MOL

Kansas City

When the world’s tallest water slide finally opens it will be, as this video shows, be absolutely terrifying.

The Verruckt, German for ‘go insane’, will see its riders drop 17 storeys or 168-foot-tall - further down than if they were jumping off Niagara Falls.

The opening date at Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark was recently delayed for a third time by problems with the conveyor system that transports the four person raft to the top of the slide.

The ride was originally due to open in May - but now the park is confident it will be open for business sometime during July.

Co-owner of the park Jeff Henry has compared the experience of riding the attraction to ‘jumping off the Empire State Building’ and he should know, as newly released footage shows him and his head designer John Schooley testing out the slide.

Initial trial runs around Memorial Day weekend had reportedly launched test sandbags into the air, but as this video shows the slide is now perfectly safe for humans.

Depending on weight and weather conditions, the ride will travel at speeds between 45 and 65 miles per hour. The slide goes down a giant drop and then riders travel over a five-story bump before reaching the end.

Henry has described the experience as ‘the scariest thing [he’d] done’, while Schooley has called it an ‘extreme thrill’ without comparison.

‘You have three or four experiences on the ride,’ he said.

‘There is a three-second free fall before you get launched into a weightless situation for a few seconds, and then you come down like a roller coaster and have a long splash down.’

Verruckt was certified as the world’s tallest water slide in April by Guinness World Records.

Waterpark spokeswoman Winter Prosapio had previously said they would not hesitate to delay operation for however long it takes to make sure the slide is safe.

‘We’ll take embarrassment before putting someone in the slide when it is not ready,’ she said.

Sunday’s opening was to coincide with a one-hour special on the Travel Channel titled ‘Xtreme Waterparks’ documenting the designing and building of Verruckt. 

The slide’s drop is so steep, it is almost at a right-angle to the ground and to get up to the top of it, thrill-seekers must climb 264 steps.

There they wait for their turn on a deck made from railroad tanker cars before speeding down, up a five-storey hump and then back down a second slide into the final pool.

Before the Verruckt, the record holder for tallest water slide was the 134.5ft Insano slide in Fortaleza, Brazil.