Like physics? So do the people behind the world’s gnarliest water slides, who are constantly pushing the boundaries of science. In case you have any doubt, we’ve rounded up the most insane ones in the US of A (plus one in the Bahamas that was too good to leave out). From a 17-story, near-vertical drop to a full three-minute water coaster experience, check out the fastest, tallest, longest and most thrilling water slides on the planet.
Wildebeest at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana To say Wildebeest is a monster doesn’t do it justice. It’s a four-person hydro-magnetic water coaster covering two acres with 178 ft. (almost 18 stories) of drops, as well as two tunnels, a helix element, magnet-propulsion uphill sections and a fun-soaked ride time of two and a half minutes. Perfect for wildebeesting out.
Scorpions Tail at Noah’s Ark in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin At 10 stories tall, 400 feet long and with a top speed of 50 feet per second, the Scorpions Tail is truly one of a kind. It’s America’s first and only looping water slide, with a ride time of 11 seconds and a maximum vertical angle of 60 degrees.
Leap of Faith at Atlantis’ Aquaventure in Paradise Island, Bahamas The ride is simple. You enjoy a split-second freefall of nine near-vertical stories (from the top of a Mayan temple, of course), and are propelled like a bullet through a chamber to the end of the ride. Which is an acrylic tube that passes through, oh, just a giant, shark-infested aquarium.
King Cobra at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Jackson, New Jersey Two-hundred and fifty-six feet of white, orange, black and red Cobra patiently wait for you. All you have to do is race down one of two dueling slides along the scaly figure-eight shaped length of its body, then up a sidewinder element into its hood to its enormous, dripping fangs. Good times!
Summit Plummet at Disney’s Blizzard Beach in Lake Buena Vista, Florida Disney isn’t always what we think of when searching for high-end thrills, but with a sheer 12-story plunge at a top speed of 60 miles per hour, the Summit Plummet is a must try. It’s even got a display at the end that reveals your top speed. Not that it’s a competition or anything...
Verrückt at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas First, a lesson in the German language. Verrückt translates to “insane.” As in, you’d be insane to go higher than Niagara Falls, jump in a four-person raft, and rocket down a 17-story water slide at autobahn speeds of 65 m.p.h., then propel back uphill five stories for one final 50-foot drop.
Mammoth at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana At a full three minutes, Mammoth is the world’s longest water coaster ride. It’s propelled using linear induction motors with the same technology used for roller coasters, sending six-person rafts spinning through almost 19 stories worth of drops, five enclosed sections and, yes, even some jumps.