Remembering Seaside’s Waterworks

I remember my first waterslide ever; it was this pair of crappy slides that used to reside in Keansburg, NJ. Before Keansburg Amusement Park opened their Runaway Rapids waterpark, a pair of old, wooden supported slides took their place. The two slides utilized mats which you sat on (as opposed to lay flat on like most mat slides) and had many twists and turns until dumping you into this small scummy splash pool. The slides weren’t too bad, but it was just those two slides and that’s it. You couldn’t really call it a waterpark or anything, just “the slides.” Not long after my first experience on a waterslide, I went to my first real waterpark, Waterworks.

Waterworks was a waterpark that took up a full block in front of Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, NJ, a popular Jersey shore destination. It was a very unorthodox waterpark with quite a few odd slides that hailed back to the days when slide manufacturers were still in the testing phases of waterslide building. However this waterpark wasn’t nearly as notorius as north Jersey’s Action Park in terms of using riders as test dummies. From the outside the place looked like a mess of slides of every color typical to waterslides: eggshell white, forest green, and light blue. Every possible space was filled up with some sort of H20 contraption.

The first slide that I and probably most patrons would notice was a pair of slides that weaved over and under each other, apparently called Super Twist. The slides went right over the park and then curved down into one of those ‘splash lane’ things. A splash lane is basically a flat portion of the slide that’s flooded with water. When a person slides into it, they slow down to a stop due to the water’s resistance. Anyway, it was a really weird looking slide, sort of looking like a DNA double helix. When I frequented Water Works back in the day, I was too much of a wuss to ride Super Twist…that’s damn shame as something like that would probably be frowned on by insurance companies of today.

Next to the splash lanes of the above slides were the splash lanes of two vertical drop speed slides. They’re not actually vertical, but they are pretty steep. They were just your typical speed slides where you drop down a large hill, maybe 70 feet or so, and fly into the splash lane. Absolutely no frills at all; it was just “here it is, ride it” much like every other vertical speed slide.

Behind the splash lanes of the aforementioned slides was a large pool; this harbored quite a few things if I remember correctly. On the right side of the pool were a couple of slides that started maybe 10 feet off the ground and simply dumped riders into the pool below. A newer map of the former Waterworks park lists these as “Cannonball Falls.” Not to be confused with the Mountain Creek/Action Park counterparts which are much more sinister.

On the other side were the Octopus slides. These were three short enclosed slides that dumped riders out several feet above the water. All three slides basically turned about 270 degrees downward until spitting riders out. I actually remember stopping in one of the slides after losing momentum for some reason. I was able to start sliding again but it was weird that I stopped since the slides are pitched downward the whole way!

Somewhere near these attractions was a pair of non-enclosed set up above a small building. The slides simply went down a small drop and ended, leaving riders to fall several feet into the water. Most waterparks have versions of these called “Shotgun Falls” but the ones at Waterworks were made a bit differently. I remember they didn’t go nearly as fast as the typical ‘Shotgun’ slide. I also remember the ‘lifeguard’ at the top of the slide telling me to do a cannonball as I fall into pool to splash the other lifeguard at the bottom of the slide.

Over by the stairway up to the twisting slides I talked about near the beginning were a couple of speed slides. One was a smaller version of the vertical slides and one was an enclosed slide that wrapped around the other in one continuous downhill curve. Both of which were extremely fast and the enclosed one in particular seemed borderline dangerous! The enclosed one was surprisingly steep, sending riders up onto the sides of the slide due to the centrifugal force. Both are unfortunately gone today.

Above the two slides mentioned above was a pair of slides that consisted of 2 or 3 steep dips before ending. It was a racing slide basically. I forget if you used a mat or if you just lay on your back however. On the opposite side were some tube slides, one for single tubes and one for double tubes. Both of which were a bit older in design and featured a few spirals and short drops. There may have been a couple of other tube slides back then, as the new waterpark does indeed have two more listed, but I don’t seem to remember them back in the Waterworks days.

Today Waterworks stands under the name Breakwater Beach and is owned by Jenkinson’s, the same owners of Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Point Pleasant, NJ. Most of the bigger slides were removed such as the pair of enclosed ones that went over the park, the vertical slides, and the smaller vertical slide along with the enclosed slide around it. They added an interactive play area among other things, something nearly every waterpark has now. They also have a go-kart track for some strange reason; I’m surprised they could even fit a go-kart track in there! Even though the place has been open for I have yet to visit Breakwater Beach since the remodeling.

