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What type of enthusiast are you?


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I like to observe people. Over the past few years I have been 'observing' coaster enthusiasts, including myself, and have discovered six general categories of enthusiasts. While we generally fit into all of these categories, there is usually one category that predominantly describes each one of us. What primary type of enthusiast are you based on my humorous observations and generalizations?

 

Coaster Engineer - For you it's all about gravity. Positive G forces, negative G forces, and lateral G forces are terms that you frequently use. You can name the amount of G forces on all of your favorite coasters and never fail to bring that up in a conversation any time you can. You regularly use an accelerometer app. Sir Isaac Newton is your idol and the namesake for your first born.

 

Coaster Designer - For you it's all about the look. A coaster is a beautiful creation and the colors and setting should reflect this beauty. A lack of theming nearly rules out any reason for a coaster to exist. You've been overheard saying something like 'OMG, Becky. Did you see the awful colors on that coaster?' Martha Stewart follows you on Twitter.

 

Coaster Creator - For you it's all about the elements and pacing. You know the order and duration of each of the elements on your favorite coasters and even announce them live for the 'enjoyment' of other riders. Nearly everything in life can be correlated to a coaster element. You have a pet named Immelmann, Top Hat, or Corkscrew and set up a shortcut key on your computer to load No Limits. Walter Bolliger follows you on Twitter.

 

Coaster Rider - For you, it's all about the ride. It really doesn't matter what it looks like or what forces it has, what's important is the ride experience. You continue to reride subpar coasters hoping to find one seat with a good experience. You are hoping to be reborn as a water dummy and have even created a facebook water dummy group. You have an army of water dummies in your basement who answer to you and are your primary followers on Twitter.

 

Coaster Whore - For you, it's all about riding as many coasters as you can. It doesn't matter that you've ridden 8 different caterpillars, you HAVE to get the credit on a different caterpillar. You are actively working on a new patent for anti-platform shoes that will decrease your height to 48" so you can pick up every kiddie credit without having to rent a kid. You have a tattoo of your favorite Miner Mike. You don't have time for Twitter because you're on your way to a family fun center.

 

Coaster Programmer - For you, it's all about controls. Big red buttons, knobs, and flashing lights excite you. You are fabricating an industrial all weather control panel that will control your house and everything on your property. Before leaving the house you have to do a visual scan. Consign follows you on twitter.

 

NOTE: This is all in fun and the descriptions are tongue-in-cheek. If any of these descriptions fit you exactly, PM me because I'd like to write an article about you.

Edited by arby
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I actually like the concept of this thread; I hadn't really consciously processed the different kinds of enthusiasts you could be.

 

I would say that I am a mix of Coaster Designer and Creator. In the end, it's all about the sequence of elements and how the coaster rides, but I have to be honest that the layout of a ride seems more "right" if it has an inherent symmetry and composition.

 

EX:

Yea

 

Nay

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I would say I'm a designer and rider.

I became a coaster enthusiast even before I rode my first one when I could barely walk. I was mesmerized by the overall look and beauty of roller coasters big or small, and I'm still mesmerized by them today. This is why I bring my camera with me to parks as much as I can. I love to film and take photos of rides just because I think they are great works of art and physics. On top of that, I just enjoy being on a coaster. Period (at least the good ones ). Get me on a roller coaster and I'm happy. Simple as that.

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I'd say I'm a creator and designer. I love when coasters have great elements and a great pacing, even if it's relatively simple, because yes, I like to have some forces in the ride. There are several forceless rides that I like for other reasons, but even some rides with great elements, but no pacing and no forces can be very poor. The two B&M wingriders I've been on, X-Flight and Gatekeeper, had a promising layout but they were both slow and forceless, and they are very low in my list. I don't mind a simple coaster as long as it has great forces and a good pacing, for example the Comet at The Great Escape is a double out-and-back and not much else, but it fits in that category and it's my #2 woodie !

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Definitely a Rider.

