After six weeks and $1 million worth of delays, Kansas City's Schlitterbahn water park is finally testing its newest water slide, billed as the world's tallest, fastest and steepest.
Named after the German word for "going insane," the Verruckt water slide has 264 steps leading to the top, where four-person rafts will take riders down a seventeen-story fall and send them the equivalent of two football fields in eighteen seconds at 65 mph.
The ride was supposed to open May 23, in time for Memorial Day weekend traffic, but designers say the ambitious ride needs more fine-tuning before it can open to the public.
"A lot of our math was based on roller coasters at first, and that didn't translate to a water slide like this," says Jeff Henry, co-owner of Schlitterbahn Waterparks & Resorts, to USA Today. "No one had ever done anything like this before."
Henry got to be one of the first two people to try the daring drop, and he caught it on video:
"I'm still recovering mentally," Henry tells USA Today. "It's like jumping off the Empire State Building. It's the scariest thing I've done."
The water slide's builders started testing with rafts full of sandbags but had to stop when the sandbags and rafts were launched terrifyingly into the air. Thankfully, it's on video.
Here's a test run with the sandbags:
And here's a test run where the raft launches itself high above the ride and makes you want to piss yourself:
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.