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What was your first coaster with inversions?

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Hate to say it but my first invert was the old hang & bang at SFA, the Mind Eraser. This was back when it sported its original teal and red color scheme, in the summer of 1997. Wasn't my choice at all, as I was utterly terrified of coasters, especially those that went upside down (part of the problem I think is that on many coasters the trains seem to be going more slowly thru loops and inversions than they really are and it can seem to an observer that people might be able to fall out). I was at the park (also back when it was called Adventure World) with my mom and one of her friends and some of that friend's family, and I swear that lady dragged us (not my mom, as she had back problems) on everything.


I managed to white-knuckle it thru the Wild One as I could tolerate woodies (the Voyage hadn't been built yet!) since they weren't inverted and I thought of them as old-fashioned and a bit more tame than steel coasters back then. The now defunct Python (Arrow shuttle loop) wasn't operating that day, so that would have been my first invert had it been running, since we were in that side of the park first and I'm sure my mom's friend would have dragged me onto it right after we did Wild One.


I was such a coaster-phobe I didn't even know that suspended inverts existed (I was so scared of coasters I couldn't stand to see an advertisement for one on tv!) and I was leery to even be in an amusement park lest someone I was with my try and get me to go on one. Kind of like someone who is afraid to go into a basement or attic because there might be a spider or bug there. I was scared to death on my first ride but then found I couldn't get enough, and I came back to the park later on that summer and my 2nd invert was the Python and then I went to KD and I'm sure my 3rd was Anaconda and then probably Shockwave since they didn't have Volcano back then.


So even though my first inverted coasters (well, not the Python, that was smooth as it had no corkscrews or other elements that would cause headbanging or other painful moves) were plenty rough I was totally hooked. I wouldn't ride any of the existing three today due to the roughness but I suppose I do place some sentimental value on that old hang & bang just because it was my first inverted steel coaster and really got me into coasters.

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Mine was the Whirlwind at Knoebels, it's now at some tiny park in Costa Rica, but I remember absolutely LOVING it at the time. A year or so later, I rode Great White at Morey's piers and it scared the $#!+ out of me, so I avoided coasters for a while. My next two were Sidewinder and Flying Coaster at Elitch Gardens while on a family vacation, and after those I conquered all the 'big' coasters at Hershey, and there was no looking back from there.

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