Don’t forget about the amazing giveaway we have going on to win 4 passes to Cowabunga Bay! Enter with the rafflecopter below.
The following is a special guest review by my slide-loving husband, Stephen. If you want to know more about the slides at Cowabunga Bay, this is the review for you!
For a more (pregnant) mommy view of the park, read my review here!
Cowabunga Bay Water Park in Draper is unlike any water park I (Stephen) have ever been to. Being from the east coast, I have been to parks in the likes of Wet ‘n Wild (Orlando FL and Greensboro NC), Myrtle Waves (Myrtle Beach S.C.), Water Country U.S.A. (Williamsburg VA), also locally Seven Peaks (Provo UT), and Seven Peaks SLC UT (formerly Raging Waters). All listed have amazing water slides and are medium to large size water parks. Their variety and number of slides and the size of their parks are part of their appeal. On the other hand, there is the likes of Cowabunga Bay; really fun slides, visually stimulating, a soakingly good time, all in an area that won’t make you feel like you’ve walked a half-marathon by the end of the day.
Cowabunga Bay is small in size, meaning it takes up a small footprint of land area as compared to some of the larger parks mentioned above, but it’s compact with loads of fun for all ages. The grounds are immaculately landscaped with shrubs and flowers. The concrete walks are are smooth as to not rub your water-logged feet raw, but broom-textured sufficiently to give your wet feet the grip needed to feel secure. Because of the size of the park, the walk from attraction to attraction will limit your exposure to hot concrete…a plus in my book. The surfer / beach theme is consistent throughout the park, or in other words, I feel that Cowabunga Bay in no way has an identity crisis. It’s restrooms and eating facilities are very clean and the staff is especially friendly. There wasn’t a time when I rode the slide that when I said thanks to the starter, they didn’t say “you’re welcome” in return or “have fun.” Also, as much fun as it is to soak up the sun, on a long hot day, there aren’t too many who don’t seek relief from it at one time or another. Cowabunga Bay provides many locations to escape from the sun with no premium cost attached; be it triangular sails by Cowabunga Beach, permanently placed sun umbrellas, trees, or even the play structures themselves. There are plenty of places to escape to when the sun becomes too much.
Cowabunga Bay has a total of 10 water slides, 13 if you count the three “double slides” Double Doggers, Hang Two, and Guppy Racer as two each. The main attraction is what looks like a GIANT jungle gym of water slides. This is what makes in my opinion Cowabunga Bay unique and attractive to any water-loving thrill seekers. 7 of the 10 water slides in the park are on this giant, wet, play structure…and when I say wet, I mean WET!!! The structure is made up of a network of vividly colored pipes, hoses, valves, small buckets, GIANT BUCKETS of which most are interactive. A pipe dream that would even make the likes of Mario and Luigi of Super Mario Brothers fame proud!
At a traditional water park, your entertainment comes also with huge crowds and lines so long that once it’s time to get on a ride again, you have forgotten what it feels like to be wet! No so at Cowabunga Bay! As you make your ascent up either of two stairs that converge and take you every which-a-way to get you to the water slide that you wish to encounter; up above your head, water is raining…sometimes gushing down on you. Sometimes it’s the perfect timing of a bucket above your head that fills to the point of dumping on you, just at the right time as you walk under it. Other times, it’s those waiting in lines above you squirting water from hoses, water guns, or shooting water from perforations in pipes that are controlled by valves that you control manually. As you wait in line, you watch as two GIANT buckets above at the very top of the play structure fill to their limits and with the ringing of a fire alarm bell, warning comes to those on the ground below of the inevitable tidal wave of water that would douse even the fiercest of fires, let alone the parks patrons…but you don’t want to run from this wave, you want to run TO IT…and feel of the gushing water on your head and shoulders. It goes without saying, if you are on the giant play structure, you are WET!
The slides on the play structure are nicely graduated, from “Mae Day” and “Double Doggers” for the beginners on up to “Bombora” and “Banzai” for the more advanced riders. All of the waters slides in the park have safe straight-away landings and do not land in pools. Another note of the slides in the park is that they are smooth or in other words, because none of the slides “require” tubes or mats or any other riding device to worry about, each slide only requires you…and a bathing suit of course…to enjoy. When I say smooth, I mean that on your bare back, you can’t feel the gasket joints of the tube or slide sections. This is a big PLUS in my book. The slides and their features are as follows:
Mae Day (pink): For beginners, an open-flume slide with a couple of turns and a straight away landing.
