Who needs a roller coaster? Not visitors to Noah's Ark Water Park, who get all the roller coaster thrills they could ask for while being half-naked on the Scorpion's Tail, the first and only looping waterslide in the United States.
Designed by engineering firm WhiteWater West, the facility is a ridiculous creation that turns sliding into a pool worthy of the greatest amusement park rides. You start your descent from 10 stories high and travel in high velocity down a 400-foot pipe. Yes, the pipe really does loop (27 feet high, at an angle of 60-degrees) and you're supposed to go around all of it. No belts, no carts and no seats - just you, splashing water and curving walls all around you.
The Scorpion's Tail uses sophisticated engineering to take you through the loop and down to the pool. A trapdoor from the tower drops you down a 55-foot chute, where you descend at a steep 70-degree slope. The near-vertical angle helps you build up momentum to the tune of 50 feet per second (around 30 mph), so you can hit the ascending loop with enough speed to make your way around it. In case you butt scoot your way into a slower pace than the required speed (they estimate it will happen to 1% of participants), you will slip back to the start of the loop, where an available opening will let you exit. In shame, of course.
Optical sensors will track riders throughout the course of each slide, from the moment they drop down till they splash out in the water below. Onboard sprayers mist the wall for a slicker surface, helping you complete the entire slide within 9 to 14 seconds.
Can't wait to try it? No need to wait too long. The Scorpion's Tail will open at Noah's Ark Water Park beginning this summer.