Schlitterbahn water parks have released footage of the Verrückt’s first launch with human riders, and the world’s tallest water slide looks as terrifying as ever.
Located in Kansas City, the Verrückt launches four riders at a time down a near vertical drop at speeds over 65 miles per hour. The water slide is 168 feet and 7 inches high, io9 reports, making it taller than the Statue of Liberty and Niagara Falls. 264 steps will bring riders 17 stories in the air before they descend the slide.
— The Kansas City Star (@KCStar) June 28, 2014
While a POV video of a rider-less test launch circulated online, Schlitterbahn has released a new clip that shows the slide’s engineers taking the first human plunge. John Schooley, Senior Designer of the Verrückt, reportedly based parts of the slide on the operation of roller coasters, and the Verrückt’s opening has been pushed back several times amid fears that the slide was unsafe, as The Inquisitr previously reported. Some of the first trial runs ended up launching sandbags into the air, and in one test, the entire raft lifted off the slide. Safety netting now surrounds the Verrückt’s entire length, ensuring that riders remain safely on the slide.
The Verrückt is officially the world’s tallest water slide, according to Guinness World Record officials, who confirmed the ride’s height in May. The previous record was held by a water slide at the Águas Quentes Country Club in Rio de Janeiro, named the Kilimanjaro. That slide stands 163 feet and 9 inches tall, and has been in operation since 2002.
Although Schlitterbahn owns four water parks in Texas, none of those locations will have a slide that is quite the same as the Verrückt. While smaller versions will be constructed at the other locations, the Verrückt’s website claims that Schlitterbahn “wanted our Kansas City Park to have an iconic ride all to itself.”
The ride has generated much attention since its inception, with a trailer showing its construction circulating on the internet while it was still being built. The Travel Channel even aired a special, World’s Tallest Waterslide, that focused on the Verrückt.
It is unclear when the Verrückt, which translates to “insane” in German, will be open to the public. Schlitterbahn representatives have been forthright in saying that the park will continue to push back the water slide’s official opening until they feel the Verrückt is ready.