As the hot and blistering summer days rolled in, it was time to call the troops for a good old fashion water fight! As a child,water fights with friends were a blast and helped beat the 80-100 degree summer heat when a pool/ocean/lake was unavailable. The best water fights erupted when we gathered 8+ friends and separated into teams.



I can recall the numerous water fight games that we played. One game that I especially loved was capture the flag. To win Capture the Flag, a person had to steal an enemy flag and return to their base without getting soaked. Another game that I enjoyed was WAR, which was won by the last person not hit with water. But overall, I enjoyed games where we ran around and drenched everyone.

Of course, to have a water fight, it required numerous methods to soak one another and we used these various weapons in our arsenal. (Which did you use?).

WATER GUNS/SQUIRT GUNS


Water Guns were #1 in our water fights due to their ease of use and availability. Fill with water, aim at your opponent and shoot him/her. The only problem was that they shot a weak, narrow stream and you had to run to a spigot to refill them after every shoot-out.

WATER BALLOONS


Personally, I did not like water balloons since I had problems with them breaking while filling. Despite my issues, they could deliver a drenching punch to an opponent when landed. The waterballoon slingshot was killer only if you could aim a direct hit.



Yet,I liked when my parents would go to the drug store and purchase the water balloons that looked like army grenades. These were awesome!

WATERBOMB


These little balls were cool. You soaked them in water like a sponge and then threw them at your opponents, which would drench him/her. These little suckers would hurt due to the water saturated within them.



WHAT TO USE IF WE DID NOT HAVE THE ABOVE ITEMS.


Not having the above items did not hamper our water fights. Sometimes, a heat wave would arrive in the middle of spring and the drugstores/supermarkets/toy stores did not have water fighting equipment or some parents refused to purchase the aforementioned items. Nevertheless, we used our heads and came up with ideas to have fun.

BUCKET OF WATER


We would obtain 15 or so buckets (some stolen from construction sites) fill them up with water and dump them on our opponents. The two drawbacks were carrying the weight of the bucket while running and having to constantly refill them.

SPRAY BOTTLE


Empty spray bottles were used by many of my friends and were as effective as the cheap squirt guns.


PALMOLIVE BOTTLES


Filling these suckers and using them was a creative idea. When filled with water all someone had to do was aim and squeeze, and water would protrude all over an opponent.

WATER/SODA BOTTLE


Some friends used waterbottles. They would go through the trash and gather 5-7 of them. Like Palmolive, plastic bottles required a good aim and a squeeze to drench an opponent.

SPRINKLER


The sprinkler was an effective guard dog and a strategic instrument in capture the flag. We would set it up next to our flag to deter our opponents.

HOSE


The garden hose was AWESOME!!! It shot tons of water and could easily shoot a distant target. But being attached to the home was the downside.

With a water hose you either had to:



Use an attached spray gun



or put your finger on the top of the hose to aquire good pressure but the aim was terrible.

......and when some did not have any of the above items they used......

THEIR HANDS


Yup...their hands. Sadly, some of my friends, namely Kenny McCormick, had to cup water in their hands and go after opponents this way, which was not affective by any means and is comparable to using your hands on the video game DOOM.


TECHNOLOGY COMES TO WATER FIGHTS: LARAMI, ENTERTECH, SUPERSOAKER, AND WATERBLASTER.

Around the late 1980's, technology for water fights advanced. New technology enabled water guns to shoot farther, hold more water, and deliver more water per shot. Of course, when new water weapon technology debuted, kids in my neighborhood wanted to get their hands on it. Lets examine a few.


LARAMI UZI

My grandparents bought me this for Christmas 1985 and boy was it a stinker! Sure it looked awesome due to how real it appeared but it had multiple problems. First, it used AA batteries which went out quickly. Second, it shot smaller streams of water than a cheap squirt gun. Third, the streams of water barely went 3ft. Finally, it malfunctioned all the time. Showing up to a water fight with this weapon guaranteed a butt whoopin! This gun was a failure and not so much a technological breakthrough.

ENTERTECH




I remember my best friend having one of these but they were too expensive for my parents. Entertech was the same company responsible for Photon. Entertech's water guns premiered in the late 80's and were ULTRA REAL LOOKING and the company utilized their slogan, "THE LOOK. THE FEEL. THE SOUND. SO REAL. ENTERTECH!" To back their slogan, divert your eyes to the picture of the Uzi. As with the Larimi model before it, this gun also used AA batteries to shoot water, which I did not like. Water shot from these guns could reach 30ft, however, for some models the water coming out was very thin and hardly noticble when shot at (unlike the commercial). They were like automatic guns, just hold the trigger and the water shot out. These guns were so realistic that parental consumer groups forced Entertech to paint the guns in a fluorescent color. I cannot imagine these guns ever being sold in stores today and would hate to see the reaction of a cop if you flashed these squirt guns.


SUPER SOAKER


Ah yes,The Super Soaker. I have fond memories of this weapon. The Super Soaker arrived around 1989-1990. When my friend demonstrated his Super Soaker, my jaw instantly dropped in amazement. For the younger readers, you may not understand why I thought this was as cool as I say it is since Super Soaker Technology is now a dime a dozen and even used in cheap knock offs. Before the advent of the Super Soaker, squirt guns and Entertech weapons that we used could not hold a light to this awesome weapon. Super Soakers were similar to using a mobile garden hose, which, at that time was unbelievable. It shot a ton of water, held a ton of water, shot at long distances, and the accuracy was amazing! Moreover, I was astonished to discover that it did not require batteries. Super Soakers worked so well because they used pressurized air to force the water out of the nozzle onto opponents.


The first Super Soaker was the Super Soaker 50, which I traded my friend two Nintendo games (Star Soldier/Gotcha) since my parents could not afford it ($39.95!). I loved this gun!


The Super Soaker 50 was awesome until my other friend got a Super Soaker 100.


Then another friend got a Super Soaker 200. This thing was a beast because it had two water units, and larger holes at the end of the barrel.


And of course, a couple of years later, probably around 1993-1994, someone had to get a Super Soaker 300, which was like carrying around a fire hose and THE THING EVEN CAME WITH A BACKPACK THAT HELD WATER! It was almost impossible to beat someone who owned this weapon.

Now, it seems that all Waterfights involve some kind of Super Soaker weapon.

WATERBLASTER


Lastly, we come to the Waterblaster. I remember one of my friends buying this after the Super Soaker 100 came out. It was just as cool as a Super Soaker and very easy to use. With this incredible Water Cannon you could have soaked a target over 60 feet away or fill water/air balloons with one push of the handle. All you had to do was submerge the end of the water cannon, pull back on the handle, and fire! Like the Super Soaker, cheap knockoffs are everywhere.




Waterfights were awesome and everyone in the neighborhood could participate whether he/she was using a Super Soaker, Garden Hose, or a Palmolive Bottle. As I write this article, I am stuck in an office while it is 90 degrees outside wishing that I could go back to my youth and obliterate an opponent with a drenching of water.



Hmmm...Maybe, I should have kids so that I can relive these memories!

*ENTERTECH COMMERCIALS
#1 http://youtube.com/watch?v=99UPQEFSGVQ
#2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkUn7skbniQ&NR=1