They’re here! The latest and greatest new waterpark ride designs include everything from large slides to smaller play features, and for 2012, it’s all about outdoing what has come before. Here’s a closer look at what some of the major manufacturers are unveiling now.

American Wave Machines– PerfectSwell Wave Pool

American Wave Machine has developed a new patented wave generator for surf pool attractions. The PerfectSwell Wave Pool system creates breaking waves with the same profile advance as ocean surf, while reducing rip currents and energy buildup within the pool. Crafted especially for surfers to create a more authentic surfing experience, the design is efficient and cost-effective for operators. The PerfectSwell pool is 3,000 square meters, with 16 chambers, and multichamber programming that allows operators to adjust waves as desired.

AquaBlue International – AquaFX Special Effects

AquaBlue International’s AquaFX Special Effects is a series of product enhancements that allows waterpark operators to completely customize the appearance of their water slides. AquaFX Special Effects include multiple flume colors, embedded graphical theming, start/stop timing systems, and a variety of light and sound effects. The enhancements create a one-of-a-kind experience for riders and spectators alike.

AquaBlue International– AquaTwist

Cornelius, N.C.- based manufacturer AquaBlue International has introduced its newest signature attraction, the AquaTwist, designed to be a new twist on the traditional closed flume body or inner tube slide. AquaTwist water slide systems can start indoors or outdoors and can be gentle downward sloping rides, looping rides or a combination of the two. Riders experience unexpected drops and oscillations throughout the AquaTwist before exiting into a traditional plunge pool, or a run-out.

Empex Watertoys –Aquaclunes

The bright and colorful line of Aquaclunes is designed to entertain children and parents alike. The zany, clown-themed spray features are interactive elements for sprayparks. Clowns feature hand wheels or push buttons that allow children to change the various water events on each feature. Each time the handle is turned, a different water spray or event occurs.

Fountain People – Fun Formations Tree House

This versatile, sculpted-concrete, modular design aquatic play structure is designed for a wide range of ages and abilities. The Fun Formations Tree House can be custom themed to fit the brand of any aquatics facility, and pods can be added, removed and rotated to maximize space and play value. Typical features include multiple slides, activators, hand wheels and water effects.

Polin – Magic Sphere

The patent-pending Magic Sphere is a unique, high-capacity water slide. The spherical design allows individuals to experience a new path on every ride. Magic Spheres are built to allow four riders at a time and can be expanded to fit six people. Additionally, Polin’s Natural Light Effects and Special Pattern Effects technologies can be applied for customization.

Polin – Racer Twin Hybrid

Polin’s new Racer Series is actually two slides in one. The design consists of two double-tubes, configured side by side along a circular path that twists and turns before reaching an enclosure that suddenly plummets riders down a nearly vertical drop at speeds of up to 52 kilometers per hour. Coming out of the drop, the paths diverge. One becomes the Space Boat bowl ride, and the other becomes Turbulence. Turbulence riders are propelled uphill vertically. Then they experience another unforgettable path — this time, a reverse path taking them over a bump and ending in a splash pool or a dry-out. In total, the tubes accommodate two riders at a time for a total of four, making this a high-capacity ride. Operators can customize the slide with various theming options and Natural Light Effects.

Proslide –SuperLOOP

This extreme looping body-slide ride is ProSlide’s first indoor installation of its looping water slide. Combined with the SkyBOX launching system, the manufacturer claims the SuperLOOP is the highest capacity looping water slide. Its design eliminates the potential of riders getting stuck mid-loop, as has been seen with other looping slides.

Splashtacular – DoubleBowlsEye

The Double BowlsEye is designed to bring a contemporary twist to the traditional raft bowl. This high-speed family raft chase begins as riders approach the stairs leading up to the attraction. From the towering launch platform, they gaze down 60 feet to see two 54-inch, enclosed slides enter opposite sides of an enormous bowl. Groups of four are separated into two rafts holding two people each, which are positioned back to back on custom controlled launch platforms. After the ride operator checks that all four guests are properly seated, they are simultaneously propelled in opposite directions and disappear into a dark thrill ride featuring multiple pre-programmed lighting effects. On entering the bowl, riders delight as the two rafts “chase” each other before exiting through separate egress portals.

Waterplay Solutions – SL300 Slide Activity Centre

Ideal for either waterparks or aquatics facilities, the SL300 Slide Activity Centre is 18.5 feet tall and has a modular design that comprises an average footprint of 2,500 square feet. Fun features include water cannons, dumping buckets and interactive deck sprays. There are slide flumes on each end of the structure, which come in five styles ranging from 4- to 6 feet in height. Operators will appreciate the stainless steel construction and open sight lines.

WhiteWater West Industries– Family Python

The Family Python is the largest MEGAtube water slide currently on the market. Available in open- or   enclosed flume, or a combination of both, it features a colossal 20-foot diameter and can be customized for three-, four- or six-person rafts. Riders experience twists, high-banking turns and thrilling drops. Typical height is 67 feet and length 592 feet. The slide is made from top-quality fiberglass materials.