 

Remember why you became a lover of roller coaster? It wasn't the way they looked. It wasn't the way the ride flowed. It wasn't the theming. It was the ride that got you hooked.

 

Actually, I fell in love with them because of the way they looked. When I was younger, I was scared to death to ride them, but LOVED going to parks and looking at them.

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Even though I am an engineer, I am far from that type of enthusiast. I could care less actually about most stats, g-forces, etc...

 

I would say a combo between "Coaster Rider" and "Coaster Creator" out of those options/descriptions given. I will go to parks I never been to and I only ride what appeals to me... I am far from a credit whore, and will avoid riding clones if I don't enjoy them. I just don't really care about my "number" or the bragging rights.

 

The ride experience as a whole appeals to me... It does not matter who built it, what park it is at, etc... I also don't care about the stats much anymore, other than maybe height and speed. You won't be able to point me out at a park as an enthusiast and I generally avoid a majority of other enthusiasts for a variety of reasons... Unless they appear "normal".

 

That about sums me up... I go to parks to enjoy the overall experience... I don't have to marathon endlessly or care to know every single detail about rides. I dig the technical and mechanical aspects (given being a mechanical engineer), without needing too many details.

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You totally left out Coaster Programmer...those that love how a ride is controlled. Of course I'm massively biased on that, but when its what you do for a living, you find you can't stop. I'm constantly analyzing how rides work electrically. Or maybe I'm just a nerd

 

-Brian

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I'm probably a mix between creator and designer. I'm really interested in the design aspect from everything including the technology and engineering to the track layout itself. On top of that, I'm really big into presentation of the ride itself. I don't necessarily need intricate facade and themed story details (though preferred), but great landscaping and area interaction is expected in order for the ride to catch my attention. With that said, I completely lack all the obnoxious behaviors mentioned. I think the only thing I'll say is "It's TWISSSSTYYYYYY!" (if the ride warrants it) as an homage to Robb's video commentary.

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You totally left out Coaster Programmer...those that love how a ride is controlled. Of course I'm massively biased on that, but when its what you do for a living, you find you can't stop. I'm constantly analyzing how rides work electrically. Or maybe I'm just a nerd

 

-Brian

 

Good point! My basis for this was not at all scientific so it's not unusual that I forgot that and probably 1-2 other classifications so far.

 

I am enjoying reading all of the responses. It's interesting to see what people are thinking.

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I'm not sure I fall into any of these, they're all aspects of being an enthusiast which you will have in varying levels. I love the engineering behind the rides and how they make the desired forces and stuff, but I also really like a well presented coaster and something that can be considered beautiful in itself (i305 is probably one of the best looking steel structures I've seen in years).

 

Really, I define myself as a theme park enthusiast. For me it's a far more wholistic thing that just going on a bunch of coasters. Epcot and Tokyo Disney are two of my favourite parks in the world and there's not much in the way of coasters between them!

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You totally left out Coaster Programmer...those that love how a ride is controlled. Of course I'm massively biased on that, but when its what you do for a living, you find you can't stop. I'm constantly analyzing how rides work electrically. Or maybe I'm just a nerd

 

-Brian

 

So true. To me, knowing everything about coaster operations and control panels is porn. However, if I should fit into any of the 5 categories, I would be a Coaster Whore! I'll ride anything, provided it has wheels and rails and can be counted as a credit!

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I would say creator with a touch of engineer. I'm constantly thinking about new possible elements (some of which end up being built, like SFGAm Goliath's zero g stall) but I also care about G forces.

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For me, it's probably mostly Rider with a touch of Engineer. I love the technical aspects of coasters, but don't care about manufacturer, specifics of coaster type etc. I ride coasters for that rush, and love to be able to know whats going on in the ride. Don't necessarily use an accelerometer though, just like the technical aspect.

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I'd be more of the designer. I love the aesthetics of lots of roller coasters (water slides too), and have as much enjoyment looking at/studying them as I do riding them (hence why I enjoy photographing them).

 

Case in point: Ninja at SFOG.

 

Second to this would be Coaster Rider.

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