For several years I’ve found myself wanting more when it comes to thrill ride statistics. Sure we’ve got standard ones like height, length, speed, and if we’re lucky max g force. As a lover of airtime I wanted to know more than just the max g force.
I remembered playing games like RollerCoaster Tycoon seeing stats like max negative g’s, total airtime, and a graph of the forces throughout the whole ride. I wanted these stats for real rides. I did some searching and found only a handful of graphs like this for coasters on the internet so I set out to try recording them myself.
I ended up building an app for iPhone and Apple Watch called Ride Forces which you can download here if you’d like to try it for yourself. The main goal of the app currently is to capture vertical g forces. I’ll spare you the technical details, but here are a few examples of rides I recorded with the app that revealed interesting results.
El Toro was a big inspiration for this app, I always wanted to know just how strong the negative g forces were on those ejector airtime hills. This ride in the last car produced forces of -1.3 g
Ever wonder just how forceful a pretzel loop is? Manta at SeaWorld Orlando pulls 3.6 g in the pretzel loop (pictured here as negative g force since face down is considered the positive direction). The human body actually tolerates high g forces best in this position.
Non coaster rides can also be recorded. Here's a Giant Discovery, which creates a cool looking pattern, and more airtime than Steel Vengeance!
So to recap, here are some reasons you might want to use the app for yourself:
- Allows you to relive your favorite rides
- Helps you rate rides based on real data, rather than trying to recall the experience from memory
- Share your experience on social media in a unique way
- You can compare how the dynamics of a ride are affected by various factors such as:
- Where you sit on the ride
- How the ride changes over time (trim adjustments, retracking, wear and tear...)
- Effects of weather and temperature
Happy to receive any feedback or questions you have about the app. It’s a bit simple for now but I hope to add more features over time.