large water slide and waterfall leading into an inground pool in an upscale backyard

Big Water Slides: Cost, Design, Manufacturers

Designing the most incredible pools can sometimes be a challenge, especially when your client wants something out of the ordinary.  For example, when most people say they want a water slide, they mean something like the Rogue or Helix by Sr Smith. These slides are great, and serve their purpose on the right backyard swimming pool.  However, what if you want something more.  What if you want one of the big water slides? In this article, we’ll explain how to prepare for a water slide and where to buy one.

How To Prepare For Big Water Slides In Your Backyard

The first place to start when considering inground pool slides is the slope of your backyard. If your yard slopes up and away from where you will be installing the pool, you just might have the perfect spot to install a big water slide. When your yard doesn’t slope up, you can always install one anyway, but it will be a tall structure.  Keep in mind in many communities, anything you can see over the top of the fence may need receive approval. Consult your homeowner’s association and your city/town where you live.

One of the most common companies to consider when building big water slides is Dolphin Water Slides. They build custom fiberglass water slides, and can help you order exactly what you need.  

5 Big Water Slides Considerations

Big water slides might seem like a simple structure. Most homeowners aren’t aware of the planning that these fun slides demand. Here are 5 important factors in designing big water slides.

Structural Considerations

1. Safety – Remember you need a clear space where the slide enters the pool.  This should be determined by the manufacturer, and includes depths and distances which need to be open water in front of the slide.  Also, you should make sure you can see the end of the slide from the starting point of the slide if at all possible. This will prevent people from going down the slide if there are people near the slide exit.

2. Slope – You will need to know the run and rise of the slide.  This is the distance the slide will travel and the elevation change between the pool itself and where the slide will start.  This will determine the curves required to make the slide safe, and the footing locations.

Landscape Ideas for Big Water Slides

3. Planting and Boulders – It is a good idea to consider how you will hide the flume in the landscape.  Slides are much nicer than they used to be, but a big fiberglass panel is not always the nicest feature in the landscape and it’s a good idea to consider planting around the slide and incorporating boulders if that’s a part of your landscape design.

Pool Ideas for Big Water Slides

4. Water – What is the flow rate required by the slide?  Some slides need their own dedicated pumps to provide enough water flow for the ideal experience.

5. Color – big water slides almost always have custom color options and this should be a part of your selection process.  You may want to try and match the color of the mulch you will be using in the planting bed, or maybe the color of the boulders you are incorporating into the landscape.  Sometimes it’s fun to use an outlandish color like yellow or red, it’s up to you!

Aerial view of big water slides in luxurious backyard with inground pool, spa and waterfall

How Much Does A Big Water Slide Cost?

Make sure you don’t just factor in not only the cost of the flume. Instead, add in the plumbing, support structure, and hardscape leading to the slide entry point. Additionally, make note of the landscaping surrounding the slide. Big water slides can easily cost $50,000+ depending on your backyard and design.

Where To Buy Custom Big Water Slides

Big water slides can also be sculptural. Though big water slides from Splinter Works often cost into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Although, for the right project they provide a piece of art instead of a piece of fiberglass. It’s worth considering for that special project where you just can’t figure out how to add a slide. Splinter Works is the ultimate in luxury when it comes to water slides.


Whatever you choose to install, whether it’s a simple SR Smith waterslide or a 50’ long Dolphin slide, or a Splinter Works masterpiece, a water slide is the epitome of fun in a swimming pool.  Choosing to put in a slide can be a difficult choice. However, in our opinion, big water slides are a feature worth considering on many backyard swimming pools.