The 10 Best Water Slides

Updated November 10, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

10 Best Water Slides
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We spent 39 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Back in the day, kids would open up the fire hydrants when the weather got hot, so they could play in the spray. But your lucky kids today get to enjoy these awesome water slides that feature climbing walls, fountains, and more. They are guaranteed to keep your kids cool and amused all summer long. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best water slide on Amazon.

10. Intex Rainbow Ring Play Center

The versatile Intex Rainbow Ring Play Center includes an inflatable water slide, a wading pool, and a water sprayer, plus a cool ring toss game to keep your little ones entertained for hours. It's great for birthday parties or just summer days in the backyard.
  • 65-gallon water capacity
  • drain plugs for easy emptying
  • doesn't come with an air pump
Model pending
Weight 16.2 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Banzai Triple Racer

The Banzai Triple Racer is an updated version of the slip-n-slide you played on as a child. It creates instant fun for two children as they race along the 16-foot track, which features water spouts for a constantly slick surface to the finish line.
  • includes 2 inflatable body boards
  • great to use as a party game
  • weak seams can tear apart easily
Brand Banzai
Model pending
Weight 7.3 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

8. Cloud 9 Climb 'n' Slide

The Cloud 9 Climb 'n' Slide is incredibly durable, made out of fire-resistant, puncture-proof, heavy duty 420 denier nylon with a tough PVC bottom to protect against rocks. It features an extra-slippery water slide and two ways to climb to the top.
  • large lagoon area
  • nearly 20 feet in diameter
  • needs more tie-down stakes
Brand Cloud 9
Model pending
Weight 84 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Intex Play Center

The affordable Intex Play Center keeps your kids active during those hot summer days as it's designed to be used in conjunction with your in-ground pool. It has eight sturdy handles for climbing, and an inflatable base that adds stability.
  • misters create a fountain at the top
  • stands up well to sun exposure
  • no warranty to speak of
Brand Intex
Model 58851EP
Weight 41.1 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Blast Zone Great White

The red, white, and blue Blast Zone Great White is ideal for 4th of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day parties where you want to show off your patriotic side. Kids also get a kick out of sliding out of the mouth of the cartoon great white shark.
  • enclosed with safety netting
  • has a fun 5-foot drop
  • lagoon is too small
Brand Blast Zone
Weight 66 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Banzai Splash Blast

The lagoon-style Banzai Splash Blast is ideal for a summer party with friends, as it features an overhead sprinkler that provides constant entertainment. The slide is quite cushiony, allowing kids to jump on it as hard as they want when starting down.
  • fun for young and older kids alike
  • safe 8-inch max water depth
  • takes a long time to dry
Brand Banzai
Model 35076
Weight 45.1 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Little Tikes Slam'n Curve

Parents and kids will both love the Little Tikes Slam'n Curve. It's designed with a challenging rock wall that kids must climb before sliding down into the water, so it's a great way for kiddies to get that extra energy out in a safe environment.
  • fun basketball hoop
  • anchor stakes keep the slide secure
  • hard to keep clean
Brand Little Tikes
Model 632914C
Weight 44.4 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

3. Bounceland Island Water Park

The Bounceland Island Water Park is a kid's dream whether they are 2 or 10 years old. It is constructed of a heavy duty, puncture-proof material that holds up to years of rough play, and it can be inflated in minutes with the included blower.
  • holds a lot of water
  • large carrying bag
  • can be used dry
Brand Bounceland
Model 9036A
Weight 75 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Intex Surf 'N Slide

The Intex Surf 'N Slide is lots of fun without being too scary for younger kids. It comes with two surf riders to hit the slope, but it can also be used without them. It sets up quickly in a matter of minutes and uses any standard garden hose to wet the slide.
  • includes a repair patch
  • has a landing mat for extra padding
  • surprisingly durable construction
Model 57469EP
Weight 31 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Blast Zone Crocodile Isle

The Blast Zone Crocodile Isle is an inflatable water park for kids that includes a climbing wall, two slides, and a wading pool. It comes with a blower for quick inflation and rolls up to about the size of a sleeping bag for storage.
  • lookout platform on the top
  • overhead sprayers on the slides
  • can accommodate six kids at once
Brand Blast Zone
Weight 95 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Summer Nostalgia At Its Best

I can remember it now. A child of the 1990s, going up to the country with my folks to visit extended family. Their large, green backyard with that iconic yellow Slip'N Slide all set up and ready for action. The weather was hot, but as a kid you don't care about such things. You just want to have fun during your summer vacation. As an addition to swimming in a pool, the water slide is an excellent compliment. Does it have to be a super fancy toy? Heck no. So long as you have access to a water hose and a relatively safe place to set it up, you're in good shape.

