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Battle of the top coaster designers  

1,050 members have voted

  1. 1. Battle of the top coaster designers

    • Intamin
      514
    • B&M
      536


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B&M tends to go through these phases where they have a certain design concept and stick with it for a while, then move onto a new one. Examples:

 

early-mid 90's - Inverteds

mid-late 90's - Standups

late 90's - early 2000's - Floorless

early 2000's - Flying

all 2000's - Hypers

2012-2013 - Winged

 

Intamin's history is more of a mixed bag and has more unique coasters (Bizzaro, Volcano, GeForce, Maverick, Stormrunner, Skyrush), plus they were the innovator of the Giga & Strata, plus they even made some woodies (El Toro).

 

I find that Intamin pushes the envelope more, in terms of design innovation and selection.

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B&M tends to go through these phases where they have a certain design concept and stick with it for a while, then move onto a new one. Examples:

 

early-mid 90's - Inverteds

mid-late 90's - Standups

late 90's - early 2000's - Floorless

early 2000's - Flying

all 2000's - Hypers

2012-2013 - Winged

 

The B&M standup debuted as Iron Wolf in 1990. It was the first B&M coaster.

 

Below is a list of the different B&M coasters and when they debuted, in order of their opening.

 

1990 - Stand Up (Iron Wolf - SFGA)

1992 - Inverted (Batman The Ride - SFGA)

1993 - Sitdown (Kumba - BGT)

1998 - Dive Machine (Oblivion - AT)

1999 - Hyper (Apollo's Chariot - BGW)

1999 - Floorless (Bizarro - SFGAd)

1999 - Hyper 200ft + (Raging Bull SFGA)

2002 - Flying (Air - AT)

2011 - Winged (Raptor - Gardaland)

2012 - Giga (Leviathan -CW)

 

B&M Hypers and Gigas are classified as Mega Coasters.

 

Not at all trying to be a "donkey" about it, just awesome information I am passing along!

 

BTW, I voted for B&M, DUH!

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Wow this was a tough one. On one hand, you have B&M. They have really put themselves out there and produced quite a few more coasters than Intamin has. That doesn't mean they produce better coasters, it just shows they have more experience. One of the things holding B&M back is that it seems like they really don't want to expand and take on new ideas as fast as Intamin does. B&M just broke 300 feet, when Intamin has been way ahead of them for years in the height category. It seems like B&M wants to stick to their comfort zone, creating great hypers and sit-downs, under about 250 feet tall. (I haven't forgotten Leviathan, don't worry.) Both companies have outstanding layouts and smoothness during the entire ride, so I feel like it really does just come down to innovation. Intamin seems more capable of expanding and taking on creative, sometimes seemingly outlandish ideas. To become the best, you have to take some risk. B&M seems like they don't want to take any risk, they only want to stick with what they've been doing for years. That's why I voted Intamin.

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  • 4 weeks later...
I would like to change my vote for B&M to Intamin. After riding more B&M's and Intamin's, I prefer Intamin more. Their coasters are way more intense and when you get off you say that was the best coaster ever. They may not be as reliable but i'll take a better ride over reliability. Also, when you go to a park and you see Intamin track you know it's going to be a great ride.

 

Why would intensity matter if its unsafe/ so unreliable you cant ride it?

(I voted for B&M)

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I would like to change my vote for B&M to Intamin. After riding more B&M's and Intamin's, I prefer Intamin more. Their coasters are way more intense and when you get off you say that was the best coaster ever. They may not be as reliable but i'll take a better ride over reliability. Also, when you go to a park and you see Intamin track you know it's going to be a great ride.

 

And its kinda odd that your avatar is a B&M coaster...

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I selected B&M. This is a huge toss up for me, but I like what I've been seeing from B&M lately. Their rides just seem to be more reliable/efficient while providing unique experiences. They may not be as innovative as Intamin, but their innovations work nearly flawlessly in comparison. From rIding X-Flight at Great America and experiencing the closest I've ever actually felt to flight on a roller coaster, to riding Diamondback in a rear end seat while soaring over hills with seemingly endless airtime, B&M creates perfection. Their seats and restraints are some of my favorite in the industry, providing comfort, space, and freedom. My number 1 steel coaster at one point was Superman: Ride of Steel at Six Flags New England, but it has since been neutered in my opinion. I still consider it a world contender, but it certainly is no longer my number 1 steel.

 

Just my thoughts.

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Yeah I like both! I can't choose because both are great companies! I will say B&M is better for a park looking for a less intense family ride and Intamin is more all out thrills. It comes down to what the park wants/needs. It's about money ya know.

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^I agree. It's pretty simple. I also agree with ^^Scotty about Superman at SFNEngland. I loved it as Superman, and wish to remember it that way, I haven't been back there since all the wrap-around headrest stuff was added.

