A child’s imagination can become tangled up in a bright blue net for hours, recreating spider scenes from the Discovery Channel. Twenty seconds later that same imagination can be completely free as the wind rushes past wide open eyes as the youngster’s feet race towards bark covered ground during an exhilarating slide ride.
Today’s playgrounds offer features that can finally rival the mind of a kid… well, almost. Two standout features on any playground are the traditional slide, and the contemporary net—also called a rope climber. Although completely different in almost every way, these two elements complement each other with ease and can be integrated into a single theme. One is solid and streamlined for speed. The other is flexible and intricate as a labyrinth.
Slides can extend out from the zenith of a site, their highest point souring up into the sky—like the one at Magic Mountain. They also provide the safe, yet invigorating passage back down to land. Advantages of a slide can be found in the awe factors of each one’s individuality, whether that is through color, form, or height.
Nets are ground dwellers of sorts. They route their corners in the earth, then expand inwards and up, reaching towards a unifying center. The middle, the cone post, is usually the highest point, as is seen in this blue wonder at Shasta Park in Manteca. Benefits of a net include countless access points, sturdiness under weight pressure, and rare aesthetic value.
Here contemporary meets traditional, however original, and all sides win.