New waterpark slides said to be the “tallest and fastest” in the UK have been unveiled with the help of the former world’s strongest man.
The four attractions; Thunderbolt, Cyclone, Stormchaser and Hurricane were opened at the existing Waterworld site in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, on Thursday, by 2017 global champion Eddie “The Beast” Hall.
Hall, who smashed the deadlift world record in 2018 after lifting 500kg, described the Thunderbolt as “terrifying”, after having a go himself.
The 31-year-old strongman, who has been going to the park since he was a boy, said: “That Thunderbolt ride is quite scary.
“You’ve got to have some bottle to get on it, and you fly down – particularly when you’re someone with my weight.
“I guess I’ve made sure it’s safe for everyone else of a certain size, though.”
The largest of the rides tower more than 16.5m or 54ft above round level and are capable of delivering slide speeds of up to 39 kph, or 24 mph.
The attractions are part of a £12 million “Tornado Alley” expansion.
Mo Chaudry, who has turned around the park’s fortunes since buying the site in 1999, said: “We believe the rides on our top platform are the highest in the UK – and Thunderbolt is also the fastest.”
He added: “In addition to the new rides, we are expanding our outdoor pool area, and have already completed a major upgrade of lockers and changing facilities.”
He added that once further improvements have been completed, visitor numbers are expected to increase by 150,000 to more than half a million a year.
Mr Chaudry said: “This all adds up to the biggest single investment in Waterworld’s 30-year history, creating new jobs, and providing work for local contractors.”
Up to 300 tons of steelwork and 3,300 tons of concrete have been used building the extension, including more than 21 tons needed to build the giant stair tower to the new slides.