It is a jaw-dropping 1,111 metres and takes an estimated four minutes to ride from start to finish – and now the newest water slide at the Escape theme park in Penang, Malaysia, has been officially recognised as the world’s longest tube water slide.
On Wednesday (Sep 25), theme park operator SIM Leisure Group received a Guinness World Record certificate from an official adjudicator.
The water slide smashes a previous record for tube water slides of 356 metres held by the Galaxy Erding in Germany. Other water slides at Escape are between 250 to 300 metres long. A check of the Guinness World Records site indicates there is a water slide spanning 2,723 metres down a mountain in Lishui, China.
The record-breaking slide meanders through the forested area of the theme park, with an elevation of 70 metres at the start. Riders take a cable car chairlift to get to its entrance on top of a hill.
SIM Leisure Group describes it as a “four-minute downhill joyride which zigzags and criss-crosses through natural forest and tree canopies”.
“The idea of this water slide came about over frustration that most fun rides and water slides last merely a few seconds, and having the water slide start on a hilltop at a 70-metre elevation would make this ride last a good few minutes. Escape embraces the philosophy of promoting eco-literacy through fun, this water slide would ride guests through the jungle down the hill and all the way to the other side at the water park,” said Sim Choo Kheng, CEO of Sim Leisure Group.
Sim's experience in building other theme parks include the likes of Lost Paradise of Dilmun in Bahrain, Aquapolis in Bulgaria, Water World Yerevan in Armenia, and Vietnam Water World in Ho Chi Minh City.
Its latest slide was built in collaboration with Daxin Water Park Equipment Supplies. It has been in the works for two years and installation took place over eight months. Heavy machinery was not deployed and construction was done with scaffolding and chain hoists so as to preserve the environment.
“Installing the water slide in harsh conditions of the rainforest came with challenges such as constantly having to overcome mosquitoes and predators,” said Sim Leisure Group.
Tests of the slide were done with simulated human weight, with more than 20 trips over 10 days before the first human test, said Sim. Additionally, Escape runs weekly equipment maintenance every Monday, when the park is closed.
Inspections of the slide, including physical visual checks, will take place every morning, prior to the park’s opening, as is done for all slides in Escape, he said. Subsequent to that, lifeguards will ride the slides themselves to perform checks and confirm it is safe for use. The slide will also be monitored by slide attendants along the ride, as well as with CCTV cameras.
Sim told CNA Lifestyle that riders can expect to travel less than 4.5 metres per second on the slide, well below the speed of normal tube water slides where they would travel about five to seven metres per second. “A tube slide is very safe. Even if you run into each other, you’re not going to get hurt,” he said. “Our emphasis was never on having an adrenaline-filled ride. This is a fun ride which rides through nature.”
The slide is expected to open to the public in the second half of October. There are no separate charges for taking the ride. Users need only pay park entrance fees, which covers access to its 42 attractions. Walk-in tickets cost RM147 (S$48) for visitors between 13 and 60 years old, and RM97 for children aged 4-12 and those above the age of 61.