It's like sliding off the top of a 15-story building on nothing more than an air mattress. That's the experience promised by the Verrückt, the attraction called the world's tallest water slide by the Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City.
The giant water slide stands at 168 feet tall, resembling a NASA launchpad as it towers over its surroundings. Instead of a rocket, the slide launches people on a large raft that organizers say will reach speeds topping 60 mph before it comes to rest after completing an initial large drop that's followed by a second rise and fall.
The Schlitterbahn Development Group recently posted video of the first humans to try the ride, with water park designer Jeff Henry and ride engineer John Schooley testing their work. A "raw" version of the footage, without a musical soundtrack, includes several profanities. The company says its test camera stopped working during the test run.
The slide was scheduled to be open for business at the start of this summer. But as the tech site io9 notes, there were problems:
"Also, remember a few months back when we reported the rumor that sandbags were being launched off the ride, and then everyone freaked out because the park claimed that wasn't true. Well guess what? It was true. In earlier models of the ride sandbags were launched into the air. And on the actual ride itself, early tests showed the entire freaking raft lift off into the air."
We reported on a decidedly less heart-pounding water slide in May, as the city of Bristol, England, made way for a long water slide that let people take a leisurely trip down a central street.