Updated 23 January: The duo from depression charity, Live More Awesome, have uploaded a video tour of the world's biggest waterslide during its construction in Helensville. Check out the story behind the water slide below the video.Original Story:
Two Kiwi blokes are building the world's biggest water slide to raise awareness of depression, and bring together those who suffer from it.
Planned at 650m in length, the downhill slide will be the size of two Sky Towers, and open to the public to take rides on at an event held in Helensville on February 23 and 24. The fundraiser will feature two smaller slides, and other entertainment including live music and an inflatable soap-soccer pitch.
To support the world's biggest water slide and buy tickets to the event, head on over to its Indiegogo fundraising page.
The water slide is the brainchild of New Zealand mental health charity Live More Awesome (LMA), which was started in March 2012 by graphic designer Jimi Hunt, and developer Dan Drupsteen, both of whom have suffered from depression.
(Pictured: Jimi Hunt and Dan Drupsteen, of Live More Awesome)
The pair founded the organization after Hunt's first big depression-fighting adventure, sailing the Waikato in a $7 inflatable lilo. The aim of the charity is to give hope to those with depression so they can ask for help, says Hunt.
"People with depression need inspiration before information. They need to be inspired in order to help themselves and ask for help," he says.
"We want to be their inspiration to get off the couch, and come talk to like minded people who've been through it before to show them they're not alone."
Hunt has wanted to build the world's biggest waterslide for six years, but work on the project only began in earnest six months ago. His original plan was to build a 1km long slide, but unable to find a suitable piece of land, settled for the 650m plan which he estimates is double the largest he could find in his research. Although there isn't a generic water slide record, the longest inner tube water slide in the world is 356m long, according to Guinness World Records.
It all sounds like a way for Hunt and Drupsteen to relive their childhood summers in grand scale, but Hunt says there's a method behind their madness.
"An important piece of the puzzle with depression is diet and getting active. Running around, going down the slide, being in the sun - this will all improve their mindsets. Bringing together people with depression will provide them with support," he says.
"When I was depressed all I had was doctors offering me pills. There are other ways to fight depression."
Hunt says he consulted the medical community before starting the on the project, and has brought onboard stress and depression specialist Dr John McEwan as an adviser.
Money raised from the event and LMA's Indiegogo campaign will go towards building an online information site for depression sufferers, and creating a downloadable pack with diet tips and helpful advice. If the campaign is incredibly successful, Hunt says he hopes to start building vegetable gardens in New Zealand schools to encourage children to eat healthier.
For more information head to www.worldsbiggestwaterslide.com
Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).
Idealog is part of ICG. We work with clients like Woolworths New Zealand, All Good, Huffer, Liquorland, Resene, Citta Design, TVNZ, Spark and FCB on their event activations, in-store, in-office or out-of-home signage, content creation and vehicle wraps.