At about 17 stories tall, a water slide opening this spring in the Kansas City area is being touted as a contender for the tallest and fastest in the world. (Courtesy: KCTV/CBS)
At about 17 stories tall, a water slide opening this spring in Kansas City is being touted as a contender for the world's fastest.
The Schlitterbahn water park and resort company is keeping the ride's exact height secret until an official measuring event this spring. But they are confident that it will set a world record.
But officials promise it will exceed the height of the current world-record-holding slide - the Insano, Spanish for insane - at Beach Park outside the city of Fortaleza, Brazil. It has a height of almost 164 feet. Riders on the Brazilian slide have been clocked at 65 mph - a speed Schlitterbahn vows it can top.
Thrill seekers will get their first chance to ride the Verrückt - German for insane - when the Kansas City water park opens May 23. The company hopes the ride will become a destination attraction.
After the 264-step climb to the deck at the top of the tower, riders will hurtle downward in four-person inflatable rafts. At the bottom of the initial plummet, riders will confront a five-story hill. They will be propelled up and over that hill for the final descent to the ride's finish.
Pitcher will be among those white-knuckled riders.
Jeff Henry, a Schlitterbahn co-owner who designed the ride, said in a news release that the new slide would be a "game changer" for the industry.
With the construction phase almost complete, Pitcher said the ride will undergo extensive testing before anyone is flung downward. Engineers have already tested scale models.
Similar slides are being built at Schlitterbahn's other parks, but none will be as tall as the one under construction in Kansas City.