Waterslides aren’t always awesome. Take for instance the “waterslides” I used to play on as a kid: a length of cheap plastic stretched across our gently sloping lawn and a garden hose.

Common hazards included:

  1. Attempting to slide along the plastic when it wasn’t wet enough. This typically involved one of us running as fast as we could in our underwear. We’d then dive headfirst onto the plastic and come screeching to an immediate and painful halt.
  2. Sliding face-first into someone’s used Band-Aid.
  3. Putting the slide too close to the edge of the lawn, resulting in us flying into the thorny raspberry bushes, thistles and sumacs.
  4. Using the slide immediately after the grass had been cut. After two runs down the plastic, you and the slide would be completely covered in clippings. This usually meant having to get hosed down by Mom before being allowed back in the house.
  5. Using the slide during a dry spell. A thin sheet of plastic offers little in the way of protection against whatever’s beneath it. And when the ground is rock-hard, rutted and knobbly, prepare to have your genitalia punished.

So understandably, when my friends suggested we go to a a giant waterslide in Costa Rica, I was a bit reluctant. But in January 2011, during a vacation in the Guanacaste Region, we did just that.

I’m glad we did.

The 400-metre waterslide through the jungles of Costa Rica is well-deserving of a Blue Marble Badge. It’s blindingly fast, wild and a refreshing break from the Costa Rican heat. And, best of all, I didn’t see one used Band-Aid on the entire chute. At times you feel like you’re going to lose control. Other times you wonder if howler monkeys are going to fling poop at you. Most of the time though you’re just having too much fun to care.

If you find yourself in Costa Rica and are looking for something a bit different, be sure to check it out. Here’s a video of the slide I found that gives you a good sense of its awesomeness.


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