The world's tallest water slide, the Verrückt, is open and ready for riders Thursday at Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas. The water slide, which is 168 feet, 7 inches tall, takes the Guinness World Record by five feet, dropping riders from even higher than Niagra Falls.
The world's tallest water slide was named Verrückt, the German word for "insane," possibly because no vendor wanted the daunting task of building it when Jeff Henry, the owner of Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts, first proposed it. Instead, he enlisted head designer John Schooley to help build it— of course, that means they were also the first ones to ride it.
"It was terrifying," Schooley told Fox News of the 168-foot drop. "It was great fun, but it was actually terrifying."
Verrückt was challenging to build. Schooley said that the first time they rode the water slide, it was "too steep and too short," so they had to tear down two-thirds of it and rebuild it. Even on May 23, when the ride was supposed to open, it couldn't because of technical difficulties. Schlitterbahn ended up delaying their ride three separate times, even dealing with a conveyor belt issue earlier this week.
Finally, Verrückt is open today, and it's much more than just one long drop.
"You have three or four experiences on the ride," Schooley explained. "There is a 3-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."
"It would have been relatively easy to do (just one drop) a long run-out, but to shoot you back over another hill was extremely challenging," he added.
Now thrill seekers are coming from far and wide to try the world's tallest water slide, even braving the 260 steps to get to the top.
To see a video of what it's like to ride the Verrückt at the Kansas City Schlitterbahn, click below.