Saturday, August 22, 2009

Best Ride Ever

I am a veteran of Wild Rivers in Irvine. As a kid growing up, I have had a season pass there multiple years, and I even attended a summer camp right next door and each morning we would get to go an hour before the park opened until about lunch time. So I'm very familiar with the ins and out of it.

It's pretty tiny, but there are definitely some gems. There is always the option of the lazy river. Congo River Rapids is a tube ride that has a place where you can stop and hold up other riders. That used to be way fun when I was a kid, but I can't bring myself to do it anymore as an adult. Bombay Blasters is a tube ride that goes underground and then shoots you into a pool of water. I am the very best at tucking into a cannonball upon exit from that ride, drenching anyone sitting on the bleachers. But the best ride by far is Surf Hill.

It's a really simple ride, not really much more than a giant slip and slide that goes down the hill and you ride on some mats. No one who isn't a veteran of the park can really appreciate all of the nuances of the ride, but it's the best. The. Best. Ever.

Let me break it down for you:
  • There are two mat folding philosophies. If you don't fold, then you don't know what you're doing. There is either the full burrito roll, or just folding the long ways. One is geared for speed, the other for jumping at the end.
  • The push-start. One of these days I want to get a running start onto the ride.
  • The paddling motion to gain speed. Another pretty awesome move is when the person in the lane next to you actually gets ahead of you, and actually pulling on that person's leg to propel yourself forward. It's seriously like a surf hill version of having nitrous. It's amazing the kind of speed you get from doing that.
  • The jump on the final hill. This is by far the best part. It comes from a push-up motion and a crucial element is pulling up the mat with you as you're flying through the air to emphasize the air you're getting.
  • And finally there is the matter of pulling up your body and mat enough to remove enough friction to not only coast through the water that is intended to slow down and stop you, but actually hit the wall at the very end of the ride. Last year I went with a kid that was so good at this part that he lost almost no momentum and would hit the wall so hard that he would actually fall out of the back onto the cement. It was amazing.
Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard the kind of joy that I experience with this ride. When the rest of our group left, Dave and I went on the ride at least ten times on our own, and you know what thought I had this afternoon? I wish that I could have gone again today and I would have gone on only that ride for the entire day.

Am I almost 30 years old? Yes. Would I seriously consider buying a ticket to a waterpark to go on one ride for 6-8 hours straight? Without question. I think it's one of the funnest things in the world.


MIKEREID said...

All hail Surf Hill. Might i add that not only is it the best ride, but i believe it just might have the best name as well. I get chills when some one says, "surf hill." Those two words make me melt.

Moomby said...

cutest post ever. i had a huge smile reading this

Kira Cook said...

Thanks for making me homesick!