What’s better than having your own swimming pool? Having your own swimming pool with a slide. A slide turns a standard above ground pool into miniature backyard water park.
That said, the decision to get an above ground pool slide is far from a no-brainer. Neither is finding the right slide for your pool. Before plunking down your money, you need to be aware of issues related to safety, compatibility, and of course, cost.
Here are some of the major points to consider about above ground pool slides, along with a look at some of the best options on the market.
Slides for above ground pools are generally the same ones used for inground pools. That means your pool needs to be connected to a deck that’s level with the edge of the pool. It’s also essential to make sure the pool slide you’re considering can actually be mounted on the type of deck you have (not a given for all slides). Finally, think about the fact that a pool slide stands tall and takes up a lot of space – perhaps more than you want to give up on your deck.
If you’re getting the slide for the kids, why not get a smaller one like this? It takes up far less space on your pool deck, and is safer to boot.
Safety and Permits
Simply put, pool slides are a hazard. It’s possible (if not likely) that the building code in your area requires you to get a permit to install one. There may also be implications for your homeowner’s insurance. In the end, it’s up to you to decide whether a slide is worth the extra risk and potential hassles that come with it.
Even though it might be more expensive, you probably want a slide with a water hookup option that keeps the surface wet while in use. Just imagine trying to slide down a dry slide. In your swimsuit. On a hot summer day. Suffice it to say, your slide will probably get more use with a water hookup.
This slide features a water delivery system to keep the slide comfortably wet when in use. Just attach an ordinary garden hose.
The main safety risk of a pool slide is an injury from slamming into the pool floor. To minimize that danger, the slide should dump people into water that’s deep enough to stop their momentum before they hit bottom. The angle of the pool slide also matters, with lower angles being safer. The CSPC long ago issued safety guidelines for the manufacture of pool slides, which can be useful for understanding the risks.
Inflatable Above Ground Pool Slides
One thing you’ll notice right away when shopping for pool slides: they’re pricey. One cheap alternative is an inflatable pool slide. A blowup slide is really only an option for kids, and like other inflatables, there’s no telling how long it will last. But if you’re content with a temporary option, getting an inflatable pool slide will definitely save you money.
An inflatable pool slide is the most affordable option. Another advantage is that you can store it away when it’s not in use.
The installation process for an above ground pool slide varies from model to model. However, for any permanent slide, you can generally expect a some heavy lifting and a fair amount of work to get the slide safely anchored to the deck. For most slides, an amateur should be able to handle installation with the aid of a helper or two.
Obviously, a pool slide isn’t for everyone. However, it’s an especially appealing option if you have kids (provided, of course, that you’re willing to supervise them while they use the slide). The slides featured in this article are all for sale at Amazon.com, but you can also find models on eBay and many other online retailers.