Sliding into Slides
I remember the slide in my school’s playground. It was of metal construction, tall as a skyscraper, and had rather skimpy sides to boot.
I remember climbing to the top, suddenly realizing that this may be the genesis of my fear of heights. Gulping, I wanted to go back down, but a line had queued up behind me, so forward was the only way out!
That is where the memory ends. I must have survived, but it formed a core memory that I seemingly repressed.
Slides are a big part of any playground, and depending on the child, they can be a lot of fun, or they can be a bit scary. Let’s dive into the slides offered by King Swings and how best to use them.
Straight Slides: Oldies but Goodies
Let’s talk about the good classic straight slides, the waterfall slide, and the avalanche slide. I wrote a whole blog post discussing the difference between these two, but in a nutshell, the waterfall slide is the economical pick. At the same time, the avalanche is stronger, has higher sides, and has a safety lip at the bottom.
The avalanche is featured on the left side of the image, and the waterfall is on the right.
Click here to go more in-depth on these slides.
Both of these slides are tried and tested by generations of use. Most children are not afraid to use these slides as, well, they are everywhere. When designing your set, you want to ensure at least 3’ of empty space at the end of the slide for a safe exit.
The waterfall slide is only available at the 5’ deck height, while the avalanche slide can be used at 5’, 6’, and 7’ deck heights.
Twirly Slides: Super Spiral Slide and Turbo Tube Slides
Everyone loves twirly slides. The great thing about both types of twirly slides we offer is that they are made within Lancaster County. These are durable, American-made slides.
But which should you get? It depends on your needs. Let’s do a rapid-fire question-and-answer session to help you decide!
What tower heights do these slides work on?
The super spiral slide is the most versatile as it can be used at every tower height (except 8’). Currently, we only offer the turbo tube at a 7’ and 9’ deck height.
Now, don’t tell the building bay I told you about this, but you can use a 7’ turbo tube on a 5’ tall tower. It is a bit complicated, and there are rules to follow, but essentially, you can do a little step up to a taller slide under the peak of certain tower’s roofs. If you are interested, ask the sales team about it but, remember, I know nothing about this.
Do animals nest inside the turbo tube?
I have never heard of rodent nests, but you will need to occasionally clear out spider webs occasionally and be vigilant if some passing bees decide to make it their home.
Does the turbo tube stay cooler than the super spiral?
I have never used a heat gun to test this, but I am assuming since the turbo tube is closed, the bottom of the slide is in shadow, that, in general, the turbo tube is cooler on the backside as you go down. However, it is an enclosed slide, so in general, the interior of the slide will be hotter. However, most trips down the slide only take a few seconds, so I feel as if the interior heat doesn’t matter as much as the heat on the backside.
This leads to which is the coolest of the colors. Does gray get hotter than the other colors? In reality, all of those slides heat up about the same. In general, the color difference really doesn’t seem to matter since items in the hot sun will get warm. You can read more here.
Which is faster/better for older kids?
The turbo tube is a faster slide than the super spiral. The turn is less sharp, making kids shoot down faster. This also makes it older kid-friendly as they don’t have to tuck up their legs to go down.
Younger children tend to enjoy the open spiral slide more. They can see mom and dad the whole time. But every child is different, so maybe a test run to a playground with both slides will reveal which one is best for you.
Can adults use the slides?
Yes, adults can use all of our slides. I am about 229 pounds, and all the slides handle my weight though I am pushing the limits on the waterfall slides with its 220 limit.
The super spiral slide and the turbo tube slide are both great slides. If I had to put down a guiding principle, I would say the super spiral really shines for children 2 – 7, while the turbo tube is great for children 4+. Your child may be different, and all those other fine print statements.
Both work great as a water slide in the summertime!
The Speedsters: Tunnel Express and Sidewinder
The tunnel express slide and the sidewinder are the fastest slides we offer. Practically the same slide, the sidewinder has an elbow corner to make the slide versatile in its placement.
Both of these slides are available at the 5’,7’, and 9’ heights. And they are fast!
Last summer, we placed an inflatable pool at the bottom of the slide and a hose at the top. I shot down that thing like a bullet and splashed down into the pool. 5 Stars! I would do that again! If you want to see the video of that, click here.
Children ages 2 to 3 may find this slide a little too much for them, but as they get older, it will become a favorite.
Adults can use this slide, but you will most likely end up on your behind the first time you go down. And again. As I have done. On camera. Click here.
The Ball Pit Blast
The ball pit blast is aptly named since it ends in a ball pit and is a blast!
That there was a dad joke.
You can use this slide on both regular towers and playhouses. There are some rules and measurements we must carefully abide by when designing a custom set with a ball pit blast but if you are interested in it, contact our swing set design team!
The ball pit blast on our public playground is the single most popular feature in the 12+ swing sets. Kids love it!
General Info and Questions
Let’s handle some questions from the audience now.
“Will snow or ice crack my slide?”
With the avalanche, super spiral, and tube slides made here in Lancaster County, you know you are getting a durable slide. They weather well, and as long as they are not damaged, ice and snow will not crack them.
“Does water collect in the bottom of the slides?”
Short answer, yes. The tube slides, avalanche, and super spiral slide all collect water after rain. This is because each of those slides has a safety lip at the end. We do not recommend drilling a drain hole as it will create a rough spot and also create water flow where the manufacturer did not intend.
There are two simple solutions. One, just take a towel and whisk out the water before using the set. Or let nature do its thing and let the oldest sibling trick the youngest into going down first. Either way, the problem is solved.
“I have a slide from an existing swing set that is getting replaced. Can I use it?”
It all depends on the type and condition of the slide. We will ask to see a picture of it and for you to send us the measurements so we can determine if it is compatible. We have done it before, so it is an option.
As always, if you have any questions regarding our swing sets or slides, please reach out to us! We are here to help!