Slip-Sliding Away, for 50 Years

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This summer, America’s favorite backyard activity, the Slip ‘n Slide, will celebrate it’s 50th anniversary.

What would summer be without that yellow strip of plastic, needing only the power of a backyard hose?  The hours of pleasure it brings it worth using the amount of water in a day that a small country would use in a year.

One of the earlier, more basic versions of the Slip ‘n Slide.

We have Wham-O to thank for the genius and simple invention that has provided slippery fun for kids all over the world. These are the same guys who brought us the Frisbee and Hoola Hoop in 1958 and the original Super Ball in the early ’60s.

But I digress.

Funny, how it takes about a year of rolling, scooching, and crawling before we can finally stand upright and function in a bipedal world. Then, no sooner have we mastered the skill of walking that we throw away everything we’ve worked for and find joy in purposefully falling down to purposefully slip across a slick surface.

Of course it all comes full circle. The first generation Slip ‘n Slide kids of 1961 are now doing everything in their power to prevent a fall, a slip or a slide.

Slip ‘n Slides may be a half- century old, but they have not lost any of their luster.  Just last week in Jennison, Mich., a community outreach event raising money for a local charity with music, games, face painting and activities, transformed a hilly part of the park into a giant slip n slide, which made the cover of the local newspaper.

Last year students from University of Central Florida covered a massive slide in shaving gel to set the record for most slides on a slip-n-slide – 16,083 to be exact. Just enough to earn their place in the Guinness Book of World Records and edge out previous titleholder Penn State.

More alluring than the Oscars’ red carpet, more celebrated than the crisp white wedding aisle, the yellow plastic  Slip ‘n Slide is very much a part of our popular culture. And although the original is still available, Slip n Slide has matured and evolved over time. There’s the Slip ‘n Slide Wave Rider Double with Slide Boogies, the Slip ‘n Slide Extreme Monster Splash Water Slide, and who wouldn’t love the Slip ‘n Slide 20-Foot Shark Attack Water Slide?

International Creative Management, one of the world’s largest talent agencies, has signed an agreement which will lead to packaging Wham-O’s unique products for movies, television, music and online content in the same vein as it did with Atari.   Imagine virtual Slip N Slide… Nah, sometimes nothing can take the place of the real thing.

Grab your hose, unfurl your Slip ‘n Slide of choice, pick the section of grass you want to kill this summer and join me in a soggy toast, to another 50 years!

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