Anyone else remember this place back when it was Waterworks (or even the old slides in Keansburg!)?  Leave a comment below and share your story!


Water Works at DeLorean Travels

Breakwater Beach webiste


  • Chris says:

    Yeah I remember water works, it was a great place. Why did they take all the big slides out?? i cannot bring myself to go back since it looks kinda lame now

    • DoD3Brian says:

      I don’t know why but arguably the best ones, the interlocking slides that went over the park and the ‘vertical’ drop/spiral slide combo, are all gone. Rumor has it that the structure for the interlocking slides were becoming structurally unsound, but I don’t know if that’s true. Somehow I wouldn’t doubt liability concerns played a role in their removal.

  • ChillyWilly says:

    Oh man, great nostalgia. There’s not much out there on Water Works, but I’m glad someone put it out there. Here are some memories for me:

    The Super Twist tower had three stops on the way up. The first stop was for “Corkscrew” (an enclosed, very steep and fast 360 degree spiral) and “Free Fall” (a white open slide, sort of like Double Dive for beginners), the second was for “Triple Dipper” (two open, white slides with three dips), and the highest and final stop was “Super Twist” (the enclosed twister). By the time you got all the way up to Super Twist, you were exhausted and out of breath from climbing so many stairs.

    Super Twist was weird — one of them started out on the down slope, so that one got you started with good momentum. The other one kind of went in the other direction, so I remember having to push myself along over the hump until I got going. Once on the slide, each twist would dip you through faster and faster, and more and more water would fly into your face until the big final dip at the end. Your experience depended highly on the type of bathing suit you were wearing. I used to enjoy the slide while wearing a rugged Gotcha bathing suit that had a lot of traction (thus slowing me down). I once wore a more slippery bathing suit, and I could have sworn I was going to die! Water spraying in my face the whole time, and my legs flying up into the air inside the tube each time I’d go over the top of each twist.

    The other really notable slide was Double Dive — that was the huge speed slide. It was also known by locals as the “Wedgie Wall”, and it was a common sight to see girls losing their tops on the ride. Totally scary the first time, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be once I reluctantly pushed myself over the precipice.

    The Octopus was also a great one. Two of the three Octopus slides still exist at Breakwater Beach. Unloading into the same pool were “Cannonball” and maybe another name for the other one. It was basically just a short, white, open slide that dumped you straight into the water. Its partner was an enclosed blue slide that did exactly the same thing.

    Another often forgotten one was the first one I rode at Water Works — “Tubs O’ Fun” — I think that was the name. You started by riding an innertube through an enclosed blue tube. This carried you around 180 degrees, usually turning you backwards, and dumping you into a pool. If you were going backwards by the end of it, you were definitely dumped ass over tea kettle into the pool. Then you’d float around in the pool until eventually going down a waterfall into the next pool. This would happen over and over until you finally got dumped out into the final landing pool. I enjoyed this one for a year or two before they finally drained the pools, filled them with dirt, and turned them into flower planters.

    I wonder what ever happened to the giant guy holding the Pepsi can…

  • Mark says:

    I remember Waterworks too – I think it was 1978 when I first went – no mats were used back then, just you and the fiberglass slides! They added mats shortly after though.

    There was another waterpark nearby, it had concrete slides built into a landscaped hillside. I can’t recall the name though. Waterworks was way better anyway.

    • Fritzy says:

      Rainbow Rapids

    • E says:

      For the record, 1978 predates waterworks by at least half a decade. While I do not know the exact year, I’m 100% certain it couldn’t have been before 1983, the year my family moved down to the Jersey shore; because I remember going to rainbow rapids then when it was the only game in town before waterworks was established. And I think it was several years after that in fact.

  • Lauren says:

    Thanks for the memories! I used to go there frequently 20 years ago, then it seems they just let everything go and the place turned into a dump. Unfortunately there is nothing around here like it today.

  • Rick says:

    Yes – thanks for posting these descriptions of the slides – they bring back memories. I think the park that Mark refers to was called Rainbow Rapids a long time ago. We were at Seaside every summer growing up.

