What It’s Like to Plummet Down the World’s Tallest Waterslide

By ABC News

Jul 9, 2014 5:42pm

Standing at 168 feet tall, Verruckt, which is German for “insane,” is the world’s tallest waterslide, but it may be more of a tower of terror than a water ride.

Located at the Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City, Kansas, riders have to climb 270 stairs to get to the top of Verruckt, which is higher than Niagara Falls. Guinness World Records certified Verruckt in April as the tallest water slide in the world.

Riders sit in an inflatable raft to plunge down the slide’s gut-checking drop at 40 to 45 miles per hour, according to park officials. The whole ride lasts about 11 seconds.

Verruckt was over budget and a year late in opening, delayed by mud, storms and unsuccessful test trials — designers used sandbags to mimic a human rider during testing, several of which went sailing off the slide.

But the slide’s designer Jeff Henry said the slide is indeed “scary, but not dangerous.”

ABC’s Matt Gutman was the first civilian rider to take on the terrifying Verruckt.

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ABC's Matt Gutman tests out the worlds tallest water slide in Kansas City. Credit: ABC News

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