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Why No Vekoma Hypercoasters?


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I was just wondering if anyone has ever asked Vekoma's reps at IAAPA or other trade show or event with Vekoma executives present why they never constructed any hypercoasters in Europe. Did Arrow and then Morgan have a patent that Vekoma found hard to maneuver around? Did they feel European parks weren't interested in non looping steel coasters in the 90s, and now with B&M and Intamin doing their megacoasters since the late 90s they aren't willing to offer their version of a hypercoaster? I'm sure many people are thanking their deities that it never happened, but isn't it possible they could have made better hyper designs than their looping steel coasters of the 80s and 90s, just like Arrow?

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I'd imagine that it's because Vekoma is a budget option for parks who would like to build a coaster without spending huge amounts of money. Hyper coasters are expensive to build, afterall.

 

I suppose its like asking why Hyundai doesn't make a super car. It's not quite their market.

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The only thing I regret Vekoma not doing is building more tilt coasters! They should have pushed that ride much much harder in the US! Honestly that ride could have become their hypercoaster! Imagine that with a 200 or 250 foot drop and then a ton of airtime hills! It would have been sick!

 

After seeing the Gravity Max video I would love to see Vekoma take another look at their tilt coaster and reintroduce it to the market in the future. Maybe it was a ride before its time is why it didn't sell. Though I don't think Elissa would be happy about a tilt coaster with a drop 200+ feet.

 

It seems the major consensus is their loopers get most of the bad rap which I think they've finally corrected with the new trains that have appeared on a couple of their boomerangs (Sidewinder and Carolina Cobra). Their mine trains and now the suspended family coasters seem to get positive reviews.

 

Wouldn't Chance also be considered a budget option for parks especially now that they offer a hyper-lite to their portfolio? Vekoma could easily do the same and offer at least a hyper-lite that would cater to the small to mid-sized park market as it seems majority of the small to mid-sized parks have at least a boomerang.

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I assume one hasn't been built because Intamin and B&M dominate that market.

 

I think a Vekoma hypercoaster would be fun with Vekoma's newer track system. Let's not forget that Vekoma have come a long way in the past few years and the days of rough SLCs and Loopers are over for them now that they've ditched the Arrow-style track.

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You know I think they're right. It's not that Vekoma wasn't willing but just that nobody asked. I also agree they are a budget company. I also look at this way when it comes to hyper coasters that is a market that is highly oversaturated. The only thing I regret Vekoma not doing is building more tilt coasters! They should have pushed that ride much much harder in the US! Honestly that ride could have become their hypercoaster! Imagine that with a 200 or 250 foot drop and then a ton of airtime hills! It would have been sick! In the end however it's about profit and what parks want to buy! Unfortunately it seems parks only want to buy boomerangs. Oh well.

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I assume one hasn't been built because Intamin and B&M dominate that market.

 

I think a Vekoma hypercoaster would be fun with Vekoma's newer track system. Let's not forget that Vekoma have come a long way in the past few years and the days of rough SLCs and Loopers are over for them now that they've ditched the Arrow-style track.

I doubt their roughness has anything to do with the realization of the track shape though. Think about Colossus. I haven't ridden any boomerangs with new trains but they seem to get a more positive (by vekoma standard) review. Also I've heard that Cylon:BSG is not that good at all, but again I haven't ridden it.

 

Still. since hypers don't have OSTR, they shouldn't be as bad. The S&S hyper launchers in China (I've ridden only Extreme Rusher at HVBeijing) have just as many awkward transitions as an average Arrow, but at least they can't headbang you.

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I don't know if Vekoma is really known as the "budget" company amongst parks. Remember, while they do stuff like Boomerangs that are clearly cost effective (no matter how much a lot of enthusiasts don't like them), they also seem to be the coaster-maker of choice by Disney right now, having done (just in the US) Rock N Roller Coaster, Expedition Everest, Space Mountain (Land), and the Seven Drawves Mine Train.

 

With how many rides Vekoma constructs in a year, they have a solid niche in their own market. I think that market is mid-sized rides that they allow the client (with their input) to customize the crap out of. They don't have a lot of incentive to move out of that market into one that already is dominated by two makers currently, so why bother?

 

If a client came to them and asked them to do it, I'm sure they would have no problems devoting the resources to making it happen, but until then, I don't think we'll see it.

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^The Disney contracts are probably the result of cost and being one of the few manufacturers that will hand over complete control of the ride to Disney (Disney lists themselves as the designer of all their rides and is heavily involved in the design/construction/programming).

