Shoot the Chute models are a popular water-based attraction that have been around for a long time. Their layouts mostly consist of a climb, followed by a splashdown element before the boat-like ride vehicles return to the station. Other variants of this model may include dark ride elements and theming.
The first ever ride of this type was built by J. P. Newberg in 1844 at Watchtower Park in Rock Island, Illinois. It would travel down a 500-foot greased wooden slide before splashing down into the nearby creek. An on-ride attendant would then push the ride car back to the start, where the process would continue. Eventually, Newberg would travel to other parks, where this idea would grow and become more popular.
In 1894, the first Shoot the Chute with mechanical operations would be built by Paul Boyton in his amusement park in Chicago, Illinois. this ride would be named Paul Boyton's Water Chute, and would be copied by amusement parks all over the country. These older Chute the Chutes would become the basis for the modern Log Flume type ride.
Older Shoot the Chutes would normally consist of a couple ride vehicles that would be lifted via cable to the top of the ride, where they would be dropped into a basin of water before being returned to the station by an attendant. The ride vehicles would consist of flat-bottom boats. The oldest ride of this type is Boat Chute, built in 1926 located at Lake Winnepsaukah in Georgia, USA. A replica of this type was constructed at Kennywood in 1995, named The Pittsburgh Plunge.
As the concept of Shoot the Chutes evolved, manufacturers such as Arrow Dynamics and Hopkins Rides began creating the more modern layout of the ride, the one normally seen today on rides such as White Water Landing in Dorney Park. In recent years, Intamin has built upon the concept to create the Mega Splash model. It would be built Perilous Plunge at Knott's Berry Farm in the year 2000. The ride would ascend a 121-foot-tall climb before turning around and falling 115 feet into a pool below, causing a 45-foot-tall splash. The ride also used an electromagnetic system to control the splash. Unfortunately, Perilous Plunge was removed in 2012, but a similar ride named Hydro was installed at Oakwood Theme Park in Wales, UK. It was built in 2002 and still operates today under the name Drenched.