You know when you think nothing of doing some fun thing, and then ascend to the top of the tall tower, look down and realise that you’ve paid for and committed to riding a slide all the way down to the ground again? That. The phrase ‘bitten off more than I [want to] chew’ springs to mind!

As soon as I’d heard that they were slinging a Carsten Höller slide onto Anish Kapoor’s Orbit sculpture in London’s Olympic park I wanted to ride down it. Even if everyone said they’d only done so in an attempt to make money from the artwork. But at no point did I really think through the implications of the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide.

In the queue to set off at the top, however, I had quite some time to contemplate this!

It’s not so much that I’m scared of heights, per se. More the perfectly normal aversion to throwing oneself down said heights! Ho hum, I’m here now, I figured, I’d better do it.

This is no ordinary slide. It lasts 45 seconds, and you reach up to 15 mph. Hint: that’s fast! You sit in basically a giant sock, with a handle, and lean back as instructed. You go through totally dark bits, and windowed bits where you can see the world rush by. I definitely prefer the darkness!

It’s exhilarating and scary, and I’m glad I did it. I’m also glad to be back down on Terra Firma!

Our flying squirrel is in no proper sense a flyer. On the ground, he is more helpless than a chipmunk, because less agile. He can only sail or slide down a steep incline from the top of one tree to the foot of another. – John Burroughs

Ease of play: 3/10 (for fear)

Resemblance to play: 8/10 

Aggression: Medium-to-High

Speed: Fast

Enjoyability: High

Potential frequency of play: Medium


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