The Best Pool Slides in 2021
Inground swimming pool slides: costs, types and safety
By Allen Hayward
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When you think of fun outdoor activities, you may think about playgrounds and swimming pools. But have you ever thought about bringing the playground to a swimming pool? You can create some great experiences right at home if you do. It’ll be like having a water park in your backyard that your family and friends can enjoy themselves.
A pool slide can add a great deal of excitement to the experience of using your swimming pool. It is the perfect addition for any inground pool. Just make sure you get a high-quality slide which fits wonderfully in your own particular backyard, pool, and deck.
Is it legal to own and install a pool slide in my backyard?
It all depends on your local ordinances and whether you have a homeowners’ association that is against it or not. Sometimes a state or city may allow you to have a pool slide if the swimming pool area has a fence around it. Then you may have a homeowners’ association which specifies the maximum height that your pool slide is allowed to be (assuming they allow you to have a slide at all).
Therefore, you need to research the rules regarding pool slides of your state government, local government, and homeowners’ association. They may have regulations for public pools only, but you need to make sure anyway before spending your own money.
The local government rules that you should pay attention to the most are your county and city rules. These are usually the rules that are more specific than the regulations of your state.
Swimming Pool Slide CPSC Compliance
The Consumer Protection Safety Commission, or CPSC, is a government agency which makes safety guidelines for the average products that consumers use daily. The agency was established to protect consumers and ensure their safety. If a certain pool slide model is CPSC compliant, then it satisfies the guidelines of the government.
For example, if a pool slide is 7.5 feet or more in height, then a slip-resistant platform is required which is a minimum of 1 foot wide. This platform needs to be between the slide and ladder. If it satisfies these requirements, then the pool slide is CPSC compliant. If there are steeper ladders on the slides, then handrails may be required to give swimmers more protection and stabilization.
If a pool slide is CPSC compliant, then it is a pretty good indication that it’s a high-quality slide which is safe for your family and friends to use. The last thing you’d want is for anyone to suffer an injury and ruin their fun during the summer. So, it is important that you check to make sure that your pool slide is CPSC compliant.
In-ground Pool Slide Types
Every swimming pool should have a slide. It helps create wonderful memories with the ones you love. And the best part is that you don’t even need to go far to do it. Having a pool slide in your backyard is the best thing ever. All you need to remember is to pick the best slide for your pool. We’ll help you out with that now.
Straight Leg Slide
The Straight Leg Slide has a curved bottom and straight top. There is an open stairway and closed stairway as well. This adds more spaciousness to the slide, allowing a big family to have a lot of fun with it.
The stairs included with the slide really work as a ladder. You can adjust the height between 8 and 12 feet. You can use the straight leg slide with a smaller pool just fine.
Molded Slide Leg
This slide is usually designed to be steeper as well as wavier. In other words, there is a curve on the right or left side of the slide just as it gets closer to the pool. This makes splashing a lot of fun. The stairway size is your choice too.
You’ll find most versions of the Molded Slide Leg to be 8 feet in height. You don’t need to worry about children climbing the stairway unmonitored because the stairway is closed.
Elephant Leg Slide
The Elephant Leg Slide is quite unique, thanks to its design. You can choose between the G-force pattern model or the stream design model. Each model can give you the most poolside fun possible. If you want a curvy design, then go with the G-force model. It’ll remind you of the curves found in a pasta noodle or DNA strand. The height is roughly 9 feet.
Alternatively, if you go with the stream model, the top has a very steep drop to it. It is a big slide which is about 14 feet in height.
The Guide to Purchasing the Top Water Slides
There are so many swimming pool slides to choose from. You can sort through the various slides that are available by focusing on a couple of key details about them. Then you can narrow down your choices considerably.
The amount of space that you have in your pool area will determine the footprint you should get. The curves of these slides can consume a lot of space, so you need to make sure you have enough room around your pool to accommodate it. Take measurements and compare them to other slides’ measurements.
Some pool slide manufacturers provide an entire schematic which states the length and width that you need for the surface. And to ensure people can climb the slide easily, you need to look at the space behind the slide because the sliders need room too.
Material / Surface
What material is the slide made from? This is important because you’ll want a very durable material which can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Most slides should last for years, though.
The best materials are either fiberglass gel coat or molded polyethylene plastic. Not only do they offer a durable surface, but they also offer no friction too. In addition, the UV rays of the sun won’t cause any fading to these materials for at least a few decades. They’re even resistant to chemicals and rust.