 

That's the answer for practicality, but for personal taste, I'll go with Schwarzkopf (even though it's defunct!). So then I'll take Gerstlauer, as they operate out of the old Schwarzkopf facility. Those old designs could be any number of things: family-fun or intense and everywhere (and every combo of) in-between.

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  • 4 months later...

Hand down B&M. Intamin has put out some great rides (El Toro, Top Thrill Dragster, Bizarro (SFNE)) but they've also done some shoddy and inconsistent work (Maverick, Skyrush, Green Lantern: First Flight). B&M has had their share of fluffy rides but at least none of them hurt or require track to be replaced shortly after opening (Intimidator 305) or even before opening (Maverick).

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For me, it's B&M all the way, no contest. Impeccable safety record, smooth, reliable, visually impressive, high capacity and re-rideable coasters, and flawless engineering. Nine of my top ten steel coasters are B&M (X2 is still the #1), and while all of them night not be considered to be very forceful they are all great rides to me. If I were building a park, I would go to B&M for all of the "big" steel coasters as I would go to GCI (and RMC) for wooden.

 

The only thing I wish they would do is come out with their take on the 4th Dimension coaster...

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Vekoma!

 

Not really, Intamin get's my vote. IMO, all B&m's ride the same. Same layout for hyper/giga coasters and same inversions for everything else. With Intamin nothing rides the same. Every coaster is different. Once you've been on one B&M, you've been on them all. Heck, 80% even have the same curved first drop!

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I know I voted in this poll a while back and probably commented (pretty sure I voted for Intamin, but I had to think about it first), but over time I've been realizing a few things that has made me support my old choice even more strongly. Whenever I would rank a top 5 or top 10 coaster list (especially when I had wood and steel mixed in the same list), I began to notice that my top five was exclusively populated by Intamin coasters. This isn't really anything I had thought much about in the past, and I have always ranked coasters not by the maker (bias towards or against) but just by how much I liked it and how it impressed me.

Now if I do a top ten (all steel), the 6-10 spots have almost all B&M coasters. Though to be fair, sometimes I call my #5 spot a tie between a B&M and another manufacturer's coaster, or between the other one and an Intamin. So occasionally a B&M gets to share my #5 spot.

 

I can see why a park that can afford it would want a B&M coaster from a purely financial point of view, so in that regard B&M is probably the best deal all around for a park's bottom line. At least with them, you know that when you travel a long distance to get to a park, you can pretty well be sure their B&M coaster(s) will be up and running. It may not be a spectacular ride (but it should be a good one at least), but it will be operating and you won't have to worry about a ride throwing your back out (which is great for me since I have a bad back - every B&M I've been on has been harmless to my back) or whip-lashing your neck, or (for the most part) bashing your head in with horrid OTSRs. Those, IMO, are B&Ms main advantages.

 

However, from an enthusiast point of view, there is one problem I have with B&M that I haven't had with Intamin: I've never ever ridden a B&M coaster that blew my mind (OK, there is one other coaster manufacturer that built a coaster that blew my mind, but it was a woodie company so that is irrelevant here). Also, I've never ridden any coaster (other than when I was a child and when I was suffering from coasterphobia) that scared me other than Millennium Force and TTD. And while I wasn't afraid of Skyrush in the sense I was of the other two, I did have to take all day to work up to riding it because I was afraid of what I had heard about it - I haven't been so nervous about riding a coaster in a long time.

 

I've ridden plenty of B&Ms where I get off and think to my self "wow, that was a lot of fun - I'm going to go get back in line and ride again and again" - and I do. But I've never ridden a B&M where I get off and think "holy smokes! that's just unbelievable" while my hands are shaking like a leaf and my heart pounding.

 

I guess I'm a bit jaded (even though my coaster count is a measly 200, measly compared to some people who have racked up two to three times that or more), and I figure that most coasters I will ride for the first time won't blow my mind, and if I'm lucky I'll end up with a ride I want to ride again. But the fact that any coaster can blow my mind like that and impress me in that way is going to cast the manufacturer of those coasters in a different light for me.

 

So for me I have to choose Intamin over B&M at least for now, as I don't expect that I will ever have my mind blown by a B&M creation (at least not based upon their historical track record). If there was never another Intamin built here in the US (or anywhere else, for that matter), the coaster world would be a much poorer place IMO. In that case, I would have to hope that one of the "bit player" manufacturers would step up to the plate and hit a grand slam, like Premier, Mack or one of the other smaller coaster builders. Otherwise I'd never expect a newly encountered coaster to blow me away. But to be fair, Intamin has struck out more than a few times in addition to hitting some grand slams, and B&M pretty much always has base hits and once in a while knocks one out of the park, but for me has never hit a grand slam.

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  • 3 weeks later...

For me, Intamin wins this easily. I recognize B & M has the quantity of solid rides but I'm in love with the quality of coasters Intamin brings to the table. My top 3 overall coasters were all made by Intamin (Skyrush, El Toro, Maverick) and were the only 3 to absolutely wow me. I also have 2 other Intamins (Storm Runner, Fahrenheit) in my top 10. I also feel like Intamin is more creative and willing to take bigger risks with their coasters while I feel B & M plays it safe too much. So combined with those reasons, I'd say I'm an Intamin fanboy.

