Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Focus of Water Slides Recently

Multiple master blasters at Aquaventure in Dubai
It seems the focus with building certain kinds of water slides have been shifting as time progresses. For a while, the main focus were the water coasters with the Master Blasters, the conveyor launchers (zip coasters), and the Hydromagnetic water coasters. The main differences in these slides are the facts that the master blasters use water to propel riders uphill and do not require specially made inner-tubes or rafts, the hydromagnetic slides use magnets that pull the rafts uphill and the slide surfaces are the smoothest compared to other water coasters, and the conveyor launchers use conveyor belts to carry riders onward and do not require as much water as do the others (correct me if I’m wrong).

Examples of these slides are the master blaster slides of the Aquaventure water parks in Dubai and the Bahamas, the Black Anaconda conveyor launched slide at Noah’s Ark water park in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, and the Wildebeest hydromagnetic water coaster at Holiday World’s Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana.

After the coaster-like slides, the focus seemed to move to slides with special elements implemented in them. There are the uniquely sized bowl and funnel slides of ProSlide, White Water West’s larger sized tunnel and funnel slides, and the latter introduced idea by Polin for a sphere-shaped element. (Polin’s “Magic Sphere”) The water slide companies have even altered their already introduced slide ideas to come up with completely new ideas, like changing the sizes of the elements or slicing them in certain parts.

Omaka Rocka at Aquatica are Topsy Turvys from ProSlide. A smaller take on their large Tornado slides.

Examples of these slides are Omaka Rocka funnel slides at Aquatica in Orlando, Florida, the Abyss funnel water slide at the Hanwa Resort in South Korea, and the Family Python at NRH20 in North Richland Hill, Texas.

Currently it seems the water slide industry has taken a focus towards the trap-door body speed slides, seeing that they seem to be popping up in random locations all around the world. Some of the trap-door slides even implement a flat or upward inclined helix called the Superloop or Aqualoop.
The Aqualoop slides, first introduced by Aquarena, were the first water slides to feature the near-looping element before White Water West received liscense to continue building them in other parts of the world as well. Afterwards, ProSlide built body slides that featured a flat helix, avoiding the upward turn and the need for an escape hatch in case of a rider valleying. The ProSlide SuperLoop slides seem to be an easier alternative to the daring Aqualoop slides and have been widely accepted by water parks in the United States, which is noticeable seeing that there are more SuperLoops that there are Aqualoops in the United States; with more SuperLoops on the way.

Examples of these slides are the Scorpion’s Tail Aqualoop slide at Noah’s Ark water park in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, the Vanishing Point SuperLoop slides at Water Country USA in Williamsburg, Virginia, and Tufani Falls dual SuperLoops at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

Video Source

The future for water slides seem to be taking a more innovative turn. The many water slide companies around the world are producing more and more creative designs to make water slides more interesting, fun, and thrilling. What will be the next big idea with slides to begin sprouting up in parks everywhere? We'll just have to wait and see!

Links to mentioned water slide companies:

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