Preemptive MythBusters: Giant Water Slide Jump

I am excited. This Wednesday, the MythBusters are doing the giant water slide jump. Maybe you are new to the internet and you haven't seen this video. Here it is:

And since it is as old as the hills, of course I have already analyzed it - actually twice. First, the video is fake - but it is an excellent fake. Here is another site with details on how this was created.

What did I look at in my previous posts? Here is a summary.

  • The video is difficult to analyze because of perspective changes.
  • Even with these problems, nothing says it has to be fake. The vertical acceleration during the free fall is constant-ish.
  • The horizontal velocity seems constant.
  • To get to the speed that it appears the guy has, the slope would need to be around 40 degrees.
  • The launch speed would be about 19 m/s at about a 32 degree launch angle.
  • Landing in the pool should not be a problem. After all, Professor Splash jumped from 35 feet into a pool only 1 foot deep. So that is not a problem.
  • The biggest problem would be variation in the jump - which it appears the MythBusters will look at. This should be great.

Worked out solution

It turns out that I also worked out this problem for a snow board jump (basically same idea). Here is the post on calculating the jump of a snow board ramp. I also made a spreadsheet for that case - so you can put in your own numbers.

The MythBusters Episode

This looks great. You can check out some of the clips already. Here is a shot that shows their setup.


From this, you can see they plan to do a 165 foot slide at 24 degrees with a 30 degree jump ramp. If they use this particular camera angle, it will be great for video analysis. If I put that info in the spreadsheet calculator (assuming a ramp length of 3 meters - which they did not specify) I get that the person will go 30 meters (98 feet).

I will make sure to record this episode.

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