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As I've previously said, intamin makes some really awesome rides and if I look at my top ten, many of them are intamins. The thing is, overall, B&M makes A LOT of impressive rides with remarkable reliability, smoothness and comfort. After riding coasters like skyrush and storm runner (which are awesome) I do recognize that intamin may have some rides that are nearly unbeatable. Still, I'll go for B&M as they seem to be flawless as (apart from one or another) I've never had any complaints in terms of comfort neither reliability. The same cannot be said for intamin 'cause every time I go to a park that has one I'm afraid it won't be running (and sometimes it really isn't). So I'll take B&M 's consistency over Intamins occasional awesomeness.

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Not sure exactly what the criteria is for which is "better."

 

If the criteria is who makes the "best" coasters in terms of ride design and "fun" of riding / ride forces (for an enthusiast), it has to be Intamin in my view. It's not even close. I don't see what B&M ride can compete with El Toro, Superman (Bizarro) at SFNE, Top Thrill Dragster, Kingda Ka, Maverick (and, from what I hear, I-305, Ge Expedition Force, and T-Express, Balder) in terms of intensity, design, and fun. B&M's inverteds are close, but their hypers and other designs are relatively bland in comparison (although I am a big fan of Nitro).

 

IF the criteria is dependability and comfort, B&M wins.

 

IF its innovation in coaster design, that's a push to me.

Edited by tororific
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^I agree. Only a few B&M have really wowed me, such as nitro, montu, alpengeist, and maybe incredible hulk. On the other hand, Intimidator 305, my recent rides on El Toro, storm runner, skyrush, maverick, millenium force, top thrill dragster, and superman ride of steel all place above them, and left me completely speechless.

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^I agree. Only a few B&M have really wowed me, such as nitro, montu, alpengeist, and maybe incredible hulk. On the other hand, Intimidator 305, my recent rides on El Toro, storm runner, skyrush, maverick, millenium force, top thrill dragster, and superman ride of steel all place above them, and left me completely speechless.

 

Yup - I would add Kumba to the list of great B&Ms and maybe even Griffon. I would also add the original Batman. I recall when that first opened at SFGam and it felt (and rode) like a game changer. A marvel of engineering and an incredibly intense ride, particularly for the time. In many ways, the original Batmans ride more like Intamins today. BUT B&M appears to have backed off that initial intensity with Batman and other inverteds, and their reluctance (fear) of negative g's in virtually all rides is very odd.

 

When B&M entered the hypercoaster territory in 1999, I had really high hopes, but the ride experience on them feels like . . . well, the word that comes to mind is "lumbering." Something about the 4-wide train, the wide track, the high (and generally slow) turns, combined with minimal air time or laterals or, really, any significant forces, just gives them a somewhat lifeless feel -- at least compared to something like Intamin's Supermans, for instance, which just LEAP off the track, and feel much more "alive" and vital than B&M hypers.

 

Don't get me wrong, I still love B&M coasters and they did change the game in a very positive way. But when I want to come off a coaster clapping and cheering and "blown away," it's typically an Intamin ride, not a B&M one.

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Ah yes, the classic question.

 

What's funny is years ago, I would've said "B&M" pretty much without thought, but while the years have gone by I've swung to Intamin.

Needless to say: Both great companies, but in the infamous "safe and steady" vs "more intense" battle I choose the latter. My top coasters have become increasingly Intamin, they just make better stuff and in the 2000s have taken over the innovation battle, while B&M were at the forefront during the 90s. They owned the coaster business then.

 

 

B&M are of course WAY more reliable, and easier to ride, but less "wow" Intamin has its issues but it's about the rides, and they make the best, plus innovations like magnet brakes, the cable lift, hydraulic launches (which seems to be the best style?) new spines and pushing the limits.

 

 

Though RMC has entered the ring, maybe they shall be the kings of the 2010s?

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IMO, all B&m's ride the same. Same layout for hyper/giga coasters and same inversions for everything else. With Intamin nothing rides the same. Every coaster is different. Once you've been on one B&M, you've been on them all. Heck, 80% even have the same curved first drop!

 

 

Actually not a bad point, Intamin deff makes more unique/varied rides. While B&M hit a grand slam with their 7 looper model and Batman the Ride (STILL great) they kept producing those. I know I know it's what parks want, and of course that is what matters but judging solely on the output itself, B&M has become a bit samey.

 

While I've never ridden either, Leviathan and Shambhala seem very fast, pretty untrimmed (much as B&M will get!) and without MCBR, or at least not as "in the middle" so that's a good sign I hope! We dont know what they have planned but would be awesome to see em get back into creativity. I'd love a B&M gravity max coaster for example! Or maybe a B&M launcher.

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