I'm certain many of you know that IAAPA's annual Exposition started this past Tuesday and, like always, companies and businesses left and right are popping out new, innovative, and creative creations as well as announcing new installations coming to parks inside and outside of the United States.
In case you don't know what I'm talking about, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions is an annual trade exposition comprising of most big-name companies and businesses from around the world to showcase their products for amusement parks, entertainment centers, arcades, and more to see and make possible purchases to install at their facilities. Many big behind-door deals and innovations are typically announced for the first time at this exposition every year, with this year being no exception for many companies.
One particular innovation I'd like to highlight comes from, no surprise here, the water park industry. This one comes from Avalanche Waterslides and Skyturtle Technologies, based out of Missouri and Iowa, who just announced something that seems will put water slides on a whole new level of thrills, with The Skycalibre slide!
The Skycalibre slide completely breaks boundaries on what typical water slides can do. It all starts with a capsule that a single rider is locked into. Next, the capsule is pushed into the enlosed flume and starts with a vertical plunge; and by vertical I mean a true 90 degree drop! After 45 feet of pure freefall, the slide pulls up and keeps going until it has completely encircled to create a real 30 foot tall vertical loop!
In The Loop podcast, hosted by Coaster Crew and Screamscape, were at IAAPA to speak with the president of Sky Turtle Technologies, Lance Fischer, about the slide.
Whenever I see the concept for the slide, I can't help but think of two things. One is the first water slide in recorded history to have a true vertical loop, the notorious Cannonball Loop that sparsely operated at Action Park in New Jersey. This slide didn't have a capsule to hold riders in, so if they didn't make it totally through the loop, they would flop onto the opposite side before sliding backwards. Secondly, it remind me of a concept I bumped into from the 1920's by two New York inventors who proposed a concept involving riders in a bullet-shaped car being shot out of a cannon and landing in a lake.
The slide looks pretty ambitious (and frankly, just plain scary!), but if Lance can ride his own creation 10 times and say he likes it, then I'm sure it's bound to turn the whole water park industry on their heads yet again!