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Are POV videos good indicators of how a ride will be?


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I'm sure I'm not the only one who's gone into a park after having seen POVs of all the coasters, with an idea of how each one will ride. How accurate are POVs at depicting how the ride actually feels?

 

In my experience they're generally pretty accurate. Every ride feels more intense in person, but you can compensate for that. And you can also judge a lot from comparing new POVs to ones of rides you've already been on, the timing between elements and so forth. You start to figure out the relationship between how something looks and how something feels. For instance, if there's a point in an inversion where the rotation of the camera suddenly changes all at once, then the inversion has a "snap" to it, like old B&M cobra rolls, as opposed to modern ones where the rotation is more fluid. Maverick's inversions have this bizarre "up, and then over" rhythm, which felt to me exactly how it looks in the POV.

 

There are exceptions of course. Skyrush, I have no explanation for that, the POVs make it look like a total snooze fest. And I can't really imagine how X2 rides due to its uniqueness, and how hard it is to tell the rotation of the seats relative to the track in the videos. Also, obviously there are some things POVs can't predict, like uncomfortable restraints... unless you happened to watch one of the Skyrush POVs where you can actually hear people shouting "My thighs!" on the brake run.

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Especially with new GoPro's and other HD cameras. You can make any ride look great. So I would say its becoming harder to know how the ride will be from the POV. Just watch some of the more recent POV's from TPR. They made even Hades 360 look tolerable.

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I would never make my decision about the quality of a roller coaster based off of a POV video.

 

From a POV, you can see what you're going to experience, but the point of a roller coaster is to actually feel the forces, and you can't get that from a video.

 

This pretty much sums up my thoughts as well.

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Especially with new GoPro's and other HD cameras. You can make any ride look great. So I would say its becoming harder to know how the ride will be from the POV. Just watch some of the more recent POV's from TPR. They made even Hades 360 look tolerable.

Totally! When I was watching hades360's video, I was wondering why it looked butter smooth on GoPro.

 

I think there is only one way to know if a ride is good or not. Go ride it!

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POVs are a blessing and a curse. They are a blessing because the let one get an idea about a ride and determine wether or not they want to travel to that park to ride it.

 

They are a curse because they set expectations. Everyone keeps bringing up Hades 360 and I wholeheartedly agree! The POV made me excited to ride it and I thought it would be a mildly rough but fun ride.

 

That coaster swiftly and violently punished me for every expectation I had going in.

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Also worth putting out there that I've seen POVs of horrendously rough woodies that make them look smooth as glass so it's never a good guarantee!

 

And the opposite of that can be true as well, sometime woodies can look rough in the POV but actually be pretty decent in real life, depends on who is taking the POV I guess.

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If a POV has good audio, you can listen to the reactions of the riders.

And also the way the ride sounds! If it is a B&M that's crucial as I do really think the roar enhances the ride experience.

 

I agree with a couple of opinions: they can be accurate although I do think the ride usually feels a bit better once you've ridden it and there are some exceptions like skyrush (as someone has mentioned most of the POVs make it look kind of boring). So far, though, I've never been tricked by a POV into thinking a ride is better than it actually is.

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Cheetah Hunt's POVs tend to feel really inaccurate to me. In them it looks like you're just flying slowly over grass and concrete trenches, but now that the foliage has grown back in a little, it really feels like you're dashing over an African savanna. And that force that you feel pulling you down and out of your seat during the heartline roll took me completely by surprise, I really didn't expect it.

 

Volcano's POV also feel's a tad inaccurate. You really don't get a sense of how high you are or how footchoppy (Is that a word? It should be.) those supports are.

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Noticed that with the go pro POVs, although the visuals are better, the audio is barely even able to be heard. Personally, I often find the audio is just as useful as the video. If a POV has good audio, you can listen to the reactions of the riders.

Robb, do you shoot the GoPro POVs with just the camera or do you attach a microphone as well? In my experience, using a separate microphone gets much better audio, but the circumstances compared to roller coaster POVs are a little bit different!

Edited by A.J.
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Noticed that with the go pro POVs, although the visuals are better, the audio is barely even able to be heard. Personally, I often find the audio is just as useful as the video. If a POV has good audio, you can listen to the reactions of the riders.

 

This. Judging the roughness of a wooden coaster depends on how good the POV is. I feel TPR went out of their way to capture the roughness of Hades 360 with their ten minute long video full of shots of people going "Oof! Ow!". Some comments say it looks awesome, but a lot of comments picked up on how rough it looks as well. On one of the Wildcat POVs the rider keeps referring to it as "death cat". So while it's hard to judge roughness just from the POV itself, external factors can help. So I guess the take-away is if you want a good idea of how a ride is, watch as many different POVs as possible. Also read reviews on sites like TPR.

 

I still say you can tell a lot from POVs though, especially on steel coasters where roughness isn't as much a factor.

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^^

The element to which you are referring is considered an outside banked turn, not a Stengel dive. It is original to Outlaw Run.

 

My opinion relating to POV's is that they serve only to increase the desire for me to travel and ride the ride.

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To answer the original question, "Are POV videos good indicators of how a ride will be?" I would say yes.

 

Of course there are a few exceptions, but in general, if you've ridden enough coasters, if you consider the layout and the time it takes to complete certain elements, you can get a good idea of what the ride will be like.

 

I never used to listen to POV's with audio, but now I like listening for reactions during the ride. I've come to associate Robb's "Weee"'s with airtime, so that has been a nice and useful tool.

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Not that much, really. My favourite example is the last coaster I rode this season, Skyrush. It sure didn't look like it was trying to kill you on the POV, but it actually does in real life, in a good way.

 

I personally try not to look at a POV if I haven't been on a coaster that I may be able to ride one day. Even the view from the top is a great surprise and part of the experience. What I do love about POVs is that they are best souvenir of a ride that you can really connect with after riding.

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Until POVs can make you feel the forces of a ride, they'll never be able to fully indicate how a ride will be.

 

POVs are essentially like the movie trailer or book cover to a ride. You can get an estimate of how the ride will be, but never the full experience.

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What would we define as a "good" indicator if it's not a POV? I think it is the best available thing to go off of, so it might as well be a good indicator. I mean it shouldn't be the only thing that plays into one's decision, but if you can definitely tell a ride is sh*tty off of a POV, might as well skip it. a POV gives you a rough idea of what to expect, but isn't definitive.

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I like watching POV videos to get an idea of what a ride does, especially if it's a coaster I know I will never get to but I wouldn't use it to decide how good a ride will be but they are fun to watch during the offseason, even for coasters you have already ridden.

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