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The reason why there is no Vekoma Hypercoasters is probably the same reason why there are no full-out B&M LIM launched coasters (Hulk dosen't count). They simply don't have to. Vekoma already made themselves known by making two types of roller coaster that are portable, affordable and (depends on which one) fun. The SLC and the Boomerang ("LOL HE THINKS THAT VEKOMAS ARE FUN" go ahead, laugh at me). Arrow wanted so badly to one-up everybody in 1989, that's why Magnum was built. Vekoma at this point really have nothing to prove.

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I'd love to see Vekoma give this a shot. It's often lost in all the noise about rideability that Vekoma knows how to mix some nice forces into their designs.

 

 

Still. since hypers don't have OSTR, they shouldn't be as bad.

 

There are people who whine that B&M Hyper Coasters "rattle". Odds are good that people will find something similarly insignificant to latch on to if & when Vekoma wets it's beak in this genre of coasters.

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I suppose that if someone did ask Vekoma to build a Hypercoaster they would.

Ding ding!

 

I'm sure that if a park is looking for a traditional hypercoaster, Vekoma would have a proposal for them. Whether the park decides to go with Vekoma's proposal, well, obviously it really hasn't happened yet.

 

As for their market, I think that it's definitely very wide, though not obviously. We all know Vekoma as the company that makes Suspended Looping Coasters, Boomerangs, Roller Skaters and Mine Trains - with some other stuff sprinkled in. Vekoma has done some daring stuff in that "sprinkled-in" category - like the new bigger Orkanen for Farup, or Gravity Max in Taiwan.

 

Vekoma has built two roller coasters (to my knowledge) on the scale of larger rides from B&M and/or Intamin. One is Millennium located at Fantasy Island in the U.K., and the other is Black Hole Express located in Kumdori Land in South Korea. These coasters are massive mega-loopers. They're not as large as a hypercoaster would be, but their continued existence definitely shows that Vekoma has the capability to be a part of the "massive roller coasters" club.

 

Also, just an FYI - the Big Air in Taiwan is technically a hypercoaster, so they've already built one.

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Jubilee Odyssey - a custom SLC is England - was originally planned to be built 81 metres (265 feet) tall. These plans were scrapped due to local residents' complaints. Therefore its height limit was capped at 55 metres (180 feet). Perhaps a good thing considering most SLCs cause head banging at just 33-34 metres tall!

Anyway I know it's an invert and not a sit-down, but still, it does give some indication that Vekoma have been willing to go beyond the 200 ft mark... (^and not just for Big Air!)

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^^-- Their small size is one thing that makes them rougher, to fit in everything they wanted. Track/wheel design also, but mostly being one inversion after another with 2 high-G curves and one airtime bump on the standard SLC. The train is very long compared to the elements, which results in rough but intense rides in far front or back.

 

Vekoma seems to have gone for a niche of smarter/gimmicky/bang-for-buck, vs. bigger, but they have done enough right I'd like to see them get more ambitious.

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I suppose that if someone did ask Vekoma to build a Hypercoaster they would.

 

Vekoma has built two roller coasters (to my knowledge) on the scale of larger rides from B&M and/or Intamin. One is Millennium located at Fantasy Island in the U.K., and the other is Black Hole Express located in Kumdori Land in South Korea. These coasters are massive mega-loopers. They're not as large as a hypercoaster would be, but their continued existence definitely shows that Vekoma has the capability to be a part of the "massive roller coasters" club.

 

 

Don't forget the Ouch Express coaster in Parc Asterix.

 

(even that one wouldn't be that bad with a little TLC.)

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I'm still wondering, I guess I could tag on "why are there no other Arrow hypers in Europe besides the Big One?" Were European parks just not impressed with the idea of a giant coaster that doesn't go upside down? And as far as bad designs go, I think Vekoma hypers would be similar to Arrow hypers. Remember too, Vekoma has only done 3 woodies I believe, and they are well received by park patrons. I really think if European parks had gone to Vekoma after the success of Magnum, and then Vekoma had gone to Werner Stengel for the layouts, the 90s could have seen 3 or 4 more hypercoasters before B&M and Intamin entered the niche in 1999.

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"why are there no other Arrow hypers in Europe besides the Big One?"

Silver Star and Shambhala say hello. Expedition GeForce and Golaith (Walibi Holland), though not hypers, are the same type of coaster, so they could be tacked on as well.

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"why are there no other Arrow hypers in Europe besides the Big One?"

Silver Star and Shambhala say hello. Expedition GeForce and Golaith (Walibi Holland), though not hypers, are the same type of coaster, so they could be tacked on as well.

He was referring solely to hypercoasters made by Arrow Dynamics.

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"why are there no other Arrow hypers in Europe besides the Big One?"

Silver Star and Shambhala say hello. Expedition GeForce and Golaith (Walibi Holland), though not hypers, are the same type of coaster, so they could be tacked on as well.

Whoosh! Right over your head!

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