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May 23, 2014

Schlitterbahn: Verruckt rumors untrue, no test riders have gone airborne

Schlitterbahn’s record-setting Verruckt waterslide in Kansas has garnered plenty of attention in recent months, though park officials are quickly learning that attention may not be all good.

Schlitterbahn’s record-setting Verruckt waterslide has garnered plenty of attention in recent months, as it gets closer to opening. But park officials are learning that attention can be accompanied by rumor and innuendo.

In the wake of the latest speculation surrounding the attraction — rumors that riders had gone airborne during a test run — a spokesperson for the Kansas City, Kan., waterpark on Friday denied any such occurrence.

“I can absolutely say that no test riders have gone airborne on the slide, because no test riders have gone down the slide,” said Layne Pitcher, chuckling.

The rumors began circulating earlier this week after posts on travel and news blogs.

But according to Pitcher, only sandbags and accelerometers have been used so far in the testing process.

He also laughed off the idea that the park might have leaked such a rumor to drum up publicity for the ride, which was named the world’s tallest waterslide by Guinness World Records.

“I can’t really say where that rumor would have come from,” Pitcher said. “The testing process we have in place is very extensive. We’re not going to let anybody get on this raft without it.”

Verruckt, which is German for “insane,” was originally scheduled to open in time for Memorial Day weekend. Last week, however, the park announced it would postpone the slide’s debut until June 5 as final adjustments and testing were carried out.

On Friday, Pitcher said the 168-feet-7-inch slide is still on pace to open June 5.

“A lot of the adjustments we were making have been made,” he said. “Nobody’s really done this before, so we’ve got to kind of expect the unexpected.”

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