Water parks continually strive to offer new and thrilling attractions each seasons to keep guests coming back for even more wet and wild thrills. The manufacturers of slides keep inventing new and exciting ways to cool off on hot summer days with a wide variety of offerings on the traditional waterslide.
|For the 2013 season Six Flags Hurricane Harbor looked to continue the growth streak it had been on for several seasons and add yet another new water slide to their collection. One slide that the park was lacking was a racing slide, allowing guests to challenge each other to race to the bottom of a fun and fast finale.
|In late winter/early spring of 2013, parts for the new Big Wave Racer slide began to arrive at the park and site preparation began in a previously undeveloped area of the water park. The area had been designated as a site for future expansion originally planned to house a second children's water play area. At one point it was also being earmarked for a catering grove, but instead the site would be used for a fast and exciting water thrill ride.
|On this site would be
erected a KrackenRacer attraction designed and manufactured by Proslide
Technology Inc. The versatile model offered the park the option to
select the number of racing lanes they would like to install. The
park opted for six lanes in the hopes of adding hourly capacity which
the 2012 King Cobra slide lacked due to a relatively low weight limit
The metal support structure went up first, with the tower and the bracing for the slides quickly taking shape. Assembly of the fiberglass slide sections took place next, building from the bottom up. The six open slide lanes at the bottom continued and became a series of twisted tubes weaving over and under each other as they stretched to the platform at the top. With the slides themselves completed, work turned to finishing touches including the stairs and railings around the platform as well as installation of the pumps and plumbing that would bring water to the top of the slide.
|The location of Big
Wave Racer necessitated adding a new bridge from the park's central island
(Hurricane Harbor's Village), across the Taak It Ee Zee Creek lazy river to the
newly constructed area.
The new addition was placed towards the front of the park in the hopes of drawing guests to the nearby Aquatopia (renamed Paradise Pizza & Grill in 2013) restaurant. Previous attractions and additions were all placed towards the rear of the park causing traffic flow to drain away from the park's signature food outlet which was often underutilized throughout the day.
|As the opening of Big
Wave Racer approached, the new pathways were completed and new
landscaping was added to finish the area and make it ready for guests.
The expansive new section of the park provided additional sandy beaches complete with lounge chairs for sunbathing. This restful spot helped to make up for some of the park's original beach and volleyball area which were lost to the addition of the King Cobra water slide. It also provided the opportunity for future expansion as the acreage could easily accommodate several new additional slides and attractions.
|While Big Wave Racer was really
just a simple slide complex, it looked quite impressive with its series
of braided twisting tubes leading down to the checkered flag design of the run
out at the bottom of the slide.
Big Wave Racer was unique among the slides of Hurricane Harbor in that riders utilized racing mats and traveled face down the slide. Others used inflatable tubes or were body slides where guests rode feet first down the slides. The aspect of plummeting face first made it seem more exciting and daunting. Though the Big Wave Racer was by no means one of the tallest slides in Hurricane Harbor, it was sure to be one of the most exciting.
|As a special perk to Season Pass
Holders, Hurricane Harbor offered a preview of Big Wave Racer for the
first few weekends in June 2013. This exclusive sneak peek at this
latest water slide was very popular with guests wishing to try out the
park's newest contraption.
On June 21st, 2013, Big Wave Racer made its big debut to the media and to general public. The new slide made a huge splash with guests, offering new thrills and excitement.
The media event for the opening of Big Wave Racer was also an awareness event for Stronger Than The Storm, an organization dedicated to help recovery and rebuilding efforts in New Jersey. Many local families close to Six Flags Great Adventure were still in the process of rebuilding months after Super Storm Sandy had caused so much destruction. Almost nine months after the storm, the efforts were still underway, and reminding everyone of the work that still was needed to be done was an important message to the public. All around the shore area an effort was being made to get the word out that while the Jersey Shore may have been down, it was not out, and was trying hard to bounce back after so much devastation.
|Big Wave Racer was an immediate success, offering yet another fun and exciting way for guests to cool off on the hot summer days. The thrill of racing five other guests made Big Wave Racer a new and different experience every time someone rode it, keeping guests coming back for slide after slide.
Below to Watch a Video of Big Wave Racer
Video Courtesy of Six Flags Great Adventure