Discuss theme parks, roller coasters, and mules!
Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:26 am
Whilst I do agree with you in theory, Coasterfreak, that people should just lose the weight, I don't think it's as simple for a lot of people.
I'm not one to go on saying that it's a medical condition or such, I do believe that most people are overweight through inactivity or over-eating (not all, of course, but most). As someone who has been fairly large before, myself, I can safely say that weight loss is a much more demanding task mentally rather than physically. I think a theme park is a place were most people go to have a break and enjoy themselves.
I understand, again, that if someone is coming in at a size that is just dangerous, then it should be necessary to remove them, for everyone's safety, but Shambhala's seats just seem to randomly picking people to have a problem with. It seems to be that the average weight person can be kicked off because they carry weight in their thighs. This is just madness, to me, personally, and surely something that could/should be easily fixed (a seatbelt on the user or restraint seems like a quick fix that would work wonders?).
I just find it strange, and armed with this information before hand, I feel dreadful thinking of 10 of us getting onto a roller coaster, and only 8 or 9 of us experiencing it, while one of the group gets embarrassed in front of all their friends (and a bunch of strangers) and gets told to get off. If my friend was 30 stone, then I'd expect it (and I'm sure he would too) but 16-17 stone and after having successfully rode every other coaster in the park.. It just seems odd.
Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:50 am
Yeah, I don't really understand why someone who's 160-170 pounds isn't fitting correctly on the ride. I've actually never seen someone kicked off a B&M hyper, and I've been on a few of them, and on multiple occasions. Interesting that this one is having so many problems with normal-sized people (I didn't really catch that part before, sorry!) since 160-170 pounds seems like the average weight for any given person, give or take.
Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:10 am
coasterfreak101 wrote:Yeah, I don't really understand why someone who's 160-170 pounds isn't fitting correctly on the ride. I've actually never seen someone kicked off a B&M hyper, and I've been on a few of them, and on multiple occasions. Interesting that this one is having so many problems with normal-sized people (I didn't really catch that part before, sorry!) since 160-170 pounds seems like the average weight for any given person, give or take.
16-17 stone isn't 160-170lbs, it's more than that. I didn't know there was a "normal weight", do you mean normal BMI, because then 50% or more would be turned away in most Western countries. We're talking about dimensions here rather than weight anyway. The problem appears to be the difference between the inches you can be on your top half compared to the inches they allow you to have on your bottom half on B&Ms. And it's the same with their OTSR (Inverts, Dive Machines, etc. luckily a lot of them have "Big Boy Seats"). Their seats are brutal on anyone who is pear shaped.
As someone who has lost weight recently because I didn't like how tight some restraints were getting, I still know any B&M will be a squeeze because of where I carry my weight. Part of that is just bad luck on my part, but Shambhala seems to have a huge amount of people turned away. It's especially weird to people who are fine on every other type of coaster. They can't adjust everything though, I'm sure people with larger chests have problems on other manufacturers seats. Maybe these reports are OTT, it could have just been a few unlucky trains of people with unusually large measurements in that area.
Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:39 am
That's a fair point, but as I say, if you go back a page to the Facebook link I posted and take a look at the guy (Xavi, I think his name was) who got kicked off, and take a quick flick through his photos, he looks about as average a weight as you can get. He doesn't look to have very big thighs at all (to me) so I find it very strange.
I really must email Port Aventura. Wonder would they bother to reply though. I'll take a wander off to their site and look for an email address.
Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:46 am
^^Sorry, when I said "normal" I meant "average." And yeah, it's more about weight distribution than the weight itself, or at least a combination of the two. Typically the problem is around the stomach, most pneumatic lapbars have to press firmly against the thigh to be considered safely lowered. But what I was saying was that I've never seen a person kicked off a B&M hyper. An Intamin, sure, but those restraints are a whole different story. People at Great Adventure are booted from El Toro all the time, but I've never seen someone ousted from Nitro in all of the dozens of times I've ridden. Same for the multiple times I've ridden Diamondback and Apollo's Chariot. That's why I find it interesting that Shambhala is giving people, especially those that aren't particularly overweight, such problems, because I've seen plenty of larger people on those other hypers without a problem. So it must be weight distribution, but even then...or it's some sort of problem with the ride itself.
Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:15 pm
Well CoasterFreak, you seem to fairly know your way around a roller coaster (it seems you've ridden a fair few), would I not be right in saying that this issue could be easily resolved (for all users) if the restraint was just fitted with a seatbelt?
One that was attached to the actual bar of the restraint itself, and that clipped into the chair at the sides (thus, once tightened, the user would be completely locked in?). Doesn't Furius Baco have a similar thing where the restraint comes over your head and locks in place, but the restraint, despite it already being locked mechanically, also has a seatbelt at the front of it that locks into the seat (therefore running from the harness to the seat, through the middle of your legs).
I've emailed Port Aventura asking them if they have any information on the issue or if they even have a measurements guide or such that could be used to figure out if you'll be allowed on or kicked off.
(I know I'm probably banging on about this a little more than is necessary, but it's me that's pretty much in charge of booking the holiday for the 10-12 of us that will be going. I used to be fairly heavy myself and if it was me that was the heaviest of the group and I got kicked off whilst everyone else went on about what a great time they had, I'd feel humiliated and embarrassed. I imagine the other guy would feel the same, so I just want to be as sure as I can of all that I can before we head over, so, even if I know it's highly possible he'll be kicked off, I can somewhat downplay the importance or interest in Shambhala beforehand).
Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:25 pm
The seat belts that attach to roller coaster restraints are more or less failsafes, in the sense that, if your restraint were to fail, they would hold it down (unless they, too, came undone). There are plenty of rides that don't have seatbelts, and in reality they're probably just as safe as those that do have them - seeing a seatbelt does make one feel safer, though, regardless of how good of a job it really does.
In the case of a B&M invert, or one with shoulder restraints, a seatbelt also runs between the legs, probably helping somewhat to prevent someone from slipping underneath the restraint (though that's unlikely to begin with, if you're riding the ride properly). B&M hypers don't have any use for a seatbelt, and that wouldn't solve this problem - adding a seatbelt wouldn't make it so that the restraint has to go down any less, and it wouldn't make it any easier for someone with different dimensions to fit the ride "properly," i.e. so that the system will dispatch the train. The seatbelt on Furius Baco doesn't make it any more likely for one to fit the ride - if anything, people typically have a lot more problems with those Intamin restraints than they do a clamshell. That's why it's odd that there are so many problems on Shambhala, if there really are as many as are being reported.
But it could also just be chance, that you or the people reporting on Facebook just happened to be there in the right place at the right time to see people getting kicked off or something, and the issue isn't as big as it's being made out to be.
Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:31 pm
I'm 6' 2, 275lbs, with a 56in chest. I wear size 36 jeans. I have no belly the overhangs my waist. Wildfire at SDC is a chore. It's due to my chest. The over the head restraints are fine till the buckle needs to snap. They have to push down on the over the head. To say its snug is an understatement and that's in the 'big' seats. No other coaster is such a pain than B&Ms with the over the shoulder/buckle combo. A simple fix would be an adjustable belt on the buckle for those with thick chests.
Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:29 am
Back from PortAventura, where there on June the 24th for my birthday
, and I enjoyed a LOT Shambhala, that is a very nice coaster. I get almost 10 rides in 2 days (cant do better due to long queue line) so I ride in almost each wagon, unfortunately the operators show you where to sit so you can't choose. The only way to be sure to ride in the first raw is to buy a PortAventura's express pass with a front ride to choose between Furius Baco - Dragon Khan and Shambhala. You can get those next to Furius Baco entrance. Anyway if you are in the head of the train you'll gonna have a LOOOOT of air, strong negative g's on every hills and that during a very long time, you get back to your seat close to the ground and the very fast hill produce ejector, that was very surprising and pleasant. I loved it.
I bring back a full HD off ride and a ridercam for you.
Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:45 am
Great to hear you had a good time and enjoyed the park (though 10 times in 2 days seems like overkill... Surely it can't be THAT good!?). Is the POV video from your first ride?
Also, seen as you have current-day experience with the coaster, would you care to give an opinion on the current discussion regarding seating? Did you see m/any people getting removed from the ride, or hear anything in relation to this (apparent) thigh/restraint issue?
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