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What's wrong with the Boomerangs!


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Hi.

I'm from Chile, and so far we only have 1 major amusement park called Fantasilandia (or Fantasyland). Its major roller coasters are: Vekoma's Boomerang, Vekoma's Mine Train, and a Vekoma SLC called Raptor (nothing to do with B&M )

 

In other words, I've only took Vekoma rides, which to what I seen so far doesn't have the best reviews...

But, it means I don't know any better yet!! This is what I think of all three:

 

Mine Train is meh, not good, not bad. Boring.

 

Raptor is horripilant, VERY unpleasant, and by the time I went, the train had the "shoulder harness" (hoping it's proper engrish here), and the first drop gave me sparkles to the vision, which I suposse is a super bad signal for mental health. It gave me motion sickness and never tried it again.

 

The boomerang though... it was super cool IMO, and I have nothing to complain about!. It's the third roller coaster I took in my life, and even if short, feels like a huge improvement over the previous two, although if I remember correctly it valley'd back in 2015 at the cobra loop.

 

Other than boomerang is prone to valley, and the fact it's so common almost everyone seen one of them at least once, I don't know why many people around internet seem to really hate it. Does it have any fatal flaw I haven't yet encountered, or is it unfairly underrated? =(

I even find it conceptually creative =/

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They are generally very rough, have jarring transitions through the cobra roll (the double-inversion where the train changes direction) causing severe head-banging when equipped with the traditional Vekoma/Arrow trains, are over quite quickly, and there are dozens of them in the US so they get kinda old.

 

Part of the problem is that most of the world has coasters from other manufacturers to compare to...B&M, Intimin, RMC, GCI, etc, and by comparison most Vekoma coasters have the above described problems while the other coasters do not.

 

I too think that Boomerangs tend to get a bad rap, but it is mostly deserved. Aside from ones that get maintained by unnatural spirits and have maintained their smoothness (the one at Morey's Piers, for example) or ones that have the newer vest restraint trains, most are unbearable pain machines.

 

Looking at Fantasilandia's website, it looks like your Boomerang does have those new-style vest restraints on the trains, so yeah, it's totally reasonable to enjoy it.

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Boomerangs with the hard horsecollars found on the Arrow trains or 90s-00s Vekoma trains tend to a bit rougher and painful to ride as compared to Boomerangs with the modern vest restraints.

 

And again, it also depends on the coaster itself, in my experience, Hershey's Sidwewinder has always been a little bit more on the smoother side even when it had the old Arrow train.

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The corkscrew to loop transition is too harsh and was never redesigned. Similar to how the entrances to corkscrews on Arrow coasters snap so hard; I could never figure out why they didn't redesign that. It's really not rocket science (ironically, Ron Toomer of Arrow had a degree in Aerospace Engineering I believe.)

 

Even as a young teenage coaster nerd in the 80s, I wondered why anyone didn't take Mr. Toomer aside and explain "our corkscrew entrance kinda HURTS, maybe we can widen those radii a bit?" or something to the like. Ron Toomer had motion sickness and didn't ride his rides, but why didn't anyone tell him? Same with Vekoma (who worked with Arrow for while). It's clearly visibly a poor transition, especially with horse collars.

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To me they are a waste of my time. I'd rather ride any other thrilling coaster at the park I'm visiting. Consider traveling to try a different theme park with different coasters if you can.

 

I won't ever need to ride one again after I tried one with the vests, and it was still not good.

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Boomerangs with the hard horsecollars found on the Arrow trains or 90s-00s Vekoma trains...

The original Arrow / Vekoma harnesses are not designed for human beings.

 

Even as a young teenage coaster nerd in the 80s, I wondered why anyone didn't take Mr. Toomer aside and explain "our corkscrew entrance kinda HURTS, maybe we can widen those radii a bit?"

Funny story, Arrow appeared to have fixed the transition on one of its last custom looping coasters, the Roller Coaster at Al-Sha'ab in Kuwait. Obviously Arrow went bankrupt so we never got to see what the traditional corkscrew / loop-and-corkscrew layout would have felt like had it been designed the same way as, say, Tennessee Tornado.

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I will admit that I enjoy Boomerangs more now than I did when I first rode the one at Knott's 10+ years ago. You have to be the perfect height for those Arrow restraints to be not-painful (I don't want to say comfortable lol). If you're too short, you bang your head like crazy. Too tall and they uncomfortably press on your shoulders.

 

Flying Cobras at Carowinds is (by far) my favorite Boomerang. The one at Hershey was pretty good too. After that, all the ones I've ridden feel identical.

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Part of the problem is that most of the world has coasters from other manufacturers to compare to...B&M, Intimin, RMC, GCI, etc, and by comparison most Vekoma coasters have the above described problems while the other coasters do not.

People have been complaining about them since before GCI or RMC existed, so those don't count. Intamin and B&M definitely have made rides as bad (at least after getting some age on them) but they didn't go and make a bunch of identical copies of those rides. I wouldn't call anything Vekoma did worse than most Arrows either, but except for the Corkscrews, which way predated Vekoma, they didn't duplicate those either.

