Opinion: Pushed launch water slide looks like a dumb idea

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

A video is making the rounds through spammy press outlets right now of a water slide concept that uses a pusher to launch a boat into the course. Headlines suggest it would be terrifying and stuff.

Here's why it's a dumb idea: ProSlide already solved this problem. It has a product today that uses linear induction motors under the slide, reacting to plates in the boats. If you've been to Holiday World and Splashin' Safari, you've been on these and you know that they're awesome. The ride in the concept video adds unnecessary complexity, and potentially other problems since you have to exert some kind of downward force to keep the boat down, since it's not on a track.

File this in the "never will happen" category.

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Tekwardo's avatar

I don’t necessarily thing it was a ‘problem’ that had already been solved, I think this is another way to do it when ProSlide likely holds patents. Having said that, I don’t think this will be built, but, I wonder if this launches faster than the proslide one.


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joe.'s avatar

The problem with this one would be if for some reason the boat stopped moving but the launcher didn't. I know there's sensors, checks, and what not.... but ProSlide has it right.

At first I figured this was a crazy idea from a wannabe manufacturer, but upon closer inspection this is from Wiegand. Those who are States-side would best recognize them for their alpine coasters, but they're also a well-established slide manufacturer in Europe. Their last crazy idea, the Slide Wheel, has been put into service in China but is currently absent from their website.

Tekwardo's avatar

How...how would the boats stop moving and the launcher not?


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Raven-Phile's avatar

What if a raft catastrophically failed and popped or something?

joe.'s avatar

If the back of the raft/boat separated from the bottom? If theres enough drag for some reason on the bottom of the boat, and the top section continues to push?Ah, well. It was a a short-lived return before I felt like a moron. :-)

While it does seem to add complexity, it does remove the LIM components from interacting with water. So, it could be viewed as a simplification under a different lens. Also, it's another company's solution to a launched waterslide. How is competition in the market place a bad thing?

The only downside I see on the execution of Wiegand's model is that incorporating multiple launches throughout the ride is nigh impossible.

Jeff's avatar

The LIM components don't interact with water, they interact with the metal plate in the boat. This is the opposite of simplification. ProSlide has a metal plate and motors mounted under the slide. This thing is all of the components of a roller coaster, plus the LIM system, plus an engagement system to the boat, plus the boat itself.

Ask the former Schlitterbahn guys about how competition works.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Tekwardo's avatar

To be fair...

The former Schlitterbahn guys didn’t have engineering degrees, IIRC.


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