World’s tallest water slide to open Thursday

The official launch of Verruckt, the world’s tallest water slide, has been delayed three times this summer. Initially slated to debut on May 23, the ride was moved to Jun. 5 to allow for more testing and then pushed back again to Jun. 29. Today, officials with Schlitterbahn Waterpark Kansas City announced that Verruckt will finally open on Thursday, Jul. 10.

Jeff Henry, co-owner of the Schlitterbahn franchise, also acted as Verruckt’s co-creator. Henry states that a variety of issues were responsible for the delay of the water slide’s official launch.

“We had many issues on the engineering side,” said Henry. “Our correction coefficients were all off. Models didn’t show air and water friction. A lot of our math was based on roller coasters at first, and that didn’t translate to a water slide like this. No one had ever done anything like this before.”

Thrill-seekers should definitely be grateful for the additional time spent calculating and testing every aspect of the ride, as early tests saw rafts carrying sandbags flying off the slide. Henry states that these errors prompted engineers to tear down half of the ride and reconfigure some angles at a cost of $1 million.

Named after the German word for “insane,” Verruckt is 17-stories tall and forces riders to climb 264 steps to the top before making the breath-taking 168-foot drop plunge. Three people at a time will be allowed in the raft for the ride, and the total weight of those three riders cannot exceed 550 pounds.

Schlitterbahn Waterpark Kansas City will be open daily through Aug. 17. After that date, it will be open two more weekends before the end of the theme park’s season.

Layne Pitcher, a spokesman for the water park, has not yet confirmed the exact time the slide will open on Thursday.