiff sentence. A dead child (their own) and the knowledge that they could easily have prevented it. A trial with conviction and complete dropping of sentence would have been the smack from society to wake them and other idiots up.

Caveat Emptor and be careful what you wish for.

I have many many many scars all earned from stupid things and a few from things outside my control, as a kid and adult. I never blamed another for my stupidity.

still a great instructable, but maybe one might rethink this before doing it. The idea from the US goverment is that size/age matters. Little kids do not have the issues the adults and teens do.

Spokehedz (author)spark master2011-06-21

What is this country coming to when you can't even make simple things fun anymore because someone might hurt themselves... And then Internet Tough Guys come out of the woodwork and start blowing the matter way out of proportion.

It is a sheet of plastic, with water sprayed on it. That's all that it is. What you want to do with it afterwards is entirely up to your own judgement.

I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

chrissysno (author)Spokehedz2011-07-29

I so agree with you. I have started looking at the instructables, that I like and try not to read all of the negative feedback from the so-called "KNOW IT ALLS"
I have to keep reminding myself that there is something in these people, that has been lost. The childlike wonder of finding out new,( and a lot of times) better ways to do things.
These people obviously HAVE to constantly prove to themselves that they are smarter than all of us. We poor fools, who like to take things in stride and just enjoy sharing knowledge for its own simple state, rely on these people to save us from our stupid selves.
I don't know how I made it to the age of 50, without these people.
Now I think I'll go jump on a slip and slide and have some fun!
Hang in there, buddy!

spark master (author)Spokehedz2011-06-22

I gotta say I do agree, but enough, people who speak exactly like you are doing then sue. I worked with a guy who used to say "nanny state" over freaking everything. One day his 12 year old climbs up his neighbors tree with his friend , and his kid falls out. Little Chester breaks his arm, lawsuit emerges. I asked him why, I said medical here must have covered 80 % of it and his home-owers insurance cleans up the deductable so why the suit. "well he said he should have not let them do that, and if my kid has issues 10 years from now we can't get compensated so I gotta collect now. I said well if the kid is fine now , then anything 10 years from now is bogus, non? he was not impressed. I even asked if he wasn't being a tad hypocritical over it, considering his stance on "nannyism" he assured me it was different, and I would see it different if it were my kid."

Needless to say he stopped talking to me as well as a couple of other guys cause we all said the same thing. And until he retired he never spoke to that neighbor again and his kid never ever played with him again.

But I stil lthink this is a great instructable, but perhaps only for kids cause kids under 12 years old are more flexible. At my age I might try this once or twice cuz it looks like its a hoot, but I doubt I would do it after that. (my chioce). I take my kids to amusement parks and only go on a very few rides, cause when I get off them I feel my joints, and I am not that old. But I assume the risk, and thus I don't . Pity now that I can afford rollers I seldom go on them anymore. We love Hershy Park and Canobie lake,(New England).

have a slidey day (safely)

Spokehedz (author)spark master2011-06-22

This site makes me sick.

Spokehedz (author)mscalora2011-06-19

Well thank our collective representatives that we aren't on one of those dangerous things! Man, I am so glad our government has nothing better to do than to tell us that hurtling ourselves over the hard ground might hurt us.

Nope, home made COMPLETELY SAFE AND IN NO WAY INFRINGING ON COPYRIGHT plastic sheeting laid down with water spraying over it.

menahunie (author)Spokehedz2011-06-19

True and I agree with you 100%.
Another poster stated and posted a link on how dangerous these are.
Thing is he sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen.
what he didn't mention the real reason for the injuries... The original "Slip-N-Slide" was and is designed for KIDS ONLY.. What that means NO ADULTS or TEENAGERS TO USE IT.. Why? Because common sense is and seems way too little is IT IS TOO SHORT, and Too SMALL.. For a full grown individual.. This means you get up to full speed just in time to run out of the sliding surface and hit the ground - instant stop with injurious results... I was able to see that and also my friends.. THAT is why we made our own out of that heavy black plastic used by land scapers.
I am a"good-Ol Boy" and most of us were raised with the ability to use common sense. This means you don't get a running start and hit the plastic that is most time only ten feet long. Same as you don't put on a football helmet and put your head through or try to a wall without any consequences..

This is such an odd way of thinking. Fortunately, in most of the world, an idea this good does not bring the word 'lawsuit' first in mind. I, for example was thinking 'great scott, what an exellent idea!!!'.

A good day to you all, sliders and slideroos.

IG-88 (author)awesomekitteh2011-06-19

Are you for real?? Fun hater.

bart416 (author)awesomekitteh2011-06-19

This isn't any more dangerous than a regular old water slide.

Also, great idea; Now I have something to waste my time with on a sunny day :D

siafulinux (author)awesomekitteh2011-06-15

I'm sure this is for one's own kids, but if other kids used it it's probably not anymore dangerous than a giant trampoline; fall, break a neck, leg, ribs maybe puncture a lung, get caught between the springs, you get the idea. I would also think something like this would need to be with adult supervision.

l99roufs (author)2011-06-23

About how much did this cost?

jaybo2099 (author)2011-06-19

We did something similar to this when I was in the Navy. Every year the different commands on base would compete for the Admirals Cup. It usually involved several different sports events. Kind of like a mini Olympics. One year they changed it up with all kinds of silly obstacles events. More like sack races and other things found at a county fair.

