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By no means do I consider myself a "tough" individual who can handle more than the average person. I bring this up solely based on my trip to Hersheypark yesterday. When riding Wildcat, a coaster that is almost unanimously considered to be overly-rough, I came off the ride baffled. I have ridden this coaster many times, and while it has noticeable shaking and vibrations, at no time did I find it uncomfortable. As a matter of fact Ive ridden it many times since it was built, and have never had an experience which I would consider brutal. The rattling experience simply didn't transfer to my body, which I would certainly attribute to the train design. I've also ridden Son of Beast, The Voyage, Psyclone, Mean Streak, and grew up with Hercules at Dorney Park. Out of those particular rides the only element of any of those rides I considered to be borderline "too-rough" was the lake-turn on Hercules, which many found to still be the best part of the ride. So, in essence, my question is: Has advances in engineering technology made us demand a coaster that is nothing other than glass-smooth?

 

The tolerance for roughness seems to be the same across the spectrum of both enthusiasts and general public, however there's no question that the average coaster of several decades ago was rougher than the one of today. I'm also aware that in order for the park to maximize profit, limiting liability is a good strategy. But, after my experience I was questioning whether we just complain too much. Thoughts?

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While i agree rides are getting smoother, I feel the real problem is more about intensity.

 

I find that many modern steel coasters are becoming less and less intense. Yes, I know there's companies like RMC, but overall, it seems like a lot of the big companies like B&M have gone soft, and the companies that still build intense rides, like Intamin, aren't seen as being reliable enough.

Edited by canadianparkfan
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I don't know, good question. I can say that both Giant Dippers in California run excellent for being 90ish years old...better than some other woodies in fact. So while technology may help roller coasters get smoother over time, we still have some classics to compare them to that are very smooth. I don't know if I made a point or not, but there it is.

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Has advances in engineering technology made us demand a coaster that is nothing other than glass-smooth?

 

I don't think that's quite the case, but I do think there should be a reasonable expectation for a new ride to be smooth in 2014, provided it isn't a Chinese knockoff. At the same time, I think rough coasters are becoming more noticeable when parks like Carowinds and Wonderland put in some great headlining new attractions that expose an aging undercard of 80's and 90's rides, which feel dated by comparison.

 

Another point, I used to waive the flag of preserve, preserve, preserve with all older rides. But now with modern technology, what we're seeing is possible with RMC, and even the Phantom's Revenge transformation, I don't think it's that we have become physically more sensitive to roughness; rather, we're more aware of the fact that good modification/rehab options are out there, and it's no longer excusable to have some of these chronically-rough rides continuing to operate as-is. As riders, we should not champion personal toughness to mask the fact that some parks just aren't taking care of their coasters.

 

I didn't like it years ago when, instead of fixing poorly-tracked coasters, Six Flags would slap corn nuts ads in the lines (do they still do it?) daring people to survive the extreme challenge ahead of them that will push their toleration to the limit and on, and on...just put some love into the ride! Instead, they tacked up formal invitations to endure discomfort .

Edited by Samuel
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I also think it greatly depends on how defensively or not you ride a coaster.

 

If you get on an Arrow looper after riding a B&M hyper and ride it the same way, the Arrow looper will hurt. If you ride it defensively it will not hurt as much.

 

I also think enthusiasts care a lot more and are more sensitive to roughness than the GP. We understand how good rides can be, and like to rip them if they aren't perfect.

 

Basically I think we all enjoy in some way riding rough coasters, or we wouldn't ride them. If I go to a park with a togo stand-up, I'm still going to ride it and have a good time, even if I expect it to be bad.

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I think it depends on who you are. There are people like me who can handle roughness up to a certain point, and then there are those who will bash a coaster for even the slightest bits of roughness. I consider a coaster to be truly rough if it gives me a headache that lasts longer than a few minutes after I get off the ride. Sometimes, I think it may be that some of us are spoiled with smooth coasters like B&Ms and Intamins to the point that anything from Arrow or Vekoma will become unbearable, but that's just me.

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I agree that wildcat hardly felt rough. People also say mantis is insanely rough when it only has like a couple of transitions that are actually that rough.

 

The only uncomfortable roughness was the back row of wildcat at Lake compounce when it jackhammered on the valley before the second turnaround.

