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What Makes or Breaks a Ride For You?


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What factors make or break a coaster/flat/any other ride for you?... what would you have in a perfect ride? Is it how it looks, the forces/airtime, the manufacturer, the reliability, how comfy the seats/restraints are etc. etc. etc.

I personally judge a ride mostly on how forceful and smooth it is, and how much airtime I get. A ride can look like crap, but be hella awesome to ride... take the Chance Zipper for example... ultra sketchy, but super awesomekick@$$ to ride. Or skyrider, a 28 year old TOGO standup @ Canada's Wonderland, which actually gives a pretty damn forceful, and smooth, ride.

 

So, what makes or breaks a ride for you?

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More than anything how smooth the ride is. I don't need every ride to be smooth like most B&M coasters but if a ride is so uncomfortable that it gives you a headache, then it's not something something I will try more than once.

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It kind of depends on what style of coaster is in question. If a ride has OTSR, it's gotta ride smooth. Banging your head on the restraints is the worst. I don't mind my woodies being a little rough sometimes since theres no OTSR to smack my head around. Pacing is important. If a ride crawls through the course, it makes for a pretty unexciting ride. A ride with great pacing that never let's up until the break run is usually a winner. but I guess across the board, a ride definitely has to be forceful. Airtime of course is a huge plus for me as well.

Edited by sxexaxn
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Hot chicks in the queue line.

 

Boom. This guy knows what's up.

 

I don't have any specific criteria, really. I tend to let the rides surprise me. Allow me to use two B&M rides for examples...

 

Black Mamba at Phantasialand - Sure, the ride looks great, it's built into the land a la Nemesis, and the layout is beyond twisty. I heard some bad things, though. People were saying it was a forceless B&M and just a poor ride. After riding it, I LOVED the damn thing! It wasn't extremely forceful, but it wasn't a weak ride. The layout was incredibly disorienting, the leg choppers legitimately scared the hell out of me, the themeing was top notch. Everything about the ride was excellent and it went completely against my expectations.

 

OzIris at Parc Asterix - Putting aside the fact that the French can't run an amusement park to save themselves, this ride looked incredible and had overwhelmingly positive reviews. After riding it, myself, as well as the vast majority of TPR members also on the trip last year, HATED it. It was slow, boring, forceless, and rough. Ask Robb. It gave him a headache! The ride had amazing word of mouth and looked incredible but it failed on all accounts. I was honestly more afraid to ride the Tivoli right next to it.

 

So you see, different rides can have different pros and cons. No one thing makes the ride stand out. As long as I have a good time, I'm happy.

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For me, what makes a ride is almost all about how well the ride flows between elements. This is why Silver Bullet and SWSD's Manta are so high up on my top coasters list. And why rides like SFMM's Goliath and SWSD's Journey to Atlantis are so far down.

And how smooth the ride is. The glossier, the better.

I also like it when rides have a nice, dynamic range of forces, like what GCI woodies and Arrow Loopers have. Also why I hated rides like Goliath (the ride maintains a spine crushing 5.3 Gs for a total of 25 seconds with little airtime)

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I'm usually pretty easy-going on rides and like a variety of different aspects of a ride. I do love intense rides, thus wanting to take a trip to Canada to check out Mind Bender. I also love the kinds of rides that 'pack a punch' for their smaller/compact size (S:UF, SFDK...doesn't look like much but it is definitely an amazing ride! Or Flight Deck...it's a shorter B&M Invert but it is very intense). Also the ride must be comfortable, as in I shouldn't have to brace myself during portions of the ride, would prefer not to have to think of that and just enjoy what the ride's about to dish out.

 

What kills a ride: Seeing what looks like it could possibly be an OMFG moment only to slowly cruise through it with no real force to be experienced. Happened on SFMM's Psyclone. I had no clue that the ride was a piece of....poo until after I rode it. I got ready as we crested the hill, and prepared to catch air over the numerous rolling hills only to find that there was no need to keep the hands up...was about as useful as keeping my hands up on the lift or moving along the brake run...the ride just dragged, grinded, and felt like it was just going to valley.

 

Similar experience on Superman: The Escape (SFMM). I was ready for the 100mph launch, the 6 seconds of weightlessness and in the end, it really felt like nothing happened. We'll see how the S:EFK revision does for me as I have yet to try it out.

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Similar experience on Superman: The Escape (SFMM). I was ready for the 100mph launch, the 6 seconds of weightlessness and in the end, it really felt like nothing happened. We'll see how the S:EFK revision does for me as I have yet to try it out.

I rode S:EFK last October during Fright Fest. It's really not that worth it, even though the backwards launch is slightly more intense and you feel the hangtime slightly longer due to the increased speed (rumors state 102mph in 6.5 seconds this time around instead of 100 in 7). However, the ride's capacity is even worse, the drop back down do the bottom isn't as intense as it used to be, and the view from the launching platform/station is terrible because you're looking at a freakin' wall rather than the open air. It feels confined. Don't waste your time on busy days; the capacity still sucks, especially when there's only one tower running. Only go on off days, and even then, with rides like Ninja and Tatsu next to it, you have no reason to ride it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

For me, I've always been a fan of a ride with a sense of danger. The most obvious way to gain that is to be on a ride that conveys a sense of speed (manufacturers don't need to make me go fast, they just need to make me feel like I'm going fast). Further to the idea of "danger", I never understood the appeal of a smooth ride (except when the smoothness helps maintain speed). I've just always tended to enjoy slightly more rickety rides than smooth ones, because there's an added dimension of fear that comes into play. That's not to say I don't appreciate comfort, in terms of restrains, etc.. I'm a very large man (I've eaten myself out of riding most coasters nowadays, which is why I was drawn to the TPR youtube channel POVs in the first place), but when I was a slightly less large man, I definitely appreciated those rides that could accommodate me.

