After multiple delays, Schlitterbahn’s ‘Verrückt’ is now open to the public in Kansas City, Kansas as of Thursday morning. With record breaking heights and projected increases in tourism this summer, Schlitterbahn’s Verrückt is currently the world’s tallest water slide.
Verrückt is pronounced as “FAH-ROOKT,” which is the German word for “insane,” and is an adjective that describes the slide appropriately. Recording at 17 stories, which is also 168 feet and 7 inches tall, the water slide stands as the world’s tallest water slide. It was supposed to open at the start of Schlitterbahn’s summer season in May, but was delayed due to the need to conduct more safety testing. It is reported that the slide is perfectly visible from downtown Kansas City, which is 15 miles away from Schlitterbahn’s gates.
The process to ride Verrückt is purposely detailed to ensure the safety of the riders. Prior to setting foot on the steps, a group of either two or three riders must stand together on a scale. The combined weight must be less than 550 pounds. After confirming the weight, the park worker then reads a two-page list of safety precautions. Some include the riders must not have a history of heart or back problems, and are not pregnant. After taking a hike similar to that of a mountain, a Schlitterbahn visitor must climb 264 steps to reach the peak of Verrückt. The group is then weighed one more time before sitting in an inflatable raft.
As the world’s tallest water slide, Verrückt is projected to be Schlitterbahn’s top yet most feared attraction. A raft of two or three riders plummet down a 168 feet slide. Upon reaching the top of slide’s platform, the riders sit themselves in a raft before it mechanically inches towards the edge. At that point, the sky is only visible. The raft then speeds down the steep ramp downward around 60 miles per hour, then goes up again on a 55 foot hill. From there, the raft goes down the second half of the slide.
Verrückt went through multiple delays prior to its opening day. During one of the safety tests, a raft filled with sandbags to represent the riders and the combined weight of 550 pounds was sent through the slide for a test. The raft slipped along the slide and flew over the edge. The raft and the sandbags were destroyed upon impact as it landed on the ground. There were also reported problems with the conveyer belt.
Verrückt was originally intended to consist of four riders. This was lowered to three riders as four sandbag test riders failed another safety test. This also led the slide to be disassembled and reconstructed into a less steep decline from the platform of the slide’s peak. The first human safety test took place earlier this week. Despite all of the changes and negative safety tests that were beneficially made towards the water slide since May, Verrückt succeedingly passed all the recent safety tests and is now debuting to the public. Kansas City’s Mayor Mark Holland also took a ride down the water slide after anticipating its opening for months. Along with Mayor Holland, the water slide’s recent riders have had all the best feedback that designers hoped for.
Schlitterbahn’s Verrückt is officially the world’s tallest water slide according to the Guinness World Records. It surpassed the Kilimanjaro water slide in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by approximately five feet. At 168 feet and 7 inches, Verrückt located in Kansas City, Kansas is now open for tourists and visitors to experience the expected thrills.
By Tricia Manalansan