How to select the perfect commercial playground slide

The secret to selecting the ideal playground slide for your project.

As landscape architects, one of the most exhilarating elements to incorporate into a playground design is undoubtedly the slide – or multiples thereof! The popularity of slippery slides in playgrounds can be attributed to their universal appeal, developmental benefits, social interaction opportunities, inclusivity, compact design and low maintenance requirements. As a result, they have become a staple feature in playground design, providing endless hours of fun and enjoyment for children around the world.

When selecting a playground slide, there are several design considerations to keep in mind to ensure it aligns with the overall aesthetic and functionality of the space.

1. Slide type

Consider the different types of slides available, including straight slides, spiral slides, tube slides and wave slides, as well as double slides. Each type offers a unique experience, catering to different age groups and play preferences.

  • Sweeping Tube Slide: A curved slide that provides an exhilarating ride with sweeping twists and turns.
  • Spiral Tube Slide: A slide featuring a spiral design, offering a dynamic and twisting descent for adventurous children.
  • Straight Tube Slide: A classic slide design with a straight tube, providing a fast and exhilarating ride from top to bottom.
  • Single Slide: A traditional slide structure featuring a single chute, perfect for individual play and smaller playgrounds.
  • Double Slide: A slide equipped with two side-by-side chutes, encouraging friendly competition and social interaction among children.

Choose a slide type that complements the theme and layout of the playground while providing diverse play opportunities.

2. Material selection

Slides are available in a variety of materials, including plastic, metal and stainless steel. Playground slides should be manufactured using durable, weather-resistant materials that withstand exposure to harsh Australian conditions, including UV radiation, heat and moisture. Materials should be non-toxic, lead-free, and resistant to corrosion and degradation over time.

As an Australian manufacturer, we play close consideration to weather and sun resistance in our slide designs, using a high-grade plastic that withstands heavy use and exposure to the elements. It also allows us to customise colours, contributing to the overall aesthetic.

3. Height and gradient

The height and gradient of the slide are critical considerations that impact both safety and play experience. Ensure that the slide’s height and gradient adhere to safety standards and provide a thrilling yet manageable descent for children. Consider incorporating multiple slide heights to accommodate different age groups and skill levels.

4. Integration with surrounding play elements

Integrate the slide seamlessly into the overall playground design, considering factors such as placement, orientation and surrounding play elements. Ensure that the slide’s location allows for safe entry and exit and provides adequate space for children to gather and play.

5. Installation requirements

Once you’ve selected the perfect playground slide for your project, ensure proper installation and maintenance to maximise its longevity and safety. Work with experienced contractors familiar with playground equipment installation to ensure that the slide is installed correctly and securely. Develop a maintenance plan that includes regular inspections, cleaning and repairs to address any wear and tear and ensure continued safety and functionality.

6. Slides, safety and compliance

Safety and compliance considerations for playground slides are governed by a set of standards and regulations, including AS 4685.3 “Specific safety requirements and test methods for slides”. These standards outline specifications for design, construction, installation and maintenance of playground equipment to ensure safety and durability. Compliance is essential.

Our design experts are on hand to assist with playground safety standards, ensuring your designs are compliant. This includes specifying maximum fall heights, the use of soft fall materials and ensuring that slide openings, gaps, and protrusions are within specified limits to prevent entrapment of limbs or clothing. Handrails and guardrails must also be securely installed and meet height requirements to provide support and prevent falls.

Selecting the perfect playground slide requires careful consideration of safety standards, design options, and integration with the surrounding environment. By prioritising safety, considering slide design features, and ensuring proper installation and maintenance, landscape architects can create dynamic and engaging play spaces that captivate children’s imaginations and foster healthy development.

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