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I think enthusiasts know what's good and are expecting more from certain coasters. When we get disappointed about the layout, intensity, etc, we focus on the things like roughness. For example: Mean streak is boring so people complain about the roughness way too much than the woodies with the same rough level.

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I definitely prefer if a ride is smooth, but I can enjoy a ride that is aggressive as long as it is bringing the intensity. While many enthusiasts bash Boomerangs, I actually enjoy them (outside of Canada's Wonderland's Bat). The one type of roughness I have an issue with is when my ears get bashed around. This isn't as big of an issue on sit down coasters since I'm tall enough that my ears are above the restraints, but it is an issue on inverts and stand-up coasters.

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I think enthusiasts know what's good and are expecting more from certain coasters. When we get disappointed about the layout, intensity, etc, we focus on the things like roughness. For example: Mean streak is boring so people complain about the roughness way too much than the woodies with the same rough level.

Yeah, that's also true. For example, magnum is a bit rough but most people (including me) don't really complain because it is overall a fun ride.

It also seems to depend on the time and seat where the person rides as there have been occasions when there are two coasters and I think one is clearly rougher than the other while someone else thinks the other way round. I have tried supposedly rough coasters that I thought were quite smooth as well as the other way round.

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I had issues on other forums about my opinion of Cyclone's closing at SFNE.

 

I'm not gonna mention the forum out of respect, but I think they may have a clue who it might be. Anyways, When the markings were found, I instantly felt a part of my crushed and I expressed that thoroughly. They were all like "Time to go!" or "Too rough!!!" Cyclone wasn't rough at all to me in the back, if anything, it's called INTENSITY. There is a difference! Cyclone was Intense, not rough! Maybe I really am in minority, I just thought it wasn't as rough as SFNE geeks said it was... Oh well!

 

Wildcat at Hershey is my favorite ride there. Such a fun ride! It's not rough at all, maybe one point where a helix ends into a dip it hurts in the back. Other then that, it's not a back breaker!

 

Unfortunately, my body can't take the new trains on Goliath at SFNE.

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I had issues on other forums about my opinion of Cyclone's closing at SFNE.

 

I'm not gonna mention the forum out of respect, but I think they may have a clue who it might be. Anyways, When the markings were found, I instantly felt a part of my crushed and I expressed that thoroughly. They were all like "Time to go!" or "Too rough!!!" Cyclone wasn't rough at all to me in the back, if anything, it's called INTENSITY. There is a difference! Cyclone was Intense, not rough! Maybe I really am in minority, I just thought it wasn't as rough as SFNE geeks said it was... Oh well!

 

Wildcat at Hershey is my favorite ride there. Such a fun ride! It's not rough at all, maybe one point where a helix ends into a dip it hurts in the back. Other then that, it's not a back breaker!

 

Unfortunately, my body can't take the new trains on Goliath at SFNE.

 

 

Cyclone was one of the smoothest coasters in the park. I've had rougher rides on Batman, and compared to Boulder Dash, Cyclone was smooth as butter.

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I had issues on other forums about my opinion of Cyclone's closing at SFNE.

 

I'm not gonna mention the forum out of respect, but I think they may have a clue who it might be. Anyways, When the markings were found, I instantly felt a part of my crushed and I expressed that thoroughly. They were all like "Time to go!" or "Too rough!!!" Cyclone wasn't rough at all to me in the back, if anything, it's called INTENSITY. There is a difference! Cyclone was Intense, not rough! Maybe I really am in minority, I just thought it wasn't as rough as SFNE geeks said it was... Oh well!

 

Wildcat at Hershey is my favorite ride there. Such a fun ride! It's not rough at all, maybe one point where a helix ends into a dip it hurts in the back. Other then that, it's not a back breaker!

 

Unfortunately, my body can't take the new trains on Goliath at SFNE.

 

 

Cyclone was one of the smoothest coasters in the park. I've had rougher rides on Batman, and compared to Boulder Dash, Cyclone was smooth as butter.

 

I ride Cyclone once in 2007 in the very front row, so obviously my exposure is limited and the front is generally the smoothest party of the train. However, that one ride I had was glass smooth. Regarding the ride, it had some intensity and airtime, but the pacing was extremely erratic with a lot of slow points. Because of that I'm in favor of the transformation, as it seems like coasters with consistent speed remain popular.

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