Update on July 9, 2014: According to a press release from Garmin, Schlitterbahn Waterparks & Resorts will open the ride on July 10, 2014. As mentioned, a video of the first ride was shot using the VIRB Elite action camera. The company also announced new “Adventure templates” for the VIRB Edit video editing software, which includes “optimized gauges that are perfect to embed VIRB data in videos of theme park rides, such as roller coasters and water slides.”
Update on July 7, 2014: There’s still no official opening date for the Verruckt, but Schlitterbahn has just posted a video of the first human riders to take the death-defying plunge – and they did not take off as the dummy riders had during earlier testing. (As a safety precaution, netting now surrounds the slide from beginning to end, so, you know, just in case.) Jeff Henry, co-owner for Schlitterbahn and co-designer of the Verruckt, took the first ride. To film the POV video, Schlitterbahn used several VIRB Elite action cameras made by Garmin. Check out the video below, and the original story after that.
Verruckt, which recently gained the distinction of being the world’s tallest waterslide, is being delayed after it reportedly sent test dummy riders flying into the air. The 17-story structure, which stands 168 feet and 7 inches tall, was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records last April.
Verruckt, which got its name from the German word for “insane,” was earlier expected to open on May 23, along with everything else in the Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City. Now, it’s being rescheduled for a June 5 opening.
The ride, which is 17 stories tall, sends riders plummeting 60 to 70 miles per hour aboard four-man rafts. If that sounds terrifying, you should check out what it looks like. We’ve posted a video of it below. We expect that at some point there will be a warning directed towards people with heart conditions.
Schlitterbahn says the delay can be attributed to the Verruckt’s uniqueness. “It’s a one-of-a-kind attraction, and there is a one-of-a-kind process for getting it ready,” Schlitterbahn Marketing Director Layne Pitcher told the Kansas City Star.
According to local TV station KCTV5 News, after sending dummy riders airborne, the structure was in pieces earlier this week and workers are now reassembling the ride. Schlitterbahn has denied that test riders have gone airborne. Speaking to radio station KMBZ FM, Pitcher insisted that the ride was completely safe. “…we can assure everybody that no test riders have, at any time, have ever gone airborne off of Verruckt here in Kansas City,” he said. In spite of his statements, the park has yet to fully explain why they pushed back the opening.
Updated by Les Shu: Posted video of the first ride tested by humans.
Updated by Jeffrey Van Camp: I’ve edited the headline to include the word “alleged.” The company, of course, denies this, but several local news outlets have reported on it.