You need to choose the right location for the pool slide. Most manufacturers recommend that you place the slide on the side of the pool where the water depth is between 44 and 48 inches. If you have a stepper unit, then additional depth is needed.
Therefore, the slide should never be installed on the shallow end of the pool. Otherwise, the sliders will hit the pool’s surface after they go down the slide. But don’t put the slide on the deepest end either because that can be a safety concern. If it’s between 44 and 48 inches, that’s deep enough to where the average adult person can stand comfortably. That is fine for a slide.
Besides, pool slide manufacturers are required to implement safety measures which are dictated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
A good curvy slide has several twists and curves which throw you around from one side to the other, and back again. The more curves, the more excitement. There are even slides on the market now which twist 360 degrees.
All those dips, twists, and curves will take up room in your pool area. You need to make sure that you have the space available to fit a slide like this. They’ll also cost more money too, so that is another factor for your consideration. If you want a 360-degree slide, think about your children and whether they’ll want that.
You don’t need to choose a boring solid blue colored slide. There are so many color choices available now for slides. Consider the overall appearance and décor of your backyard and choose a color which matches it the best.
Some people like white slides because it contrasts with the pool color. Also, white slides don’t get as hot in the summer as darker slides. Brown and grey are two other popular color choices because they’re earthy and match the colors of your yard.
You’ll probably want a slide that is easy to install yourself. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay extra money to hire a professional installer. This may be necessary if the slide is huge and complex, so only install a slide yourself that you know you can handle. The manufacturer usually recommends who should install it.
No matter which choice you make, you’ll likely need to perform some drilling for the installation.
The size is another important consideration to make when shopping for a slide. If your entire family will be using the slide, then you need a big slide which can accommodate more people. Big slides can handle extra weight and can help you increase your speed before you hit the water.
However, if the slide is only for small children, then you should go with a small to medium size slide. In fact, you may even want to choose an inflatable slide. That is the safest for little kids.
The slides mentioned in this article are for adults. That is why the weight capacity of your slide should be at least 200 pounds.
A pool slide generally has running water flowing down its flume. By having a wet surface, it helps people slide down faster and not get stuck. For this reason, you need a water hookup for the slide to keep the water running on the flume.
If you want to take the cheap route, you can just use a garden hose to create the flow of running water. It should work just the same.
The safety of the pool slide is the most important thing to consider. There are several safety features available for pool slides nowadays. They’re heavily regulated by the CPSC too.
Just make sure your pool slide is approved by the CPSC. This will prove that your slide has undergone several safety tests and is proven to be safe for use. Additional safety features to look for are the wide treads on the ladder and the huge secure handrails.
Most people think about the cost when they purchase a pool slide. The price ranges vary between the different slides available. For an adult-sized pool slide, you’ll be looking to spend at least $2,000. But if you choose a bigger unit which is 360 degrees or complicated in other ways, you may be spending a lot more money.
Top Pool Slide
Here are reviews of the best pool slides available.
- S.R. Smith Pool Slide Cyclone Right Curve 698-209-58124
Why we chose it
The S.R. Smith Pool Slide 698-209-58124 is a great slide which children enjoy immensely. It has a lot of the same great features as the S.R. Smith Turbo Twister slide. The difference is the 698-209-58124 is slightly shorter because it is 4’1” tall. There are several safety features that come with this slide, including handrail molds, small visible metals, and a ladder.
The slide can accommodate pools with chlorine and saltwater. It won’t get corroded from these elements. A garden hose can be connected to supply the water flow. The slide curves to the right and the only available color for it is gray granite.
Anyone who weighs 175 pounds or less should have no issues using this slide. It satisfies the safety standards of the CPSC too. If you have an inground swimming pool, then you’ll want to have this slide. To ensure you’ll be satisfied, the manufacturer offers a 3-year warranty against any defects which may exist. If you’re on a tight budget and have a small deck available, then you’ll like this slide even more.
The slide has a 7-foot long flume, which should be okay for regular swimming pools. An installation manual is included to help you along with the installation process and make it easier. You shouldn’t find the assembly that hard at all. You just mount the slide on your deck. No anchors are needed.
The slide has a rotomold design to make it last longer. You should get several years out of it.
