Slides: From Work to Water Fun — A Magnificent Evolutionary History
By Communications Department
Our slides are, today, one of our most popular attractions amongst children — they are that necessary piece that all kids’ parks must have that we all throw ourselves onto when we are very small, with or without fear. Slides are familiar to all and, with their evolution, they have become an important attraction because of their large sizes and the ability that some of them have to release adrenaline. Nevertheless, the fun we get from a slide in a street square is the same as the fun that we get from a slide in a water park like Aqualandia — it has an origin and an evolution that, surely, will surprise you.
To work and not to play — that is how the slide began. In their origins, the constructions that we now know as slides were created to help with construction work at places like aqueducts. Ancient people like the Egyptians or, above all, the Romans, who were great builders, were those who came up with the idea of the ramp that we now know as the slide.
Ancient slides, built in stone or wood, were for workers who worked on tall buildings to be able to move about. Builders moved from their workplace at the highest part of the aqueduct to the lower area down a ramp — that is to say, down a slide. It was a fast, simple way to move about. Likewise, these slides were used to transport water from one place to another. This task would be, in part, the start of the slide in water parks.
Many centuries passed from the time of these ancient slides to the leisure slides that we know today. It was an American inventor who saw sliding down a ramp with water as a new opportunity. Herbert Selner was the inventor of the slide as we know it today. He called it Water-Toboggan-Slide, and he installed it in the city of Minnesota near a lake. Thus, this wood construction that people got on with a type of sleigh to be able to slide down and come out in a lake was the start of the slide as a way of having fun.
The evolution of this tradition has been great and, currently, slides are built in different materials such as metal or plastic. Their shape has also varied — we can find open or closed slides, straight or curved slides, or slides with one or several slopes.
Children usually play on open models built with plastics or other polymers that flow into an earth or sand park. We see them everywhere, even is private houses. And there are also traditional slides in pools or on sea platforms, which we can also see quite often.
But the most incredible evolution and that which has made slides become an unbeatable attraction for adrenaline lovers is their use in water parks, like in Aqualandia. The simple mechanism of the slide, along with ingenuity, technology, and safety have resulted in hours and hours of fun and released adrenaline for lovers of speed, water, and fun.
Long slides, comfortable slides, slides that make you reach great speeds on pieces of equipment that you lie down on, like the popular Smooth Slides. Infinite curves at great heights (or heights which are not so great), like our Zig-Zag and the Mini Zig-Zag for the little ones. Slides which start out very high, closed and open slides, slides with great slopes or different degrees of slope on the same path. Slides in blue, green, white, red, or yellow — these are our Splash and Big-Bang. And for the most daring, the star of all Aqualandia’s slides, not meant for those who can’t bear heights… Verti–Go, the highest slide in Europe, which measures 33 meters high and reaches a fall speed of more than 100 km/h. This is an adventure that is quite distant from those old slides that transported water to different places — a unique experience that, in just a few months, you will once again be able to enjoy at Aqualandia.