The trick today is to find a way to convince your kids to take a break from all those computers, smartphones, and video games and just enjoy the water. This could be accomplished at a water park, but why not also give them the joy of their very own water slide right at home?

Traditionally, a water slide is a recreational-style slide designed for warm weather use with a variety of riding styles. Some water park slides require riders to sit directly on the slide itself or on a raft or tube of some type. Large-scale slides that one would typically encounter at water parks feature a pump system that forces water to the top of the slide where it is then allowed to flow freely back down the slide's riding surface. This simulates the speed and excitement associated with the gravity of a descending roller coaster, but in aquatic form. Many water park slides end with a dunk into a large swimming or plunge pool, which safely absorbs the impact when you hit the water. For these types of slides, a lifeguard is usually present.

Compared to large-scale slides, inflatable water slides are geared towards the home consumer market. These slides are found in backyards and at summer pool parties. They are often flat or inflatable. Inflatable slides are available in elaborate, brightly-colored designs. They are made from durable PVC, vinyl, or nylon and leverage either an electric or gas-powered blower to maintain their shape. Their water supplies come from an attachment to an ordinary water hose. Similar to water park slides, inflatable slides can also be set up to dump right into a home-installed swimming pool if you have room.

Fun Takes Shape

Safety is of utmost importance when choosing a slide, regardless of whether you plan to own or rent. After all, you're dealing with water, swimming pools, and young kids here. Take this into account when deciding which type of slide to go with. Many are designed to be as safe as possible, but never leave young children unattended. A parent or responsible guardian should always be present in case of accidents like slips, falls, or other uncertainties.

Because water slides come in so many different shapes and sizes, determining how much room you have on your property is a major consideration. For those with large backyards and easy access to water lines, the sky is the limit. Many inflatable slides offer plenty of width and large wading pools at their bases for accommodating several kids at a time.

Themes for these mini water parks are very personal choices. Some give off that tropical island feel, while others provide multicolored stripe designs that stand out at birthday parties. If your kids are competitive, some water slides are built flat like a racing track and feature multiple built-in sprinklers for sliding across them.

A reliable inflatable blowing motor is also important, since the last thing you want is to have a deflated water park in your backyard.

The Evolution Of Water Slides

One of the first documented water slides was a product of New Zealand as part of the 1906 International Exhibition called the Wonderland Water Chute. The Wonderland area of the exhibition was considered a miniaturized amusement park where different rides and entertainment could be experienced all in one place. Photos from the event showed riders sitting on a wooden chute boat that would run down a track right into Victoria Lake.

In 1923, Minnesota woodworker, designer, and inventor Herbert Sellner, best known for his invention of the Tilt-A-Whirl, developed the Water-Toboggan Slide, which was similar in design to the Wonderland Water Chute. Its riders would sit in a wooden sled that would ride down an incline into a lake where it would shoot across the water up to 100 feet. This invention became one of the most widely-adapted styles of water slide that would later be built in many amusement parks throughout the 20th century. Sellner's invention made it possible for future amusement parks to incorporate his slide design into other existing water features such as pools, lakes, and even the ocean.

George Millay, founder of Sea World in 1964, recognized a great deal of potential for an amusement park based around water slide attractions and opened the first water park called Wet n’ Wild in Orlando, Florida in 1977.

By 1994, water parks moved indoors with the opening of Polynesian Resort Hotel & Suites in Wisconsin Dells, which has one of the largest concentrations of both indoor and outdoor water parks. Since that time, residential water slides (including inflatable slides) have become more commonplace.

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Last updated on November 10, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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