- S.R. Smith 670-209-58123 Typhoon Right Curve Pool Slide
Why we chose it
Do you want a water park thrill in your backyard? If so, then the S.R. Smith 688-209-58123 is the perfect addition for your swimming pool. The slide is only 8 feet in height, which provides a fun runway with a lot of water volume for children and adults to ride and enjoy. You can choose between designer colors like sandstone and gray granite to go with the décor of your backyard. You can even choose whether you want a left curve slide or right curve slide, depending on the space you have for your deck.
As for the water system, you can have water delivered through a plumb return line or garden hose. Either one will provide enough water volume to create a fast slide and a huge splash. Don’t worry about the safety of the slide because it comes with handrails, a ladder, and a steep flume. The entire construction is a durable rotomolded design. This gives it the strength needed to last a long time.
There are few metal areas exposed on the slide. This makes it great to use with swimming pools that have chlorine or saltwater. What’s even more impressive is that it can handle people who are as heavy as 275 pounds. And in case you’re worried about the safety, this slide satisfies the safety standards of the CPSC. The manufacturer recommends using this slide with inground pools.
If there is a defect in the slide, you’ll have a 3-year warranty with your purchase which covers it. Assembly and installation won’t take much time at all. An installation guide is included to assist you.
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Pool Slide
Measure the Space Needed
Don’t purchase a pool slide unless you know it will fit next to your swimming pool. In other words, you’ll need to do some algebra to figure out if you have enough space or not.
Is Your Pool Deck Suitable for It?
If you have a long slide, then you need a longer edge in at least one area of your pool. Corkscrew slides or curved slides are different, though, because they take up a lot more space due to their unusual shape.
To ensure its stability, every slide requires a concrete deck underneath it. This means a huge slide won’t work if you have a small deck. Fortunately, you can just see what the slide’s manufacturer recommends for the space needed. You may need 5’x5’ of space to make a square or 15’x13’ of space to make a rectangle. Therefore, check the requirements for the deck.
If you don’t want a new extension added to your existing deck, then you need to make sure the slide you choose accommodates this deck.
There are no standards when it comes to the type of slide you should get. There are corkscrew slides, straight slides, and curved slides. They’re all great slides, but the one you choose depends on the amount of space you have available. As for the slide’s height, it is not really that important.
Do You Have Enough Pool Depth?
The depth of your pool is important to consider when choosing a slide. There may be state regulations which require public facilities and homeowners to have a certain depth in their pool water before they can install a slide. Basically, taller slides require deeper water.
To remain safe, the slide should be installed next to an area of the water that is at least 3 to 4 feet in depth. This is where the flume (mouth of the slide) should point toward. If the manufacturer has specific requirements for the depth, then obey those requirements. If your pool doesn’t have this depth, then find another slide.
The Materials of a Slide
Budget-minded people should purchase a used pool slide. Be prepared for the durability to be lacking in these older slides. For safety sake, it may be better to purchase a newer slide. Even though you’re spending more upfront, you’re less likely to get injured or be forced to make repairs.
You’ll want your slide to be made from either Polyethylene or Fiberglass.
The average slide is made from polyethylene, also known as “plastic.” But this is a durable plastic used to make so many items that we come across every day, such as grocery bags and even bulletproof vests. It is highly resistant to chemicals and water too. If UV rays are shining down on the slide, the color won’t fade.
Fiberglass is also a type of plastic too, but it is reinforced plastic which contains glass fibers for extra durability and corrosion resistance. Don’t worry about the glass fibers because they’re not hazardous. They’re durable and don’t require any maintenance.
Pool Slide Maintenance
Remember to always maintain your pool slide to sustain its longevity.
Cleaner is Better
A dirty slide is nasty for anyone to slide down. If you have outdoor elements like bugs, leaves, and twigs on the flume, then it can make the sliding experience both bumpy and dangerous. To prevent this, use a soft brush to push off this debris from the flume. Rinse the flume with a non-abrasive cleaner and a soft cloth or sponge.
As soon as you see a crack, you need to seal it before it gets bigger. Use an epoxy repair kit to do this.
Plumbing for Slides
There is a reason why slides need to be wet. If you try sliding down one when it is dry, you’ll experience some uncomfortable friction burns. You may also get stuck on the slide and not even make it down into the water.
You need a wet flume to successfully slide into the water. But how do you make it wet all the time? The only choices are to install a water line hookup to the slide or just use a simple garden hose.
Using a garden hose for the water delivery doesn’t mean lying a running hose on the slide and letting the water flow down from the top. Instead, you can use a spray kit to connect the hose to the slide. There are small nozzles used to spray the water from the hose onto the slide.
