While there are over 10.4 million residential swimming pools in the U.S., Americans still love a good water park, and the New York Times recently reported that a few of their favorite water parks would be getting some pretty high-tech upgrades. Described by its inventors as “Guitar Hero inside a water slide,” Slideboarding is the newest way to ride, and will be coming to Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos, as well as the Wet ‘n Wild park in Las Vegas.
Slideboarding, one of the world’s first water park video games, puts controls for the game in a water slide board, allowing riders to press buttons on the board while they ride to match with flashing lights. Designed to be an intelligent, interactive experience, riders will be able to check their scores when they emerge from the slide’s exit tubes, allowing them to compete with family, friends, or other guests.
Park guests can expect the game to be included in their usual stay packages, which typically range from a one day pass to an entire week. The new activity is an attempt to pack in a lot of fun in not a lot of time, according to Rick Root, president of the World Waterpark Association. “Families are pressed for time — that’s their scarcest resource,” he said. “Water parks today are about how to get a lot of play value in the shortest period of time.” Riders can anticipate trying out the new attraction by 2017, according to a manufacturer’s estimate.
Other water park upgrades include an attraction called “SurfLoch,” designed by Wave Loch to use compressed air to make waves for controlled surfing. The process can make any kind of wave, with some reaching as high as 10 feet tall. Company founder Tom Lochtefield calls it “the technological future of the natural wave.”