Belle Isle slide reopening halted after children are sent airborne, prompting concerns

·2 min read
Healthy Kids, Inc. employees help people get on the giant slide entrance at Belle Isle Park in Detroit on Aug. 19, 2022.
Healthy Kids, Inc. employees help people get on the giant slide entrance at Belle Isle Park in Detroit on Aug. 19, 2022.

The grand reopening of the Belle Isle slide was a zany sight, as riders soared into the air. The culprit: the slide was freshly waxed, according to staff members.

The giant ride was reopened on Friday after closing due to COVID-19. Children excitedly flooded the gates, until seeing others ride down.

Slide goers flew into the air and slammed back down onto the metal. Children limped after getting off at the bottom. A crowd gathered to watch the mayhem.

One grandmother, Barb Malcomb, brought her two grandkids to the slide. Malcomb used to take her kids to visit the slide about 20 years ago.

"We had a ball," Malcomb said.

She brought her next generation when hearing of the reopening on the news. After seeing others ride down, though, she decided it would be safest to leave without letting her grandkids ride.

People climb the stairs of the giant slide at Belle Isle Park in Detroit on Aug. 19, 2022.
People climb the stairs of the giant slide at Belle Isle Park in Detroit on Aug. 19, 2022.

Few riders were able to nail down the proper technique to keep from going airborne.

The best method is to lean forward with your arms firmly planted next to you on the bag, according to Department of Natural Resources Ranger Todd Schultz. This keeps your body sturdy in place and prevents you from going up into the air.

One rider crossed her arms across her chest and leaned forward, successfully conquering the massive ride.

One adult rider, Jeremy Pitcher, thought it was simply too fast with too many bumps.

Danai Aarons, 27, smiles as she gets to the bottom of the giant slide at Belle Isle Park in Detroit on Aug. 19, 2022.
Danai Aarons, 27, smiles as she gets to the bottom of the giant slide at Belle Isle Park in Detroit on Aug. 19, 2022.

"I'm going to be feeling this for a while," said Pitcher.

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Later that day, Belle Isle announced the slide was temporarily closed due to the speed.

Despite the freshly waxed, wild ride, laughs floated amongst riders and observers, as a historical site of fun had returned that morning.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Belle Isle slide reopening raises concern for riders