Surfin' and Slidin': The Intense New Water Rides At Six Flags Great America's Riptide Bay

80 degree free-fall speed slides, surf simulators part of four-acre addition to Hurricane Harbor

By Marcus Leshock

WGN Feature Reporter

7:41 PM EDT, June 8, 2011



Somebody drew the short straw.

And it wasn't me.

I was lucky enough to spend the early afternoon at Six Flags Great America's Hurricane Harbor. The waterpark added a four acre addition this year they're calling Riptide Bay, complete with a few new attractions.

Among them are Dive Bomber and Mega Wedgie - four state-of-the-art 40 mile per hour waterslides. What makes them different? Take Mega Wedgie - you start by standing in an enclosed pod about eight stories up. After a short countdown (if you're lucky), the floor drops out, and you free-fall until the slide bottoms out. It's over in seconds - think of it as the Giant Drop of waterslides.

Dive Bomber is much the same, but it shoots you through an almost-looping tube.

There's also a double-sided surf simulator. It pumps more than 30,000 gallons of water up a small hill. You jump on a body board and fight the current. If you're really feeling it, hop on a surfboard.

Hurricane Harbor and the new Riptide Bay are included with the price of Six Flags Great America admission, which is $56.99 for adults, $39.99 for children under 48", and FREE for children 2 or under.

The park is having a Season Pass special right now. Buy four or more, and they're just $64.99 each.

You can buy your tickets and passes online at http://sixflags.com/greatamerica.