At Americover, we may supply specialty plastic sheeting to builders, growers, and homeowners for professional use, but we are constantly discovering new applications for our versatile products. And as it happens, industrial-strength polyethylene makes for an epic slip ‘n slide.
Store-bought slip and slides are usually made of plastics that tear easily and are often too short to support the level of propulsion this summertime staple warrants — but it’s not just about the material. Here are five pro tips for constructing an awesome DIY slip ‘n slide that you can use for summers to come.
1. Choose the Right Terrain
While it’s probably no secret you’ll want to choose a soft terrain for your slip ‘n slide shenanigans, scoping out a spot on a slight incline and with either grass or beach sand underneath will ensure your material is built to propel — and last.
Pro tip: Wherever you decide to build your slip ‘n slide, make sure there is a safe landing at the end. The force with which your participants will be propelling themselves makes concrete driveways, sidewalks, and patios extremely dangerous.
Related: DIY Slip ‘n Slide in 5 Easy Steps
2. Don’t Skimp on Plastic Sheeting
While we highly recommend building your own homemade slip-and-slide, it is important to note that not all plastic sheeting is created equal. Americover’s polyethylene sheeting solutions are built to withstand a variety of industrial applications, from pond lining to crawl space encapsulation, which means they’re not just for your run-of-the-mill backyard picnic. They’re equipped to handle up to hundreds of campers or college students and can be reused for years to come.
Pro tip: Avoid purchasing black sheeting, as it will attract and absorb heat from the sun and could make for a painful ride. Our top-selling slip ‘n slide liners are the yellow and blue vapor barrier retarders. If you purchase a string-reinforced liner, it is best to stick with a single panel without seams like the 6’ wide sizes.
Pro tip: When purchasing heavy-duty plastic sheeting, choose one without seams to avoid injury. Americover has several single-panel slip ‘n slide liners that can help protect you and your participants from small protruding rocks or sticks. These liners are also built to withstand the heavy wear and tear this popular attraction is sure to incur.
3. Stay on Course with Pool Noodles
Once you’ve purchased the right plastic sheeting, you’ll want to pick up enough foam pool noodles to line each side of your slip ‘n slide. Pool noodles act as bumpers, ensuring you and your fellow sliders are able to stay on course and off the grass. Simply place the pool noodles lengthwise a few inches from the edge of each side of the plastic, then roll the plastic over the noodles, securing them with Velcro, anchor pins, or if all else fails, duct tape. The result should be something akin to a giant airplane escape slide.
Pro tip: Using Velcro instead of tape to secure pool noodles will allow you to easily remove them when you’re done so that you can simply roll up the slip ‘n slide and store it until the next hot day.
4. Keep the Water Flowing
Ensuring there is enough water on the slide at all times is essential to getting ample acceleration and avoiding friction burns. Having a main water source at the top that runs to the bottom as well as sprinkles of water along the way makes for a slippery, cool, and fun slide.
Pro tip: Have leaky old hoses in the storage shed? Drill holes in them, then line the edges of the slip ‘n slide for a continuous water source all the way down. This technique can also be used to create the ultimate soaker hose — just make sure you have proper drainage to avoid turning your backyard into a mud pit.
5. Putting the ‘Slip’ in Slip ‘n Slide
Arguably the most important component of an epic slip ‘n slide is the lubrication that makes the slipping and sliding possible! Many people use dish soap for more viscosity, but getting soap in your eyes can bring the fun to an end pretty quickly.
Pro tip: Use tear-free baby soap to lubricate your slip ‘n slide, especially when kids are participating in the fun.
By using Americover’s high-quality plastic sheeting and a few of your own recycled materials, you can create a long-lasting DIY slip-and-slide without breaking the bank. Shop our inventory of slip ‘n slide liners to get started!
As mentioned above, there are several top products we recommend for your slip n’ slide projects.
Pro Crawl Barrier
We recommend the Pro Crawl Barrier for these applications. This plastic sheeting is a 10 mil Class 1 Vapor Barrier designed with low permeability and excellent tensile strength. This is available in a 10′ x 100′ roll.
Vapor Barrier Retarder
For larger rolls with lengths longer than 100′, we recommend yellow or blue vapor barriers. These are composed of polyolefin resins offering puncture resistance.
Trusted by Growers, Builders, and Distributors
Americover is the smart source for polyethylene and plastic sheeting. Trusted by contractors and distributors across the construction and agriculture industries, our American-made products combine reliability with quality and innovation. We protect and enhance projects from the ground up with reliable solutions, responsiveness, and quick turnarounds.
As an Americover customer, you will receive the personalized support of a dedicated account manager to simplify the ordering process and ensure the best solution for every one of your projects. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is here to answer your questions and fulfill orders Monday-Friday from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. If you would like to speak with a representative, call us at 760-388-6294 or contact us.
Disclaimer: Americover Inc. hereby claims no responsibility or liability for personal injuries or damages that may occur during the use of this product in this application.