Don’t think of this as the quick way to bring water to your slide because you’ll need to perform more maintenance work to make this happen. Plus, there are risks to using a hose on your slide regularly like this.
The immediate concern is that the hose will cause the pool to overflow. Basically, you need to limit how many times you go down the slide so that the pool doesn’t get too much water added to it from the hose. You may have to drain some pool water if too much got in there. Expect a much bigger water bill.
Even if you do the work of removing water and adding water to your pool, think about the chemicals of your pool water. If you’re taking out chlorine or saltwater and replacing it with regular tap water, then your pool will not be as clean. It may even cause bacteria or algae to form. Not only that, but the calcium and metal levels of your water may increase too. A hose filter may help somewhat with this, but you’ll still need to spend more money on chemicals to balance the water again. It isn’t worth it.
Overall, it is a waste of time and money to use a hose. If you’re going to have a whole afternoon of sliding fun in the pool, then your hose will be running for hours. Think about how many gallons of water will be going into your pool. That is a lot of draining work and a lot more money added to your water bill for the month. It isn’t good for the environment either.
Water Line Hookup
A water line hookup basically takes water from your pool and runs it down the flume of the slide. By recycling the same water between the slide and pool, you are reducing your water bill, maintenance work, and chemical expenses. There won’t be any overflowing pool water or chemical imbalances to deal with.
Most slides come with the necessary parts to connect a water line to your slide. It may take more upfront work, but it is worth it in the long run. If you’re not handy like this, then hire a professional to do it for you.
Closing the Slide
If you’re installing a water line for your pool slide, then you must consider the way you close your pool after the summer ends. In addition to closing your pool, you must close your slide too. Because of this, the plumbing of the water line must be drained and stored somewhere safe before the cold temperatures come and damage it with ice formations.
If you’re just using a garden hose, then it is very simple to close your slide. Just make sure the flume is dry so that debris and bugs cannot build on it. Try inspecting the slide weekly and continue clearing the debris from the flume. If you do this, the slide should be perfectly usable next summer.
If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, then you can try installing the slide yourself. Read the installation instructions which come with the slide to see if you understand them. You must have the proper tools necessary for the job prior to selecting a slide.
If you go to the websites of these slide manufacturers, they should have downloadable installation instruction manuals on them. If you can’t find the websites, do a Google search for the manuals.
Of course, you can always hire a professional installer in your area if you’re not a handy person. But you might want to have a contractor lined up ahead of time before you purchase your slide. That way, you know they’ll be able to install it for you after the purchase is made.
The Number One Pool Slide Recommendation
Out of all the slides listed, the S.R. Smith 698-209-58124 Cyclone Right Curve Pool Slide is our personal recommendation. It’s got the best design and safety features, such as handrails that are molded in, few exposed metal areas, and a ladder. The slide can handle a 175-pound person, which could be both adults and children. Most importantly, it complies with the safety standards of the CPSC. A garden hose can connect to it too.
Pool Slide Safety Tips
Remember that as your slide gets higher, your pool needs to be deeper. Check the CPSC safety regulations for more specifics on this. You can also investigate the local safety codes of your area where pool slides are concerned.
Here are some safety tips to remember:
All ladders, ramps, stairs, and slide steps need to have treads rather than rungs. This is definitely true if the slope is over 15 degrees.
You should have slip resistant slide steps. They must meet the right performance requirements and have the right dimensions and tread curvature. You can review your local county and state guidelines to see if you do.
The smallest acceptable dimensions apply to ladder platforms which have handrails and a nonslip climbing surface.
The slide ladder’s angle should balance the center of gravity for the user as they take each step up the ladder.
You need durable fasteners that don’t crack or break.
The weight capacity for the slide needs to be a minimum of 200 pounds.
The handrails must be in a certain position and have the right safety design, length, and height.
You need wet pool slides to create a joyful sliding experience.
Maintain your pool slide by making sure nothing is loose.
Inspect the water supply line for leaks.
Understand your local laws and state laws surrounding pool slides. Find out the depth of your pool water and the size of your deck. Once you’ve done all this, you can search for a suitable slide to purchase. As you search, look at the recommendations of the manufacturer about the depth and space needed. If everything matches up, then you can go ahead and make your purchase.
The last step is to install the slide and keep its flume wet. Use the information in this guide to give you some ideas on that.