Double Doggers (yellow): For beginners, this one is fun to race your dad or your brother or sister. Equal in length and straight, these yellow slopes will give you a short and zippy thrill.
Hang Five (blue): Intermediate; this open-flume slide is a lot of fun. Lots of twists and banking turns down to a straight away landing. The slide start is about half-way up the play structure.
Hang Ten (green): Intermediate; this open-flume slide is link unto it’s smaller sibling Hang Five, only longer, and depending on how you slide, means that you could be twice as fast at the end as Hang Five.
Mondo (purple), Banzai (red), Bombora (also red): Advanced; all three of these slides are similar in style and thrill. All three are enclosed tube-type slides which are fast from start to finish. Of the three, Mondo is the longest and almost completely obscure where you can’t tell when a turn is coming or not. Banzai and Bombora, are dark, but not to the point that on a sunny day, a small amount of light is diffused through the tubes so you can see the banking turns ahead. Bombora is about a 15 second ride whereas the other two are 10-12 seconds. For the fastest ride and to feel the most G-forces in the turns, slide on just your shoulder blades and your heels arching your back up; less surface friction = SLIPPERY FAST!
The play structure not only keeps you cool with the endless deluge of water but also keeps you out of the blazing sun with many opportunities to find shade within the structure itself. The concrete floor or basin beneath the play structure doubles as a giant splash pad with water toys, raining sprays, multilevel pivoting water channels, ground level water nozzles that shoot fountain-like arcs of water in the air. Plenty of shade from the structure here, and plenty of water to keep you cool. Also, because the whole of the concrete slab below the structure is a basin where all of the water is recirculated, the concrete is always being cooled by the ever-flowing water.
If the evaporative cooler effect gets you chilled, head on over the to the heated Cowabunga Bay River and Cowabunga Beach. Cowabunga’s 600 foot “lazy” river will help keep you warm and relaxed. One thing I found great about this river and the park in general, there is no rental tube to carry around and keep track of like a ball-and-chain. The tubes on the river are FREE for your use. All it takes is to watch for one on the river walk when it becomes available. There are single and double tubes. Cowabunga Beach is a zero entry “beach style” pool that goes to 3 feet in depth and is 2500 square feet. This is a great place to relax and soak up some rays for kids and parents alike.
My kids who are 2,5, and 7 loved Cowabunga Kids Cove. This kids pool that doesn’t get more than 10-12 inches deep has two double waterslides, “Guppy Racer” and “Hang Two.” Each are side-by-side racers and are comparable to the smaller size of slides that you find in any city park and outlet onto soft and spongy bottom-of-pool mounted mats for soft landings for the kids. The kids can also climb up a mini two-story play structure and slide down the 200 foot “Squiggler.” It is an open air slide and I would consider it a baby sister or brother to Hang Five and Hang Ten…very fun for the little ones to ride this one with mommy or daddy.
Cowabunga Bay, though very visible from I-15 in Draper may be still one of the best kept secrets in water parks in Utah. We had a blast!!!
Not reviewed: Pipe Rider, Sky Surfer. See https://www.cowabungabay.com/
Make sure to check out Cowabunga Bay’s Facebook Page and website for more information about this super fun park! Want to save some money at the park? They have given us a code to get you $7 off an adult day pass (which will make the adult pass even cheaper than the kids pass – so just buy an adult pass for you and for the kiddos). Just use code usscowa when you purchase your passes HERE.
Now on to the giveaway! We have 4 ALL DAY passes to Cowabunga bay for one lucky Utah Sweet Savings reader. To enter comment below. Tell us what you do to beat the heat. Then make sure to head on over to Cowabunga Bay’s Facebook Page. Like the page and make sure to tell them thanks for the great giveaway over at Utah Sweet Savings.
After you comment here and like their Facebook page make sure to enter on the rafflecopter below to make it all official. There are other ways to enter so do as many as you can to get the best chance at winning. See you at Cowabunga Bay!
Disclaimer: I was given passes to Cowabunga Bay to review the park. All opinions are my own.