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Pismo Beach slides temporarily closed, parents raise safety concerns

Posted at 7:06 PM, Oct 26, 2020

Some people say they are getting hurt going down the new slides in Pismo Beach.

Concrete slides opened up in September as part of the Pismo Beach Pier Plaza Project, but some people who've slid down them say there's a problem with the safety of the slides.

Some have reported bruised tailbones, head injuries, and sprained ankles.

City leaders said the slides are temporarily “closed for maintenance,” but some parents hope slide safety is the priority.

For one family, the fun ended after mom Kelli Sanders injured her backside.

"It was immediate. I knew that I either fractured my tailbone or bruised it,” said Kelli Sanders, who was injured. “It was difficult for me to walk the rest of the day."

The Sanders family’s visit from Northern California two weeks ago is a painful memory after her daughter was also injured taking a turn down the slide.

“My son went down and then my daughter went down and at the end, she wasn't able to land,” Sanders said. “She flipped forward face down into the sand so hard that it actually gave her whiplash and for the next few days she had horrible headaches, neck pain."

Pismo Beach resident Fran Natale didn’t have a soft landing, either.

“I just went flying and launched off the end and bruised my tailbone and we saw other kids getting tumbled,” Natale said.

Jorge Garcia, a city spokesman, said in a statement to KSBY, "The Pier Plaza and its amenities have become popular beyond expectations. As a result, we want to ensure that various elements are wearing properly and that they can be enjoyed for many years to come."

The city would not comment on what’s being done to ensure slide safety, only telling KSBY that the city is processing two injury claims.

Many people said there's not enough time to slow down.

“Once you start getting down here, you really pick up speed,” said Kathy Samples, who was visiting from Ojai. “[The slides] are a blast, but they need to do something here with the sand because that's a big drop."

There are signs placed around the slide structure that say the slide is designed for kids ages 5-12, but from video taken by beachgoers and KSBY, people of all ages had a tough time landing safely at the bottom.

“I would never ever go down that slide again, nor would I let my children go down that slide, nor would I recommend that slide to anybody,” Sanders said.

Despite some of the injuries, many families and kids hope the slides can be fixed and open again soon.

“Watching the kids on the slide, they absolutely have a ball,” said Dona Weeks, a frequent beachgoer.