Well, one of the events involved a HUGE piece of plastic stretched across a field. You divided your team in half. One half on one side of the plastic about 20 yards away, and the other on the other side about the same distance. The base fire department had a pump truck spray a continuous stream of water on the plastic. When they sounded the siren, one of the team members would run full speed across the field, slide across the plastic, pop up running on the other side, sprint another 20 yards, and hand a baton off to the next team member. There were eight teams all running and sliding at the same time. Like I said, it was a HUGE piece of plastic. This was kind of like a slip and slide relay race.

Best time I ever had! They couldn't get us off the thing once the race was over!

firestarter24 (author)jaybo20992011-06-20

Words cannot describe how awesome this Navy story is.

Words cannot describe how awesome the navy is...

Dosbomber (author)2011-06-20

I have a long grassy hill which ends in something that more closely resembles a swamp. Seems this would be lots of fun followed by a really nasty and uncomfortable ending.

As for the lawsuits, save one of those metal poles for the lawsuit junkies, and you know where they can put it. Actually, this also sounds like a really nasty and uncomfortable ending...

How does the 8 mil plastic hold up with repeated use? Seems like it might be a little thin, as most plastic bags (ie: Zip lock) are no more than 4-6 mil.

BenReilly (author)2011-06-20

Great instructable. An idea for those of you who don't have a pond though. We made one and at the bottom used square haybails and moe plastic to build a pool about 10"x10" poool. We also didn't have a pump so we just used a water hose and let it run. Also cheap dollar store baby wash is an excellent lube if your not sliding very good at first. Once you've used a bottle or so, the pool at the end has enough in it that when you get out and go back up you still have baby wash on you so you don't have to reapply.

turrilynn (author)2011-06-19

This sounds so perfect for hot fun in the summertime! Family reunion or not!
Thanks so much!

crusty knight (author)2011-06-19

Excellent instructions, now I just have to buy a pond with a hill!

moose2good (author)2011-06-19

I have a friend that used a slip-n-slide and hurtled into the 17th dimension, and all of his future children's children got broken arms, ribs, feet, toes, ears, hair, hair-pieces, hearts, etc., etc. and he NEVER had fun again. But the bestest part was he never, EVER got dirty, did anything dangerous such as light a fire, pedal a bike, climb a tree, sat on a ledge......ooooooo, what a LUCKY man!

njdjs (author)2011-06-19

We did almost this same thing but instead of using all that PVC we just had a pump in the lake attached to hoses with sprinklers next to the plastic. The kids had a blast. My daughter always had the best birthdays with that.

caitlinsdad (author)2010-03-09

Cool, does the end of the sump pump need a filter or mask so you don't end up dredging the pond through the pipes? Although, a muddy slip and slide might be fun.

awsumpawsum (author)caitlinsdad2010-03-10

Yes, a guy should do something.  I would say the easiest thing we did was to pound a post in the pond a few feet from the bank, and then wire the hose to that so it doesn't sink into the mud.  I've also heard of people using pantyhose as a filter too, but I've never tried it and don't know if it works.  I'd rather just keep it away from the bottom of the pond anyway.

Oooh, or just attach it to an empty milk carton or something else floaty...

spark master (author)2011-06-19

so very cool. Can't do it here on Long Island Cause I would need to knock down a house to make the pond. Truely a think the kids will remember when they get old and jaded!

great instructable

hlanelee (author)2011-06-19

You can get industrial grade tarps that were formerly used as billboards pretty cheap. Do an online search for "Billboard Tarps"

IG-88 (author)2011-06-19

Great idea. We did something similar to this years ago. The only issue we ran into was the ground underneath was very rough. I guess yours is fairly smooth?

Rakkety Tam (author)2011-06-17

Excellent instructable! I'm definitely looking into building one of these myself. Where did you get your plastic sheet from?

siafulinux (author)2011-06-15

The pond would be great, but it's not necessary. Something a little narrower would be wonderful for the back yard!

Excellent idea; I know what I'm doing for my kids soon. :)

the poodleo (author)2011-04-23

oh, if u were buying all the materials for this new, how much do you think it would cost?

the poodleo (author)2011-04-23

this is probably the funnest thing i have ever seen. i just wish that i wasnt a kid and that i had a pond and hill. lol

NatureBoom21 (author)2010-11-19

i immediately think "mythbusters"

the poodleo (author)NatureBoom212011-04-23

lol me to

Irock148 (author)2011-01-19

if this this thing make you go straight to the non-deep end then youcan try putting a small bridge-ish thing ther and you will actually be able getdeeper under water

anres321 (author)2010-07-10

this must be so fun !!

mo shuga fo yo pancakes (author)2010-07-06

me and some friends found a blue tarp about 100 by 120 in the woods so we may do this

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