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New thrill splashes into SCV

80-degree angle Bonzai Pipelines open at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

Posted: May 26, 2014 8:13 p.m.
Updated: May 26, 2014 8:13 p.m.

Jose Jolon, 19, slides down one of the two new water slides, called the Bonzai Pipelines, at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor on Monday. Signal photo by Katharine Lotze.

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Opening day of Bonzai Pipelines, the “terrifying” new water slide attraction at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor amusement park, received a resounding two shaky thumbs up, according to its inaugural riders.

The youngest, oldest, tallest and shortest of Monday’s first-time Bonzai Pipelines riders, male and female, each used the same word to describe the watery sheer-drop experience as they each emerged dripping from a wave of splashed water at the bottom of the attraction’s dual slides: “Scary.”

Santa Clarita Valley brothers Sean and James Verheijen, 18 and 14 respectively, were the first ones to step inside the enclosed “capsules” at the top of Bonzai’s two slides - one enclosed, the other just a ribbon of hard plastic —  each built at an 80-degree angle.

Ninety-degrees is completely vertical.

“It was scary,” said Sean, who waited in line most of his Memorial Day afternoon to be first.

“It was a lot steeper than I thought,” he said. “There was more force when you come down and more splash.”

You have to be at least 42 inches to ride the park’s latest thrill ride.

The shortest and youngest of the inaugural Bonzai Pipeline riders was 8-year-old 4-foot-tall Aidan Hicks, of Valencia.
“It was like a little bit of fun and scary at the same time,” he said.

His brother, Jonathan, 10, also described it as fun and scary.

Their mother, Kristen, said: “I told them, ‘You’re not going down the blue one.’ They were good about it when I told them they had to go down the enclosed one.”

Listening to the amplified sound of a beating human heart while waiting inside the enclosed capsule adds to the fear, riders said.

“I hated that,” 13-year-old Erin Ferguson said about the sound. “There’s a countdown, 3-2-1, then it just drops. It’s very high and scary,” she said.

Asked what she would tell her friends about the ride, she said: “I would tell them it’s not scary so I can watch them do it.”

Park President Bonnie Rabjohn said she’s pleased to hear people describe the ride as scary.

“That makes me extremely happy,” she said, on hand to see the first Bonzai Pipeline riders emerge shaking from the slide.
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