  • Jasper says:

    Waterworks was awesome. I’m disappointed to hear they’ve gotten rid of the double twist. I was planning on going back there this year; I haven’t been there in years. I wonder if it’s still worthwhile. I remember the last time I was in Seaside Heights seeing that it had been taken over by Jenkinson’s and I was disappointed because I’ve never liked the homogeneity of Point Pleasant, where Jenkinson’s owns everything. I was thinking uh oh, they’re taking over Seaside Heights, too.

  • Garrett says:

    Get an A on a report card, get in for free! Best deal ever! Thanks water works

  • Matt says:

    I spent my summer of 2000 in WaterWorks as a Lifeguard. That was something really amazing and fun. I was exchange student from Poland and I must say that the atmosphere of that place will stay with me…
    I worked on all of the rides that you mentioned here. Many nice memories and souls saved 🙂

    I was there last year, well it’s not the same

  • Mike says:

    I worked at Waterworks as a lifeguard from 1996 until 2000. Had so much fun and made many friends there. My favorite times were when the park used to throw parties for the employees a few times after hrs each summer and we’d get to slide in the dark. I miss all the original slides especially the double dive and the big twist. I remember having to jump into the big pool at headchair or fairside many times to save people especially when there were day camps arriving with nonswimmers going down the octopus slide after not reading the warning signs before hand that clearly said deep water not suitable for nonswimmers lol. Great times great memories with many wonderful people.

  • Chris T. says:

    Just spent the day at Breakwater beach today. I also remember water works from 15 years ago. I couldn’t believe that the “cork screw”, the cannonball falls, and the double dive is gone. I told two people about WW and the cool rides they used to have. I had to come home and look it up, I got excited lol. Great times in the ol’ waterworks, great thread to bring us all some memories.

  • Dee says:

    Waterworks was the best! We used to go early in the morning every year to get a free t shirt and get the “three hour admission” for the price of the 2 hour admission. Best waterpark ever. Those go karts really need to go-they need to beef up breakwater beach-it has nothing on the old waterworks.

  • Jack says:

    Sad to see the park is a shell of its former self. The Go carts and golf really do not belong.

  • Fritzy says:

    “I also remember the ‘lifeguard’ at the top of the slide telling me to do a cannonball as I fall into pool to splash the other lifeguard at the bottom of the slide.”

    Yes that would be me. I worked there from ’94-’98 and that was definitely a thing for us to tell them to do the cannonball at the bottom if we knew the guard. At one of those employee parties the Irish Exchangers all ganged up 4 or 5 together on Supertwist and all bumped out at the bottom onto the concrete. The water slide park before this was Rainbow Rapids 2 blocks over but once Water works chopped up the Olympic Pool and added all the blue tubes and other slides in the late 80’s Rainbow Rapids was doomed.

  • E says:

    My parents used to buy a ton of waterworks tickets each season on a sale that they held every Easter Sunday on the pier.

    Had a lot of fun at that place. Your memory of it is much better than mine. So much of the park that I realized when reading this that I had completely forgotten. The corkscrew “Speed slide” as you say is the only slide name I remember. It was maybe the fastest slide in the park. The seams of the blue enclosure tube would actually start to rip your back up a bit. The slide running along the north end of the back of the park with the three dips was notable for the “air”’ you could get by intentionally timing a quick jerking of your torso forward and lifting your back off the slide just as approaching the third dip.

  • Todd Hamilton says:

    I remember Water Works well. On the big slide my butt would feel weird because so much water shot out. On Tuesday’s and Thursday’s they gave you a free t-shirt. I still have the shirt from 2001 and use it as a “running shirt” or one I wear to play sports. Not sure what year it closed? Was it early 2000s? I know it was around at least until 01 though because I have the shirt. The corkscrew ride was pretty awesome and I loved the little kid ball section. I’d go in there as a teenager and launch balls at kids and laugh. I also remember the reasonable price. I’d go at 9 am and get 3 hours until Noon. It was $12 per person and we usually saved a $1 from the Seaside coupon book. So I would go with my dad and brother and we spent about $35 for 3 people. Now it might cost $35 or more per person. I also remember the annoying camps would show up around 10:30 lol. Like the lifeguard said I do recall going to the Seaside boardwalk in the evening and seeing employees using the slides after hours, and then even had these vicious guard dogs.

    When it closed down and changed it was awful. Same thing happened to Seaside. Seaside had amazing rides like the Zipper, Kamikazee, Force 10, Jet Star, looping rollercoaster, Log Flume, etc. Now it has nothing.

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