Thea Awards Recipients

Thea Awards 2017

Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Technology


Slideboarding, developed by WhiteWater, is a pioneering adaptation of video gaming to the world of waterparks. It amps up audience engagement, bringing in-park interactivity together with an extended-experience, smart app that remembers guests’ in-home practice sessions and drives repeat visitation.

The combination of a physical waterslide - a single-rider Slideboard - with video-like game controls, is new and novel. The Slideboarding game can be played when added to a conventional waterpark slide, and gaming play can continue outside the park on smart devices. The system scans each guest as a unique rider/player and automatically increases the difficulty of the game each time the same guest Slideboards in the waterpark.

Specifics include a conventional, partially enclosed waterslide equipped with a series of dynamic LED targets that riders/players respond to as they pass the target locations. Slideboards are lightweight, multi-colored, inflatable base vehicles provided with handles containing four colored buttons, thus functioning as the game controller. As riders pass individually colored targets in the waterslide, a matching colored button is pressed. The game system sends a feedback signal instantly to the Slideboard confirming the "hit" as to position, color, and time accuracy with a vibration of the handle and a sound so riders can gauge their performance.

The rider's scores are displayed on a scoreboard at the finish. The system remembers riders and their scores for re-visits, increasing the difficulty of the game and challenging riders to reach new skill levels – which are globally shared with other riders. High scorers are awarded achievement badges.

A game application can be freely downloaded by guests to continue play in a global, competitive gaming community, thus extending the experience long after a park visit. The application ties the gamers together and provides new opportunity to park operators for data-driven marketing that heretofore has not been seen in a waterpark ride attraction. All these factors contribute to make Slideboarding a unique achievement. The combination - interactive marketing, unique ride/game vehicle, and waterpark thrill ride - is new and significant.

Slideboarding is an outstanding new technology and an affordable game-changer that will benefit waterparks and the industry as a whole.

Find out more about TEA member WhiteWater West Industries Ltd.

Award Credits