‘Below Deck’: Why Do Deckhands Hate the Water Slide?

One of the fun features for Below Deck guests is the massive water slide that hangs off the side of the superyacht. Every season of the show includes an inflatable slide that becomes a major focal point for both the crew and guests. Good for guests … not so good for the deckhands who have to launch it.

During the current season of Below Deck Mediterranean, one guest had probably one of the best reactions when he saw the slide. “It’s a water slide!” he enthusiastically exclaimed while jumping up and down. And while many guests seem to enjoy the slide, some are blasé about it with a few asking to have it launched and then refusing to use it.

Kelley Johnson, Jennice Ontiveros
Kelley Johnson, Jennice Ontiveros |Virginia Sherwood/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The Below Deck team have been pretty candid about the pain and frustration they have with this massive toy too. The crew during season two did a good job explaining why they dislike dealing with the slide. Plus bosun Eddie Lucas describes how long it takes to get the slide ready for guests.

Our job to put that ‘giant stupid thing up’

After Ohana departs, deckhand Jennice Ontiveros realizes it will soon be slide time. “Ugh the slide,” she exclaims in a confessional interview. “No! That’s gonna be our job to put that giant, stupid thing up! We’re short-handed. We don’t want anything to do with the water slide.” Shortly before the charter left, deckhand Andrew Sturby was fired.

Cameras capture deckhand Kelley Johnson and the first officer wrestling with the massive amount of plastic on deck. Johnson curses as he struggles to move the slide across the deck. Then he accidentally hits the first officer with his head as he loses his balance.

Lucas describes why they all hate the water slide. “The water slide … it weighs like 700 pounds,” he explains. “It’s huge.” Meanwhile, the team has only started to drag out the slide around 1:30 pm. As Ontiveros assists with the slide, Johnson says, “Ugh, I hope I never have to set this thing up again!” As he speaks the team is still in assembly mode at 4 pm.

Five hours of pain

Lucas reveals that it takes five hours to get the slide ready for use. He is filmed inflating it. “The water slide is five hours of pain and suffering,” he says. “For one little hour of guest enjoyment.” At 6:30 pm the slide is finally ready for the guest to use.

Deckhands will often use dish soap on the slide to provide the maximum amount of sliding speed. Guests are filmed actually putting the soap all over themselves before hitting the slide. They do, indeed have a blast. One guest suggests Johnson ride down the slide with her. Although Captain Lee Rosbach allows it, Johnson seems uncomfortable.

Beyond the dreaded water slide, deckhands also wrestle with other toys. Some items guests will likely demand include personal watercrafts, inflatables, snorkeling gear and more.  “In recent years the ‘toy boxes’ on luxury yachts have become increasingly varied and exotic,” according to Boat. This new trend won’t likely be welcome news for exhausted deckhands.