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Best seat on a woodie


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I am new and have searched a little for this topic and didn't find it. I have recently come back to the coasting world now that my kids have hit 48" and even better the 54" mark. When I was young I didn't care what seat to ride on a woodie, but now i am older and wiser I have a theory. I ride The Beast and Racer(KI) a lot and noticed the first seat of a car is a much smoother ride. So many people complain about the roughness of a ride but ever since I started sitting in the first seat of a car(doesn't matter which car) my back has been fine. I even went to Darien Lake where most people talked about how rough Predator is to ride. I did my first seat of a car theory and the ride was great.

 

So the point of this thread is am I on crack or do I have a point or is this already been a topic?

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Nope, you're right about that. The first row of the PTC trains, in the 2-bench cars and the 1st 2 rows in the 3-bench cars have one thing missing from the back row of the trains: an axel. The back row of those cars have an axel right below the seat, whereas if you're in the front row, the axel is at your feet. Since those PTC trains don't really have any suspension, every bump transfers from the axel to your seat, causing a much rougher ride. Tested it out on Mean Streak and every ride that was in the 1st row of every car was pretty smooth.

 

I actually want a park to either retrofit or build a new coaster with the new PTC 1-bench cars. They look like they can offer a completely different ride than their other trains, as the 4-wheel design is very interesting. Also see if they can offer similar smoothness to a Millennium Flyer.

Edited by Lareson
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When you hear people refer to a "wheel seat" they are usually referring to the back seat of a coaster train, the one where your butt sits right over the wheels absorbing more vibration and roughness than in middle or front seats, where you're not sitting right on top of the axle.

 

This same thing holds true for some steel coasters also, for example, Vekoma or Arrow coasters seem to be better in the "front seat" of most cars, and IMO, more notably smoother in the front seat of the back car of the train. For example, I find SFOG's Ninja or Disneyland Paris' Space Mountain almost "rideable" in the front seat of the back car.

 

So yeah, avoid "wheel seats" - top advice given!

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This always makes me wonder about SOB at KI. It has been a long time since I rode it and I don't remember the seat I rode in. So many people complain about that ride but was it smooth in the front seat? I assume it was bad for every seat because now it parts of it are hanging people's offices and the rest is scrap wood.

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I could understand if you rode SOB pre-2007, those old Premiere trains were fairly heavy and well, as it ended up being, Paramount didn't keep a very good upkeep on the whole thing. Bringing in those Gerstlauer trains I'd imagine would of helped somewhat, but the damaged was already done on it from the moment the first board was installed.

 

I never did get a chance to ride it myself, so I really don't have any idea how it was.

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So yeah, avoid "wheel seats" - top advice given!

 

This definitely true for Rebel Yell at Kings Dominion. Wheel seat = spine adjustment. Non-wheel seat = decent ride.

 

The second-to-the-last seat seems to be the best spot for the Georgia Cyclone, too.

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It depends on the wooden coaster. Riding the Rattler back seat would beat the crap out of you and was very discomforting. As long as the woodie isn't extremely rough I'll go back seat but there are some coasters where the enjoyment is shaken out of the ride experience.

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When riding Grizzly at CGA (so far, the only woodie that's easily accessible to me until Gold Striker opens ) I notice that I can feel the thumps and seams between the steel track joints when I'm in the 'wheel seet.' It's a little more jarring than if I were in the front seat of the car. As Robb mentioned about the Vekoma/Arrow coasters, I find Demon (probably the only Arrow looper I've done) ride-able in the second to last row, not in a wheel seat...not to mention there is far more leg room in the front row of each car.

 

What I'm curious and will find out for myself (will have all season to try out different rows with Gold Striker), where is the best spot to sit on a GCI since I believe every row's a wheel seat due to the articulated design of the train? I know that as rough as Roar was at SFDK, I definitely favor sitting in the back as there were several moments that provided nice pops of air including coming off the first drop and that hill after the first turnaround.

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I've had different rides on different woodies, and I find that the profile of the coaster itself can be a deciding factor on the best seat.

 

The Cyclone at Lakeside in Denver is amazing in the front seat because of the insane air on the first hill. GhostRider at Knott's gives a brutal beating in the back, but that brake run drop is worth it to me (alas, the trims kill it a bit now).

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It really varies by ride. In my experience, I've found that most CCIs (except Boulder Dash and Holiday World's Woodies) are better toward the front since they run smoother and most GCIs are better toward the back since the ride feels more out of control. Older wooden coasters can be all over the place, but tend to be smoother toward the front. Most wooden coasters give the most intense ride in the back, but some rides are so brutal that it's not worth it. On some rides (particularly smaller woodies), the difference between seats is negligible, while others (like El Toro) vary significantly depending on where you sit. Usually, I'll sit somewhere in the front half unless I know the ride isn't too rough, in which case I gravitate toward either the front or back when the line is short, or just pick the shortest line if it isn't. However, I will not sit in a wheel seat (except the very back row on rides that I know are relatively smooth), and I prefer the middle row of three-bench cars.

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I think Robb is right about the front seat in the back car on arrow, I also find this to be true ALOT of other coasters. For instance this summer at Great Adventure the ride ops kept telling all the TPR people to ride in this postion. I think it has alot to do with the manuafcturer and maintenance..

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Nope, you're right about that. The first row of the PTC trains, in the 2-bench cars and the 1st 2 rows in the 3-bench cars have one thing missing from the back row of the trains: an axel. The back row of those cars have an axel right below the seat, whereas if you're in the front row, the axel is at your feet. Since those PTC trains don't really have any suspension, every bump transfers from the axel to your seat, causing a much rougher ride. Tested it out on Mean Streak and every ride that was in the 1st row of every car was pretty smooth.

 

I actually want a park to either retrofit or build a new coaster with the new PTC 1-bench cars. They look like they can offer a completely different ride than their other trains, as the 4-wheel design is very interesting. Also see if they can offer similar smoothness to a Millennium Flyer.

 

PTC created single bench cars? I searched all over the internet and couldn't find a picture...

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Ravine Flyer II was supposed to have those, but Mr. Nelson did not want to risk an unproven product on a ride that had a decade's worth of anticipation. Actually, Gravity Group even hinted at Timberliners back then, but again, Mr. Nelson wanted to practically guarantee the ride to be open on time. However, for the time being, PTC's aren't going anywhere on that coaster. For Ravine Flyer II, back seat is the best overall hands down. Although, if you want an extra hint of air, 2:1 might be for you at the expense of some intensity.

 

When it comes to any wooden coaster, unless there is overwhelming support for a seat towards the front (think Phoenix 1:3), the back car is usually where it's at for me. If I'm worried about roughness, I tend to go second to the back.

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Without going all scientific, front row of each car is best, and the cars get progressively rougher as you move back. So, the front row of the first car is the smoothest, first row of the second car is the secoond smoothest...so on. Tested it out on the original Rattler at Fiesta Texas. The front row was not bad at all. It made me question why people complained all the time. Then I rode it in the second row in the second to last car... SO ROUGH.

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