Verrückt, in German, means ‘insane’. And that’s exactly what this new and upcoming water slide is. Verrückt is touted to be the world’s next tallest and fastest water slide – beating the current Brazilian record holder.
The current record holder, 49.9m-tall ‘Kilimanjaro’, is located at Aguas Quentes Country Club in Rio de Janeiro, but Verrückt is going to be much taller than that. Exactly how much, we don’t know. Its makers at Schlitterbahn Water Park and Resort in Kansas City, are keeping the height a secret until opening day. But if the rumors are true, it could be about 17 stories high. That’s taller than Niagara Falls and the Statue of Liberty from toes to torch. It’s also twice the height of the tallest wave ever surfed.
Imagine sliding down at top speed from such a great height. The adrenaline rush has got to be truly ‘insane’. To get to the top of the ride, you need to climb a whopping 264 stairs. Then, a specially designed raft will take you and three other riders plummeting down at a speed greater than 65 mph (the current speed of the Brazilian ride).
Sounds super-scary, but the ride is not over yet. This is only the initial plummet. Once you reach the bottom, the raft will take you up a smaller five-story hill. The final descent from this hill leads to the ride’s finish line.
According to Layne Pitcher, Schlitterbahn’s director of marketing and sales, Verrückt is designed to “attract adrenaline junkies who are always looking for that next biggest, coolest thrill.” The company decided to go with four-person rafts because they want to encourage people to share the experience. “It’s more fun if someone is screaming in your ear,” they said in a fact sheet.
Verrückt was designed by Schlitterbahn co-owner Jeff Henry. Jeff is a waterpark innovator who also goes by the nickname ‘Wizard of Water’. Some of his previous creations include inland water surfing, uphill water coasters, and endless tube rides. Jeff believes that Verrückt will be a game-changer for the water park industry. “We want to provide a thrilling ride, but safety comes first,” he added.
The ride is scheduled to open on May 23, this year. Before the grand opening, an official measuring event held in the spring will reveal its exact height.