The world of waterslides is typically associated with carefree fun, where thrill-seekers glide down on their bellies or backs, relishing the rush of excitement. However, the AquaMagis amusement park in Plettenberg, Germany, has turned this conventional notion on its head by introducing the world’s first stand-up waterslide, the Sauerland Surfer.1 This innovative approach has sparked significant concerns and criticisms among the public. The controversial stand-up waterslide has some people feeling uneasy and skeptical. Some are also concerned about the safety and regulations regarding waterslides, so experts will weigh in.
Traditionally, waterslide enthusiasts anticipate the exhilaration of plunging down a slide, feeling the wind against their skin, and ending with a thrilling splash in the pool below. However, the Sauerland Surfer offers an entirely different experience. Instead of sitting on a tube, riders stand on a narrow track encircling an indoor pool. Water propels them forward, causing them to glide through the slide before landing in a small, shallow pool of water, making the first stand-up waterslide. There are no heart-pounding twists or towering peaks associated with typical water rides, making it a unique departure from the norm.
TikTok Roasts the Stand-up Waterslide
The Sauerland Surfer’s unconventional design received its fair share of criticism on social media, particularly on TikTok. TikToker @tuberides.official shared a video documenting their experience on the stand-up waterslide, and the reactions were far from positive. Users couldn’t help but express their skepticism and amusement.
One user remarked, “That’s the most awkward thing ever,” reflecting the general sentiment of awkwardness associated with standing on a waterslide. Another user humorously stated, “First and last,” indicating that their experience on the stand-up waterslide would likely be their only one. Some comments were even less flattering, with comparisons made to drinking spoiled milk or questioning why anyone would attempt such a peculiar ride.
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Safety Concerns Loom
Beyond the amusement factor, serious safety concerns have been raised regarding the stand-up waterslide.2 While the ride is relatively short, allowing riders to maintain their balance, many worry about potential injuries. One TikTok user shared a painful experience, saying, “I’ve been on one of those, and I fell, and it hurt so bad.” Others expressed concerns about knee injuries, foot entanglement, and the overall stability of the ride. These anxieties highlight the importance of ensuring the safety of such unconventional attractions.
The Importance of Safety on Waterslides (Stand-up or Otherwise)
The concerns surrounding the Sauerland Surfer underscore the critical importance of safety regarding waterslides. Safety experts emphasize the need for adherence to regulations and guidelines to prevent accidents and injuries.3
One common safety rule is riding feet first while sitting or lying down on waterslides. Riding headfirst is only permitted when the slide has been specially designed for such a purpose. This regulation is in place to reduce the risk of injuries, as demonstrated by a past incident where a user went down a waterslide headfirst, resulting in significant harm.
Height requirements for waterslides are determined by the manufacturer and are based on factors such as the design of the slide, the depth of the landing area, and the speed of the ride. These requirements are crucial for ensuring the safety of riders and are prominently displayed at each slide’s entrance.
Moreover, most waterslides are designed for single riders, with specific slides designed for multiple riders using tubes or rafts. This design ensures that riders enjoy the slide safely without overcrowding or accidents.
While the stand-up waterslide has brought a new twist to waterslides, it has also raised significant concerns and skepticism due to its unconventional design and potential safety risks. This reminds us of the paramount importance of adhering to safety regulations and guidelines when enjoying water park attractions. Whether it’s ensuring proper riding positions, following height requirements, or respecting capacity limits, safety should always be a top priority when experiencing the thrill of waterslides.
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- “TIKTOK DUBS WORLD’S FIRST STAND-UP WATER SLIDE ‘MOST AWKWARD THING EVER’.” In the Know. Emerald Pellot. March 8, 2022.
- “People have huge concerns after seeing how world’s first stand-up waterslide works.” Lad Bible. August 30, 2023.
- “Hitting the water park this summer? Waterslide safety questions answered.” Technical Safety BC. July 22, 2020/