by Esther Suson
If your family wants a 500-foot waterslide experience but would rather not wander out of Metro Manila to do it, the Ultraslide PH is perfect.
On 23 May 2015, from 10am to 2pm (for the Family Wave), the Ultraslide was set up along Upper McKinley Road. It used the natural slope in front of One World Placeas the base for an inflatable waterslide. Marshalls up and down the waterslide ensured safety (and sometimes, movement).
Using the Ultraslide (I was fairly addicted and took five turns) was enjoyably close to entering a racing-course video game: flat on your stomach on a swim ring with unpredictable turns and some obstacles (including other slide-users and sometimes the marshalls). The best way to start for maximum speed is to take a couple of running steps forward, and then throw yourself belly down on the inflated swim ring, so that the momentum throws you forward. Then stretch your arms forward – yes, like Superman flying – flatten yourself for streamlining, and let the water and gravity shoot you downhill.
The most fun of it are the turns and corners. If it was a video game, you’d either be toggling the joystick or pressing le-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-eft, but since in this case you’re in it, it’s either your body weight that you throw around, or your toes that you use to push, or your arms slapping the slide walls. All in all, the ride is an adrenaline rush and a half.
There were a few snags at the start, though. First off, the slope of Upper McKinley is not quite steep enough for a steady slide without a running start, and kids start sitting because they might fall through the hole of the swim ring if they try to belly flop. This means that the marshalls had to do a whole lot of pushing (poor boys), and faster riders sometimes hit those who got stuck on the course (for example, my sister still sulks at me – she was the slower rider, *ahem-cough-ahem*).
Also, because there was no shade for the line, we ended up joking that the ambulance wasn’t needed for those who got hurt on the slide – they’d end up using it for heatstroke victims!
Otherwise, it was brilliantly situated, right across the street from a number of restaurants including Pancake House, Yellow Cab, and ArmyNavy, to name a few. Families could drift there for food and then head right back to the slide if they wanted to.
Potentially, the Ultraslide could be epically fun. First, if people are aware of when it would next show up, they could plan for waterslide fun with their friends, and not need to head anywhere out of the city to do it. Second, because of the Family Wave (it doesn’t include the afterparty or drinking), whole families could go out to it for an outing. And finally, waterslides in and of themselves are fun. With the bit of tweaking needed, it would be just perfect.