A spokeswoman for the water park said a 19-year-old man cut in line for a slide at Black Snake Summit around 4:15 p.m., went past lifeguards and jumped into the slide head first instead of feet first, and fell off the slide half way down.
"They were trying to prevent him from going on the ride but he fought the lifeguards off and he dove straight, so instead of going feet first he dove head first, then tumbled on the slide and then over the edge," said witness Robert Shank of Van Nuys. Shank said the man fell on a fence.
The man was transported to a local hospital and was reportedly breathing and conscious. According to sheriff's officials, the man had no broken bones and no internal injuries.
The spokeswoman said the man was not cleared to go down the slide and had not received instructions to position himself in the slide feet first with his ankles crossed and arms across his chest.
The rider fell from the Venom Drop slide, part of the multiple-slide Black Snake Summit attraction, officials said.
"Everybody was in shock and disbelief and you felt the sadness in the air right away," said witness Arturo Mendez of Arleta. "It was a sad way to end the day."
At its tallest, Black Snake Summit stands 75 feet and its longest slide is 650 feet, according to the Six Flags Hurricane Harbor website.