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Cannonball Loop: World's Most Dangerous Waterslide

That waterslide that John posted a couple of days ago sure looked dangerous, but believe it or not, there's one even MORE dangerous. In fact, it was so dangerous that it was shut down by park safety.

io9 has the story of the legendary "Canonball Loop" at Action Park in Vernon Township, New Jersey:

There was however one ride that was too extreme even for Action Park. This water slide flipped the bird at physics so rudely that it was open for a single summer and then abandoned like a drainage pipe along the River Styx. We are referring to the infamous, gravity-defying Cannonball Loop.

Due to its special status as one of the most monumentally bad ideas in theme park history, the Loop has an aura of mystery surrounding it. According to the most common reports circulating around the internet, the Loop was open for one month during the summer of 1985 before being shut down by the New Jersey Carnival Amusement Ride Safety Advisory Board. Only a few brave souls rode the loop, many of them park employees who were bribed into testing it. According to one rumor, test dummies subjected to the Cannonball Loop came out missing limbs.

Link | More at Weird NJ

Rhett Allain of Wired did physics calculation on the Canonball Loop and why it's so dangerous:

With a radius of 3 meters, this gives an acceleration of 10.2 g’s. Wow. That is just crazy. If you are going any slower, you wouldn’t make it over the loop. Any faster and you might die from the massive acceleration.


yes it was a bit dangerous. I took my kids there, ages 5 and 10.
The oldest was fooling around in an area that was designated for toddlers, but he managed to fall off a small cliff and onto a concrete hill , scraping most of the skin off his chest ,stomach and arm. I was looking to call an ambulance- he was looking to get back in line for the next slide!
Which is a good thing because I couldn't figure out who if anyone was working there, much less if there was a first aid station.
Another highlight was the rope swing. Great fun unless the kid forgot to,
or was too scared to let go of the rope- in which case he swung back to smash against the rocks!
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Some of the comments are not entirely accurate. The infamous loop was open for more than one season. Nobody died in the loop. Some people got stuck at the top, so they modified it and put in a trap door at the base of the loop. I rode the loop in the early 90's. I got around the loop without a problem but it did leave me a crazy head rush feeling. One of the wildest things ever encountered at a water park. But Action Park was known for its dangerous rides. It's what made it so much fun. The Alpine slide was the best! They were also one of the first places to have a bungee jump tower over airbags and a sling shot. I miss it!
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I remember that thing...it was closed the time I went there back in the 80s with all sorts of rumors...the standard story was they didn't keep good track of who went in and who came out so they sent somebody down before the last guy made it out...and the last guy was stuck at the top of the loop so they collided and both died...

And ya that place was nuts. You'd see all these people walking around with mercurichrome stains on various scrapes...mostly from riding that thing that was a long halfpipe that you rode on with a sort of cart...you were free inside the halfpipe and the surface was rough so you'd get some speed up...start to ride up the wall...then push against it with your arm or leg and it was kind of like holding your arm against a grinding wheel...what fun
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Yeah, accident park, traction park. The alpine slide was a good place to lose half of your skin to road rash. I had a bunch of friends who worked there, and they were usually drunk or stoned the whole day. Nothing like hiring teenagers, not really training them, and letting them run the place.Can't believe that place was open so long.
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We spent many summer days at Action Park, and not once did I ever see anyone ride that. Honestly though, I think the Alpine slide was just as dangerous, and a helluva lot more fun anyway.
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