(Courtesy: Schlitterbahn Kansas City)
In German, Verrückt means insane. It is also the name of the recently anointed World’s Largest Water Slide by the Guinness Book of World Records, opening later this month at the Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City. At a staggering 168.5 feet, Verrückt will stand taller than both Niagara Falls and the Statue of Liberty.
After climbing 264 steps you and your three friends will board a raft and plummet from the top at a speed of 65.2 mph before being propelled up and over a 50 foot-high hill. It opens May 23—just in time for swimsuit season—so book your tickets now.
If solo is more your thing, check out these terrifying slides. Just remember: when embarking on the ride, wear a one-piece and lock your legs together real tight or the landing ain’t gonna be pretty.
1. Kilimanjaro, Brazil
Height: 164 feet
Riders hit 60 mph as they race on their backs down this massive fiberglass speed slide in the Águas Quentes Country Club. The ride is so big that designers had to excavate part of a hill to accommodate it. Be sure to commit to the free fall before you climb the 234 steps—park owners claims 1-in-20 chicken out at the top.
2. Insano, Brazil
Height: 135 feet
At Beach Park, in northern Brazil, riders climb 14 stories to enjoy panoramic views of the nearby Atlantic Ocean before plummeting at 65 mph to the waiting crowds below. The speed slide, which only lasts about four to five seconds, held the Guinness Book of World records title before Kilimanjaro.
(Courtesy: Ricardo Mendonça Ferreira)
3. Spacemaker, Italy
Height: 132 feet
This three or four-person raft slide situated at Aqualandia, outside Venice shoots you down a 60-degree slope at speeds of up to 62 mph. The bad news: it can take up to 15 minutes to climb the dizzying 156-step spiral staircase to the top—raft in tow. The good news: it’ll only take three seconds to get back down.
4. Deep Water Dive, Kentucky
Height: 121 feet
This brand-new speed slide at Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane Bay will help relaunch this Southern amusement park on May 24. With its staggering 70-degree slope and 12-story drop, the Deep Water Dive is poised to be the tallest speed slide in North America.
5. Summit Plummet, Florida
Height: 120 feet
Disney World once held the Guinness title of World’s Tallest Water Slide with this ski jump-themed giant. Set at the top of Mount Gushmore, in Blizzard Beach, riders can reach top speeds of 55 mph as they descend down the 360-foot “snow” hill, through a tunnel, and into the splash pool below.
(Courtesy: Disney World)
6. Jumeirah Sceirah, Dubai
Height: 108 feet
Next to one of the world’s most over-the-top hotels, the seven-star Burj Al Arab, sits one of the world’s largest water slides. In fact, this enormous speed slide was so popular that the Wild Wadi theme park decided to build it a twin. Worried you won’t be able to push off? No problem! The slide features a trap door capsule, which releases riders onto the slide unexpectedly.
(Photo: George Paris)
7. VertiGO, Spain
Height: 108 feet
When this speed slide opened in Aqualandialast August it officially became Europe’s tallest free-fall water slide. Almost identical to the Jumeirah Sceirah—though you have the choice between lime green and neon pink slides—VertiGO releases its unsuspecting victims via a trap door.
8. Caneva Aquapark’s Stukas BOOM, Italy
Height: 105 feet
At this Italian version of Universal Studios outside Verona is yet another trap door speed slide named—somewhat awkwardly for a water slide—after a German dive bomber from WWII.
(Photo: Ramones Rulla)
Benjamin Solomon is a writer and editor based in New York City. He was most recently the Editor-in-Chief of Next Magazine. He has contributed to VanityFair.com, Travel + Leisure, and New York. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @benjaminsolomon.