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What is Water Limbo?

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  • Written By: Darrell Laurant
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 July 2014
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On a hot day, water limbo is a game with no losers. The winners win, the losers get cooled off. A variety of manufactured devices have come on the market in recent years that combine the standard limbo stanchions and bar with a horizontal jet of water that is automatically dispensed (the company Aqua Leisure produces several).

If you like gadgets, you might be tempted to indule in water limbo. With kids, however, the equipment for water limbo is much more basic -- a lawn, a hose, a water source, and a finger to hold across the nozzle and direct the spray in a straight line.

Originally from the Caribbean, the limbo dance has long been a part of popular culture, even spawning a musical sub-genre (Chubby Checker's "Limbo Rock" is perhaps the best known example).

With traditional limbo, dancers are challenged to lower themselves under an adjustable bar while still moving their feet. The best practioners of this art literally bend themselves double as they arch their backs and defy gravity.

Most kids probably won't be able to sink to those depths, of course, but the adult holding the hose has the power to adjust the "bar" to the age and skill level of the participants. Pre-schoolers may be allowed to duck under the stream of water any way they can without actually crawling.

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A number of kids' fitness experts have praised the limbo, in any form, as a way of developing flexibility. Parents may want to be sure that the ground under the water stream bar doesn't become too muddy or slippery, since serious injuries couldn't result from a water limbo dip gone wrong.

There is even a variation of water limbo played in a swimming pool, the bar held just above the surface of the water. Generally, though, the whole point of the game is that no swimming pool is required.

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