At the Aqua Park in North Myrtle Beach, "slippery when wet" isn't an admonition to be careful - it's an invitation for fun.
The floating inflatable challenge course features 25 obstacles that become a test of will and skill when you're sliding over wet rubber. Climbing a moderately inclined hill can seem like an expedition to Everest.
And that's just the half of it. Floating on a lake, the entire aquatic playground wobbles in the water underneath your feet, making it difficult to maintain your balance even on flat surfaces.
With both forces working against you, it's likely you'll end up in the drink. But that's what makes the Aqua Park so much fun - and such a cool spot on a hot summer day.
The latest addition to the outdoor adventure offerings at the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex, the obstacle course is part of Shark Wake Park, a wakeboarding attraction that uses cables to pull riders across the sport complex's 25-acre lake.
Covering one acre of water, Aqua Park is billed as the largest floating obstacle course on the East Coast. The 25 challenge features are laid out in four sections that vary in difficulty. Steps have been strategically placed along the course where participants are most likely to swim. Should you fall into the water, it's easy to get back on board.
The beginner level includes a three-step pyramid tower, large oval-shaped dome, a ramp curving up at both ends, two small hills and various other climbing hurdles. Obstacles are connected to each other by floating walkways that can pose their own challenges to navigate.
"It's harder than it looks," Shark Wake Park manager Ben Collins said. "You can't think too much about how to get across. You just have to go for it."
One of the most popular features on the course is a 13-foot platform that can be accessed from three sides using various means to climb to the top. Once at the summit, you can jump down a slide or leap straight off the platform into the water. Diving and flips are not allowed.
Most of the more difficult challenges can be traversed by attacking the obstacle with speed and confidence. Taking it slow and easy makes it more likely you'll lose your balance and end up swimming - a welcome opportunity to cool off in the refreshing lake water.
To play in the park, you must be at least 7 years old and 45 inches tall. Life vests are provided for all participants. A 45-minute session costs $25. You can add a second session on the same day for an additional $10.
Find more information on the Shark Wake Park or Aqua Park here or by calling 843.399.9253.