How to Build a Water Slide

By Jeffrey Brian Airman
splashing 04 image by Undy from

You can build a safe and fun water slide down the side of a hill with a few items from the hardware store. Water slides are a classic way to have fun and cool down on a hot summer day. Constructing a homemade water slide is inexpensive and the slide can be rolled up and reused multiple times. Entertain both children and adults with hours of wet backyard fun by building a working water slide.

Measure a 50 feet long by 20 feet wide space down the side of a gently sloping grass-covered hill. Gently tap tent stakes into the ground to mark the boundaries of the zone.

Clear the area between the stakes of all stones, yard debris and anything else that may cause an injury to a slider.

Roll out heavy-duty 6 mm plastic sheeting in the center of the cleared area. This will allow for safe running and stopping areas in the front and the back of the slide. It will also open zones on the sides for when sliders do not make it to the end.

Pull out the boundary stakes and drive them into the plastic sheeting about 1 inch from the edge for every 5 feet of sheeting length on either side. Pound the stakes into the ground until they are flush with the soil and will not scrape misdirected water sliders.

Wet the entire length of the slide with a hose before attaching it to a portable oscillating sprinkler.

Set the sprinkler at least 3 feet away from the slide at a set angle that provides for maximum water coverage. Turn off the oscillating feature so the head stays in the fixed position. Be sure that at least the first 10 feet of the slide are getting constant water if the sprinkler is not capable of full coverage.

Paint the length of the water slide with two narrow stripes of bubble bath before the first slider and again after every seven to 10 slides.

Pull the stakes from the ground while it is still wet when you are ready to pack up the slide. Allow the sheeting to dry in the sun before rolling it up for storage.

About the Author

Jeffrey Brian Airman is a writer, musician and food blogger. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has used his experience to cover food, restaurants, cooking and do-it-yourself projects. Airman also studied nursing at San Diego State University.