Written by: Staff Monday, December 5th, 2011 .
What better way to drive off the winter doldrums than thinking about your favorite summertime activities? We don’t know about you, but when the summer heat arrives we make a beeline for the water park. Water slides are the perfect way to cool down while also quenching that endless thirst for a thrilling ride. Today we’ve gathered up some of the craziest water slides from around the world to share with you. And we mean crazy: these definitely aren’t your backyard slide and kiddie pool set up. These slides are not for the faint of heart, as they feature breakneck speeds, spine-tingling drops, and sharks!
1. Insano at the Beach Park, State of Ceará, Brazil
Insane, crazy, nuts, cuckoo – any of these terms could be used to describe those who throw themselves down the Insano water slide. At 41-meters tall, this one-drop water slide has been certified by Guiness World Records as the world’s tallest water slide. Although it is the world’s tallest water slide, it only takes five seconds to slide from top to bottom. You’ll be traveling at a speed of 105 km/h, so you’ll want to take the slide’s tagline, “Are you insane enough?” into serious consideration.
2. The Aqualoop
Ever gone upside-down on a water slide? The Aqualoop is a looping water slide mass-produced by the Austrian company Aquarena. The very first Aqualoop was installed at Slovenia’s Terme 3000 water park, but now there are over 20 installed around the world. Hopefully this bit of information doesn’t disappoint you too much, but the loop isn’t a true vertical loop; instead, a loop inclined at 45 degrees is used. Nevertheless, this slide still packs quite a punch. Sliders begin standing upright in the launch chamber before a trap door is opened beneath them and sends them down a 56-foot near-vertical descent. This drop accelerates the slider up to the 40 mph necessary to propel them through the loop. Seven seconds later you’re back on your feet and ready to do it again!
3. The Black Hole at Sonnentherme Lutzmannsburg, Austria
They call this slide the Black Hole because when you first look down that tube, you don’t see any way out. If you do decide to take the plunge, you’ll spiral down 692 feet of slide, which makes this Europe’s longest water slide. Your journey down this stainless steel dark tunnel is turned into a flight through space with the addition of sound, light, and fog effects. And just when you were starting to settle in, they throw in a 6-meter free fall about half way through. So what’s on the other end of a black hole? We’ll leave that to you to find out!
4. Summit Plummet at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, Orlando, Florida
A water slide in the snow? Nope, just another fantastic Disney creation in sunny Orlando, Florida. However, don’t be surprised if you get cold feet when looking down from the top of this slide designed to look like a ski jump. After you arrive at the summit of Mount Gushmore by chairlift, you better be ready to take the 120-foot plunge that makes this one of the world’s fastest and tallest free-fall body slides. Sliders will reach speeds between 50 and 60 mph over the 360-foot flume, with their exact speed shown on a digital display at the bottom of the slide.
5. Leap of Faith at Atlantis Paradise Island, The Bahamas
The “leap of faith” that the name of this slide refers to is not just the 60-foot near-vertical drop you’ll be sent down, but what comes after that. The speed that sliders gather as they fly down the side of a Mayan temple is used to propel them through a clear acrylic tube running straight through a shark-filled lagoon! That’s right, you’ll come face to face with some mean looking fish, but luckily your momentum keeps you from lingering too long. You can image that the sharks are not in a good mood after watching all those tasty treats just zip past them!