Monday, 14 July 2014


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World’s tallest waterslide gets thrill seekers soaked
By Allison Blackburn,
Interesting Engineering, 13 July 2014.

Anyone who loves heading down to their local swimming pool to go down the waterslide will want to head over to the Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark and get in line for a turn on the Verrückt, the tallest waterslide in the world. The world’s tallest waterslide has now opened and stands at an impressive 168.6 feet. This means that the top of the slide is taller than Niagara Falls. The first person to take a ride down the slide was the designer of the waterpark, Jeff Henry, along with ride engineer John Schooley.

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The tallest waterslide in the world has the name of ‘The Verrückt’ and this means “insane” in German and you might have to be to enjoy the drop, which is the equivalent of a 17 storey building. Henry’s family owns four Schlitterbahn waterparks within the United States. He has managed to bring water surfing inland, uphill water coasters and tube rides, along with being the holder of many patents for innovative rides.

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The Verrückt was designed and developed over one year and the Guinness World Records has verified it as being the tallest waterslide in the world. The ride is a raft slide and each raft can take four people in it. The total length of the ride is 610ft; the first drop on the raft ride is 17 storeys tall. The ride continues on with a climb of 5 storeys and finally another stomach churning drop. When combined together, the drops work out at more than 200ft with those in the rafts hitting speeds of around 40 to 50mph.

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Winter Prosapio from Schlitterbahn said, “When you design something this big and this ground-breaking in the industry - most big drops in waterslides are feet first raft rides and big drops in roller coasters use a track - it gets very, very challenging.”

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He went on to say that designing a water ride such as The Verrückt does take a great deal of attention when it comes to the smallest of details. Each and every aspect of a ride needs to be engineered precisely, even down to the blaster nozzle design that is used to send the rafts over the top of the incline section. This small detail goes towards ensuring that the rafts gain enough speed along with g-forces to make the ride a safe but exciting one. Along with the blaster nozzles the ride makes use of a conveyor system and advanced sensor technology.

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The ride has just opened to the public at the park, however at the moment the hours of operation are limited.

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All images courtesy of Schlitterbahn Water Park.

Video 1: Verrückt in Kansas City

Video 2: Verrückt - KC 2014

Top image credit: Schlitterbahn Water Park.

[Source: Interesting Engineering. Edited. Top image and videos added.]

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