Tamara Hinson, (CNN) — Verrückt will become the world’s tallest water slide — it’s taller than both the Statue of Liberty and Niagara Falls — when it opens in May in Kansas.
Until then, here are some of the world’s best water slides and features that make each one unique.
Verruckt, Schlitterbahn Waterpark (Kansas)
Although the team behind Verrückt refuse to confirm its exact measurements, they’ve promised that it’ll be the world’s tallest when it opens later this month.
The ride will feature a steep downhill section followed by an uphill section.
Riders will sit in four-person rafts.
“Verruckt is the brainchild of Jeff Henry, the water park innovator who invented uphill water coasters and inland surfing,” says Winter Prosapio of Schlitterbahn Waterpark.
“What sets Verruckt apart is not just the height, but the technology needed to make it work.
“The uphill portion required a new nozzle-based technology that can sense the weight of each raft and adjusts the water blast to send riders over the hill.”
That means overdoing it on the hot dogs and cotton candy won’t be a problem for the ride.
For your stomach, it might be a different story.
Schlitterbahn Waterpark, 9400 State Ave., Kansas City, Kansas; +1 913 312 3110
Mammoth, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari (Indiana)
Mammoth is both the world’s longest water coaster and the world’s first six-person water coaster.
It covers over three acres of the Splashin’ Safari park and has a length of just less than a third of a mile.
“It’s powered with LIMs (linear induction motors), which is the same technology used for roller coasters and light rail transportation,” explains Ruth McMahon, director at ProSlide Technology Inc.
“These specially adapted LIMs are responsible for the Mammoth’s incredibly fast and steep uphill and downhill sections.”
Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, 452 E. Christmas Blvd., Santa Claus, Indiana; +1 812 937 4401
Aqualoop, Ixtapan Parque Acuatico (Mexico)
The Aqualoop is one of the few water slides to feature an almost-vertical loop-the-loop.
Riders start by standing on a trapdoor.
The drop that follows allows them to gain enough speed — up to 60 kilometers an hour — to make it around the loop.
“With the unique slide path, we had to optimize the shape of the loop to maximize the range of riders that could use it while making sure no one got stuck,” says Bruce Bradley, senior engineering specialist at Whitewater theme park designers.
Considering the transparency of the slide, that could certainly prove to be embarrassing.
The park is located about 90 minutes by highway (106 kilometers) southwest of Mexico City.
Ixtapan Parque Acuatico, Plaza San Gaspar S/N, Barrio San Gaspar, Ixtapan de la Sal, Estado de México, Mexico; +52 55 5540 0500
The Abyss, Bali Water Park (China)
Although funnel-type slides are increasingly popular, The Abyss’ 29-meter-high, near-vertical oscillations and final, enormous bowl make it one of the world’s most exciting water park attractions.
“By strategically adding flat panels to three sides of the funnel, the passengers in the rafts rise higher up the side walls — 25% more than they would otherwise — making the Abyss more thrilling than the standard cone-shape slides,” explains Tat Won, senior landscape architect at Whitewater, the company that designed the slide.
The park is located in Fushun in Liaoning Province, about 665 kilometers northeast of Beijing.
Bali Water Park, Re-gao Amusement Park, Fushun, Liaoning Province, China
Aquaconda, Aquaventure Waterpark (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
The Aquaconda is the world’s first slide-within-a-slide, comprising an enclosed tube slide that weaves in and out of the framework of a flume-style ride.
It’s made from translucent plastic, so passengers on one section can watch those whizzing down the other.
“Before translucent technology, enclosed water slides were dark, almost industrial looking,” says Geoff Chutter, chief executive of Whitewater.
“Transparent fiberglass lets in more light and creates beautiful prismatic effects, while also putting on a great show for both spectators and people waiting in line.”
Aquaventure Waterpark, Atlantis The Palm, Crescent Road, Palm Island, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; +971 4 426 0000
Behemoth Bowl, Chimelong Water Park (Guangzhou, China)
Speak to a water slide geek and they’ll tell you how the Behemoth Bowl revolutionized water slides with its water injection system, patented corkscrew exit and central drop chute.
We just love the thrills.
“This is the largest bowl water ride in the world, with a massive 18-meter-diameter,” explains Ruth McMahon at theme park designers ProSlide Technology Inc.
“The size and shape allow passengers to speed around the perimeter and make multiple revolutions with maximum centrifugal force.”
Chimelong Water Park, Panyu Da Dao, Guangzhou, China; +86 20 8479 2222
Dawwama, Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
Dawwama was the winner of 2013’s Best Water Ride award at the IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) awards.
The highlight of the six-person raft ride is an enormous 20-meter-high funnel.
“It’s unique because it combines two iconic water rides,” adds Ruth McMahon at ProSlide Technology Inc. “After the first section — a fast and steep LIM-powered water coaster — passengers get dropped into the world’s first six-person funnel ride.”
Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; +971 2 414 2000
King Cobra, Maxx Royal Belek Golf & Spa (Belek, Turkey)
Maxx Royal Resort in Turkey is one of the few places you can whiz along the body of a cobra before sliding up the inside of its mouth — at 51 kilometers per hour.
“It’s regarded as a game-changing waterslide,”says Sohret Pakis of Polin Waterparks & Pool Systems.
“It’s a high-capacity ride with two double tubes, and it’s interactive, because the passengers race each other.
“It has a strong visual impact and a unique spectator appeal, with integrated special effects, such as hissing sounds.”
Maxx Royal Belek Golf & Spa, Iskele Mevkii, Belek, Turkey; +90 242 444 62 99
Super S Ride, Vivaldi Park Ocean World (Hong-cheon, South Korea)
Python is one of the world’s scariest water slides, thanks to several banked twists and turns, unbelievably tight corners and a six-meter-wide enclosed section that sends riders flying up the sides.
“We maximized wall height while eliminating turnover risk,” says Bruce Bradley at Whitewater.
“We wanted to design a slide that gives passengers the thrilling feeling that they’re going to flip over when they fly high up on the slide walls, but obviously they don’t!”
Vivaldi Park Ocean World, 1290-14 Palbongri, Seomyeon, Hong-cheon, Gangwon Province, South Korea; +82 43 420 8311
Tamara Hinson is a freelance journalist based in the UK.