“Bom’s Away!” I lurch forwards and begin rapid descent. My insides flutter and I become a human rocket. “Keep your arms and legs crossed,” was the last instruction I heard from the supervisor. All I want to do is fling my limbs towards the sides and bring myself to a screaming halt. I realise this action is likely to cause injury. Time slows. I am falling.
We are at Waterbom Park in Kuta, Bali. My husband thought it was a good idea to start with a Level five waterslide. Five being the most advanced. If you were in the vicinity you would have seen me cowering and glowering at the top of a double slide that is known as the Race Track. I spent at least ten minutes at the top of the slide undertaking tense negotiations with my husband and the Pool Supervisor. I elicited obvious signs of fear and they worked as a team to convince me it was fine. “Come on, it’s not that bad, once you get on, you’ll enjoy it, I promise.” In a moment of madness, I went for it.
I have built an impressive repertoire of theme park experiences over the years. It began in Auckland, New Zealand with my first rollercoaster experiences at Rainbow’s End. The biggest boasting rights go to my visit to Disneyland in Tokyo, Japan. There was lots of screaming on Space Mountain that day. Next was a visit to Sydney’s Wonderland where I rode a rickety wooden roller coaster that looked like it had seen better days. The park closed down soon after. As I get closer to middle-age, my youthful adventurous streak has severely diminished.
The acute angle and the velocity from skin against slide was a bit much. I lost my stomach and my last remaining scraps of confidence. At the bottom another Supervisor asks me “How was it?” “Awful” I reply honestly, still shaking. “Really? Oh.” He obviously hadn’t heard that response much before. I greeted my husband with a cold look of discern. He knew he was in the dog box before I opened my mouth. Later research revealed that I would have travelled for nine seconds at fifty kilometres per hour. That’ll explain it then.
I got to pick the next ride. With my nerves shot to hell, I selected the most tranquil ride in the whole park, the Lazy River which involves floating in a tube along a sedate man made stream. Ah, now that’s more like it.
Waterbom Park is spread over almost four hectares of pristine tropical backdrop interspersed with an impressive collection of water activities. If you’ve had enough of plummeting metres on a waterslide, you can jump nine metres skywards on the Euro Bungy, no water involved. Or you could propel water balloons at your friends on the Water Blaster. You can rent lockers, towels and gazebos. Hunger can be sated with one of the many food and beverage options at the park. I saw a Bintang vending machine. For those that have a similar tolerance to wild waterslides, activities like massages, nail treatments, fish spa therapy might be of interest. Forgot your bathing suit? You can duck into the onsite surf shops and you’re set.
My husband decided to embark upon more rides at level five and I elected not to. I’d had enough level fives for my lifetime. He went to the top and I lined up the camera for the action shot. Much more my style. The Climax waterslide begins in a vertical position sixteen metres high. A trap door opens and the slider experiences no less than two point five G-force speed. Not to mention they do a loop-de-loop upwards before being spit out at the other end in a spray of water.
I stood with post traumatic stress disorder at a Number four slide called the Constrictor. Partaking in ‘market research’ is what I called it, watching other suckers plunge into oblivion. I’d make a good mother. I observed the platform and where others would stare in wonder and a myriad of safety risks rushed to the front of my mind. While conducting my market research, I observe a couple go down the slide backwards, on a double tube. The girl gets out, turns to him and exclaims “asshole”. I chuckled to myself. I’m not the only one.
Bali’s Waterbom Park was voted Best Amusement Parks & Water Parks in Asia for 2013. They were too good if you ask me. I’ll be going for the more sedate pool and massage next time.
Waterbom Park is located in Kuta, Bali. Costs to visit for a day are around $30 USD per adult and $20 for children. For more information, click here.