 

Truthfully, I could have fun on just about any coaster/ride someone would put in front of me, as long as I was with the right people and I didn't feel like the ride was being throttled down in any way (there's no worse feeling than feeling like manufacturers/ride operators aren't pushing a ride to give you all that it's capable of giving).

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More than anything how smooth the ride is. I don't need every ride to be smooth like most B&M coasters but if a ride is so uncomfortable that it gives you a headache, then it's not something something I will try more than once.

 

I'd agree with this, especially with steel coasters. I don't mind if wood coasters are a little rough as long as they don't have PTC trains with individual lap bars. Since I'm pretty tall, I have to sit slightly sideways which doesn't bother me if the ride is smooth... but on rougher coasters it bothers me a lot.

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  • 2 months later...

As far as coasters go, I tend to like the really fast paced coasters with the sharp turns and cool elements that are twisty and have ejector air. Floater airtime provides for a very "fun" ride rather than "intense" one, and I dig intensity that can get the adrenaline pumping and coasters that are super smooth just don't give me that adrenaline boost AS MUCH as the "intense" ones do.

 

Wooden coasters also get bonus points for being rattling and having that "out of control" feel.

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How much it surprises you positively or negatively makes a huge difference to me. I remember just a few weeks ago how terrified I was to ride the H.M.B. Endeavor just a few weeks ago, (same with Firefall, VooDoo) (SFDK). I was having a great time, but not scared in any way. My friend even pointed out a basketball sitting in the wheel bay when we were upside down. Yes, we started chatting. Either way a good ride surprises you in just the right way.

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I agree with most of you on Gs and smoothness. In that regard Diamondback at KI is probably my current favorite coaster. I am definitely falling out of love with Arrow loopers as I get older, headbanging and bad restraints is now a black mark on my dance card. Slow inversions also bother me, for example the keyhole twists at the end of X-Flight (SFGAm).

 

For flats, it's airtime. I used to love lateral Gs (Scramblers all day!) but now I'll take CP's Skyhawk and Maxair (Delirium at KI) any day and all day.

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Truthfully, I could have fun on just about any coaster/ride someone would put in front of me, as long as I was with the right people and I didn't feel like the ride was being throttled down in any way (there's no worse feeling than feeling like manufacturers/ride operators aren't pushing a ride to give you all that it's capable of giving).

Wwll, here's someone who.really wanted to push a ride to its max... I've experienced this myself, and let me tell you... You most likely wont be able to stand after a 15 minute Zipper ride with a crazy op like in the vid below, but it's hella worth it!

 

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If a ride is painful (extreme head-banging and/or serious roughness) then I won't be wanting to re-ride it and I won't rank it very high on my list. I can handle a couple of fairly rough patches on a woodie or some slight occasional head-banging on a coaster with OTSRs, especially if the rest of the ride is really good. But if my ears are stinging, my head throbbing, my neck and/or back aching after riding, that's it. If these things are bad enough, I put the coaster on my personal "do not ride" list. I hate to place any coaster on that list but unfortunately I've had to do it with a few, like both Hurlers, Wildcat at HP, Shockwave at KD, and Maverick at CP, and there are a few others.

 

As for what makes a ride, any coaster that can make me hesitate, or even better, scare me the first time I ride it, is an all-time winner in my book (assuming that I also end up liking or really loving the ride - and pain and severe roughness are minimal or better yet, non-existent). Some examples include Millennium Force, TTD, I-305, and Skyrush (scare on the first two, hesitation on the 2nd two - I actually futzed around literally all day riding everything else before I decided to ride Skyrush - I was seriously worried about all the stuff I had heard about it!).

 

Other qualities are coasters that are just flat-out fun - lots of airtime, and not painful to ride, like most B&M hypers.

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If the ride has an amazing "storyline," something like a lot of B&M's (first comes to mind is Kumba), then that's what usually comes out to be a great coaster to me. It doesn't matter if the coaster pulls 11g's with 19 inversions or stands 80ft tall and only has bunny hills either. Other than that, rides that feel totally out of control tend to be jacked up to the top of my list, especially if it can disorient me. This includes, and is not limited to, Rock Bottom Plunge, Flight of Fear, Montu, and Wicked Twister (front or backseat); with an honorable mention to Maverick.

 

So far, Voyage at Holiday World has fulfilled both of these (minus the disorientation). GREAT Storyline, great speeds with some roughness to give it a "monster out of control" feeling, and the overall length of the woodie. Though, that coaster usually decomissions someone like my dad for the rest of the day from riding any other coasters because it can be too intense for some.

 

Sadly, I'm not a huge fan of some of Intamin's crazy transitions like on Maverick and Intimidator305 (though the restraints really did help on this one). Being whipped so hard to one side and continuing a long curve isn't my cup of tea, unless it's followed by a crazy bats**t insane course, like the second half of Maverick after the water geyser section.

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I really like rides with great pacing. From start to finish, I want the ride to be exciting and fun.

 

For example, Martin's Fantasy Island's Silver Comet may not provide the world's craziest airtime or craziest laterals, but from start to finish the ride has a good course and a wide variety of elements such as air-time hills, banked turns, and drops. Meanwhile, Six Flags New England's Cyclone has an insane first drop and another epic drop midway through the course, but the rest of the ride is rather slow and boring.

 

Then a ride's smoothness is a major factor for me.

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