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The Oral History of the Super Soaker (melmagazine.com)
62 points by ohjeez 23 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 28 comments

I got a fake SS in Spain when I was 7 or something.

It was like a 50, but with two tanks.

I was the coolest kid when I brought this MF back to Germany, haha

Anyone remember using latex surgical tubing? You took maybe six feet of 0.75" OD tubing, knotted one end, and filled with water. You could coil it around your waist, or over your shoulder. You could also use latex surgical tubing to make three-person water-balloon slingshots.

Some friends & I had taken one of those water balloon launchers on a company trip. After a dinner with lots of alcohol, we were launching them out of the darkened hotel room window, getting some amazing range. People walking outside couldn't tell where they were coming from when they landed right next to them with a loud splat.

In retrospect, we were so lucky we didn't hit anyone - they would have been seriously hurt. I don't think they sell the product anymore - it's probably in the same safety category as Lawn Darts.

As kids we were using 2l bottles of soda with a hole in the cap. Took a bit of practice to wield a full 2l bottle and squeeze it with enough power to reach anyone though. Even if Super Soaker was on the shelves it would have been a pipe dream.

Huh. I guess that you could do the dry ice and water thing, but avoiding explosions could be dicey.

I don't think dry ice was anywhere within reach at the time, or even in my vocabulary :).

Yeah. I'm lots older, I think. When I was a child, we got ice cream packed in dry ice. Because most people didn't have freezers.

Yes! We called those water weenies.

related : check out Spyra, the ultimate water gun: https://www.spyraone.com/about-spyra-one/ (Startup at the university where I work)

The design looks very cool. But who is the target customer? I did not see any pictures of children on the site.

1 gallon garden sprayers are cheap and durable; custom nozzles are where the fun lies.

Currently he seems to be focussing on an interesting cross between a hydrogen fuel cell and a heat engine.


I can’t believe I’m mentioning The FPlus here, but here’s a very NSFW and satirical podcast about...well, people with a squirt gun fetish. https://thefpl.us/episode/305

I remember having a SS 50, 100 & 200 back in the day. And filling up water balloons the old-fashioned way. Now kids have the automatic water balloon fillers and smart phones. Do most kids even still have water fights in the summer or do people get too offended or are too busy helicopter parenting to let kids have any fun?

Here in California parents can apply for a one day permit for launching water balloons, a one hour mandatory training course is required; and the water must be filtered by an approved system.

I... Can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not...

I dunno, I would've been pretty stoked on an automatic waterballoon filler as a kid. Finding a tap that fit the balloon and didn't rip it was always a challenge.

Yeah; that was, like, the goal we dreamed about. Like how I wanted a book I could read in the dark, and was ecstatic when tablets and ereaders took off. Or how we hated sharing the phone line and DSL changed our world. It's actually really neat to see our childhood dreams being realized.

I think it's healthy for the HN community to have a spectrum of users ranging from "bitter and cynical because we don't have flying cars" to "thrilled at how fast water balloon fill times have fallen".

I can't remember if I had the 50 or 100, but there's still a bare spot above a ceiling fan at my grandmother's house where the popcorn texture was blasted away because we thought it could be cool to shoot the ceiling with the SS while the fan was on high speed.

TIL about popcorn ceilings, and also that before 1977 they typically contained asbestos. I hope you're okay.

TIL some people think asbestos is immediately fatal.

To be fair, that does sound pretty cool

You are offended because it doesn't take an hour to blow up enough water balloons for a 5 minute fight anymore?

"kids these days amirite"

My, what has this site become.

Because of the kids?

Was it better in the old days?

There were several contraptions to do balloons very fast when I was a kid in the 90s.

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