By Helena Rodriguez
School’s out now, things are heating up for the summer and that means it’s time to cool down.
What better way to cool down than to get wet, and to maximize your water experience, why not head to any one of three area water parks?
Albuquerque’s one and only water park, The Beach, has been open since May 15 on a weekend-only schedule but is now on its full summer schedule. In nearby West Texas, Splash Amarillo! opens on Friday and Lubbock’s Texas Water Rampage, which has also been on a weekends-only schedule, kicks off its full summer time season on Saturday.
Due to a lack of funds this season, Hero’s Water World in Midland, Texas, will not open this year.
Splash Amarillo! features a lazy river for tubing and floating, a wave pool that simulates real ocean waves and an attraction, The Sidewinder, which is a giant taco-shaped slide that creates zero gravity as people get swept from side to side on mini rafts and then ride out into a small catch pool.
“We have five slides at Splash Amarillo! and have treated them with a chemical this year to make them even faster so people really fly down,” said Louanne Etheridge, general manager of Splash Amarillo!.
Texas Water Rampage in Lubbock is now in its 19th season and is the longest running water park in the area, according to manager and owner Beau Denson.
“We are proud of the fact that we have had a clean and safe park for 19 consecutive years,” Denson said. “We have a wading pool, a lazy river, two turpentine slides and a kiddy area called Dolphin Cove. We also have lots of shaded areas for picnics.”
Texas Water Rampage also features a Rio Rampage ride that Denson says is perfect for the entire family, especially those who want to relax. It takes 12-14 minutes to ride the Rio Rampage around the wave pool.
The Rampage’s Tidal Wave is a 9,000-square-foot wave pool that creates up to four-foot waves with no undertow. Swimmers can feel like they are riding the waves of the ocean. It also has twin twisters slides that are 60 feet high.
The Beach in Albuquerque features a 75-foot slide, The Plunge, among several other adventures including The Silver Bullet, The Black Hole and The Scream. Another popular slide is The Rolling Thunder, which is a fully enclosed body slide that produces an exhilarating downward plunge full of twists and turns and ends at a shallow water runout.
For more information on these water parks check out: www.splashamarillo.com, www.texaswaterrampage.com and www.beachwaterpark.com