 

I think it's more that people like to complain, or make fun of things, and others bought into the outrageous claims. It's pretty disgusting. Some of the old coasters could hurt you if you let them get you, which might be a valid reason to hate them, except every coaster that did that to me I came back to and rode many more times. Some of those who are big name enthusiasts of course do have reason to skip lesser rides, because they just go on to another park of their coaster tour, but normal people don't have that luxury, if that's really even a better thing than enjoying what is there best you can.

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Its not like Vekoma doesnt have good coasters, its just that clones are never highly regarded. The last time I rode a Boomerang was actually tolerable, by keeping my head off the seat back.

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I’ve only ridden 2 traditional boomerangs but I like them. They’re forceful and intense, and the drops are fun! Going backward through the loop is one of the coolest feelings on just about any ride. I get that they can be rough, but I also think that they have a lot to be appreciated.

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I actually really enjoy them. I'm tall enough not to get any headbanging, and I love the feeling of going backward through the inversions. I spent an evening marathonning the one at Knott's when they announced it was closing.

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I've only ridden a couple but never had a real problem with them. I'm really small though so that might be something to do with it. I think it's impressive how a coaster can have two decent drops and six inversions within such a tiny amount of space, so I can see why they're popular.

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only one i have done is the one at SFDK, it wasn't bad and it does have the old arrow style trains but i'm kinda used to those by now anyhow but overall i mean the boomerangs are easily much better than SLC's

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only one i have done is the one at SFDK, it wasn't bad and it does have the old arrow style trains but i'm kinda used to those by now anyhow but overall i mean the boomerangs are easily much better than SLC's

 

The Boomerang at SFDK uses second gen Vekoma trains not Arrow trains.

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Another point is If you pay a lot of money to travel around the country, the last thing you want to do it ride several Boomerangs, many B&M Batman clones, the same Vekoma suspended coaster, etc... Locals that don't travel tend to not notice all of the repeats and don't care. This board is filled with more of the people that travel and don't want to ride the same coaster at different parks.

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only one i have done is the one at SFDK, it wasn't bad and it does have the old arrow style trains but i'm kinda used to those by now anyhow but overall i mean the boomerangs are easily much better than SLC's

 

The Boomerang at SFDK uses second gen Vekoma trains not Arrow trains.

 

 

oh indeed, i just recalled them looking a lot like an updated arrow train when i rode it a few weeks ago, makes sense then!

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I don't hate Boomerangs nearly as much as other enthusiasts, but there's a couple reasons these rides get a bad rep.

 

Mainly, they can hurt. I'm assuming you've only done the one Boomerang in Chile, but some of them can be REALLY bad. And even then, most aren't really that good. Sure, there are a couple good ones, and most aren't THAT bad, but the ones that are bad, are REALLY bad.

 

Also, if you travel a lot for roller coasters, Boomerangs can be pretty repetitive and something that you've done before. I tend to think of them (along with SLCs) as the Starbucks or McDonalds of roller coasters. Even with coaster layouts that I really like, such as Batman: the Ride, or those Premier Sky Rockets, they're a ton of fun, but I tend to prefer custom stuff.

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To me they are a waste of my time. I'd rather ride any other thrilling coaster at the park I'm visiting

 

I couldn't agree more. I don't waste my time with crap that I already know I won't enjoy, anymore. For the most part, my credit chasing days are over.

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I'm probably in the minority here, but I have never ridden a standard Boomerang (or even been to a park with one). However, I have ridden both an Invertigo (Invertigo @ Kings Island) and a GIB (Deja Vu @ SFGAm) and I preferred both to the two Arrow corkscrew-type coasters I've ridden (the off the shelf clone @ Michigan's Adventure and the custom version @ Cedar Point)

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I don't really mind boomerangs, but as others have said they are just everywhere and are very generic. Some hurt more than others. The Darien Lake one is surprisingly ok.

If it's more than a one train wait I'll likely skip it, but if I can walk right on I don't mind doing them.

I will never go out of my way for a boomerang or an SLC, I don't care about credits

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To your question of "What's wrong with the Boomerangs?"

Here's my answer:

"NOT A THING!

I've ridden many Boomerangs from many parks, some with colorful names like Sea Serpent, Flashback, Sidewinder, and Carolina Cobra. The only issue I have with this coaster is where on the train do I feel like riding - the near front or very back. The very first Boomerang I rode was at Hersheypark in 1993 when I rode The Sidewinder. Before Boomerangs you had a launch coaster took you forwards and backwards with only one loop in the middle, and the Boomerang gave you more inversions for your bucks. One more thing: I'm willing to wait in line for at least an hour to ride a Boomerang.

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I don't mind riding a Boomerang if the queue is under 10 minutes, maybe because I only have done 2.

I do have an issues with the rides though, they really feel like they weren't meant to go backwards. I mean when the ride goes forward they can be slightly rough but overall okay, when they go backwards that looping and cobra roll just feel way to small what gives this pulling effect on your body. I'm no stranger to going backwards on a coaster but the boomerang just makes it feel like its not suppose to do that.

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