Airtime is Overrated

Wednesday, August 27, 2003 4:18 PM
I know I'm gonna catch some flack for this, but airtime is way overrated. There are many aspects that make a coaster a great coaster, such as speed, smoothness, height, inversions, tight turns, unpredictability, and of course, airtime. It seems like outstanding coasters that lack airtime (i.e. The Beast) get put down for it, whereas simple coasters that have an abundance of it get high praise (i.e. Shivering Timbers). A coaster doesn't have to have airtime to be a great coaster, thought that is the impression that I get from a lot of people on this site. It's just another element that contributes to a coaster being great.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 4:29 PM
My issue with The Beast isn't because it has no airtime. It stems from the fact that the ride is riddled with brakes. You can't go down a hill on that ride without encountering those damn things. Bad coaster engineering/design/philosophy if you ask me.

Wood - anything else is an imitation

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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 4:40 PM

Bakeman said:
A coaster doesn't have to have airtime to be a great coaster

In the coaster community it does. I also agree with you that the there are so many other factors that contribute to a good wooden coaster.

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"You know its a good ride when you come into the final brake run wiping tears from your eyes."

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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 4:46 PM
That's exactly my point, it's the coaster community that puts too much emphasis on airtime, and I'm talking about wooden and steel coasters.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 4:46 PM
This is like arguing that red is the best color. People are entitled to their own opinions.

However, if you look at Mitch's polls for the last few years, you will see that enthusiasts prefer airtime (floater or ejector) head and shoulders above speed, direction changes, positive g's or laterals.

And being the airwhore that I am, I can definitely say that I'm in it for the air. The only thing about inversions that I like is the potential for hangtime. Give me an out and back any day.
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Be polite and ignore the idiots. - rollergator
"It's not a Toomer" - Arnold Schwartzenkoph
"Those who know don't talk and those who talk don't know." -Jeff

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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 4:48 PM
Thank god for Bakeman! I thought I was the only one who thought this. Yes, airtime is pretty cool, but just because a ride doesn't have it, doesn't mean it sucks. My top 5 - Top Thrill Dragster, Millennium Force, Raptor, Batman Knight Flight, and The Beast - all have little if any airtime. Yet I still absolutely love them. I guess everyone has their opinion though.

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Corey
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Intamin, the cadillac of roller coasters.
MF-26
TTD-11

I HEART OHIO

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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 4:50 PM
Many of the posts posted in the general buzz are opinions. I personally don't obsess over airtime, I think it's overrated, and I just want some feedback. I understand that people are entitled to their own opinions. Very nice Top 5 CoastinCorey!

*** This post was edited by Bakeman 8/27/2003 8:52:20 PM ***
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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 5:07 PM
C'mon, Apollo, Everyone knows blue is the best color!

Airtime is an additional element that adds to the thrill. What do you think makes S:TE so popular? The weightlessness at the top. MF has a nice kick of airtime before the camera area that adds to the thrill. I like to have suprise lifts of air like that on a coaster, however, that is a preference. I know several people who hate the airtime. On the other hand I know people who hate wood or inverts. That doesn't make all in wood or inverts crap.

I agree that there are a lot of coasters without airtime that seem to lose out and the lack of airtime appears to be the difference. Airtime is a preference and it just so happens the majority of the coaster comunity enjoy airtime.


I'm still holding out on blue! ;)
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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 5:23 PM
Not everyone loves pure airtime. I prefer a mix of laterals and airtime, preferrably happening at the same moment.

mOOSH

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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 5:28 PM
I agree, airtime is not the sole thing that makes a coaster good but it is a large factor. For a little while, back when I was young and stupid, I wanted to ride a coaster that didn't make me feel funny when I went down the first hill. But when I finally felt what it was like without it, I hated the ride. Airtime doesn't make a coaster good, but it is a big factor in it.

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"Do what you believe in and believe in what you do," Jeffrey E. McCants

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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 5:47 PM
S:TE is popular?

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Be polite and ignore the idiots. - rollergator
"It's not a Toomer" - Arnold Schwartzenkoph
"Those who know don't talk and those who talk don't know." -Jeff

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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 5:48 PM
I personally don't think airtime is all that great either. Floating airtime just doesn't do anything for me. Ejector airtime is the only kind of airtime I like, but I'd choose high positive G's and stomach dropping drops over any kind of airtime any day.

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It is immpossible to lick your elbow. (after reading this, 75% of people will try and lick their elbow.)

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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 5:53 PM
I love GCIIs too Moosh. :)

-Danny
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Coaster Insomniacs- Coastin' the Night Away

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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 5:55 PM
Being the "Resident Airtime Whore(TM)" I can fully say that I prefer airtime over any other element in a coaster. That being said, it isnt the only important element. One of my favorite coasters, Kraken, isnt exactly an airtime machine (except for that Zero-G roll, yummy) but everything put together in that coaster makes it a great coaster.

I will say though that if a wooden coaster has everything in it BUT airtime, I won't enjoy it that much. For me airtime is a very necessary element in a wooden coaster. Then again, my favorite wooden coaster, Legend isnt just my favorite because of the airtime it has, it also has killer laterals, quick directions changes, and an out of control feeling that cannot be matched on any other wooden coaster.


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Bob Hansen
Resident Airtime Whore

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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 6:00 PM
I just hate it when someone complains that a ride like Montu has so little airtime. Uh, doubt they were really going for a coaster with lots of negative g's.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 6:03 PM
So you're the one they call RAW? Homey G. has met his match.

-Danny

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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 6:13 PM

CoastinCorey said:
Thank god for Bakeman! I thought I was the only one who thought this. Yes, airtime is pretty cool, but just because a ride doesn't have it, doesn't mean it sucks. My top 5 - Top Thrill Dragster, Millennium Force, Raptor, Batman Knight Flight, and The Beast - all have little if any airtime. Yet I still absolutely love them. I guess everyone has their opinion though.


I thought MF had lots of airtime and if I'm correct it set a record for most airtime or was it the most airtime for one hill. either way it has lots of air, floater not ejector, but is still very much airtime filled.

Back to the topic. I find that coasters need a good mix. While I like airtime I do like laterals and just that feeling of no control hence I like coasters like the Boss, MF, Raptor, Viper (SFGAM) etc

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Michael Gibbs,
" why can't we tear down the walls, and show the scars we're covering" ~Scott Stapp~

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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 6:20 PM
I like a lot of different elements, but I'll admit that I'm an air junkie. Gimmie hill 5 on Raven or 'the drop' on Cyclops in the back seat and you guys can keep your laterals ;).

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Without the chaindog, you'd never get up the lifthill...

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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 6:30 PM
Great topic, and now my treatise ensues... Airtime gets a lot of screen time here, but I don't know if I would say it's any more overrated than inversions, or speed, or whatever. I think it all depends on context.

If we're talking about Shivering Timbers, then, yeah, we're going to be talking about airtime. That's its purpose in the pantheon of roller coasters. The Beast, on the other hand, exists not for airtime, but for speed, laterals, and visuals.

I have to admit, before I rode The Beast for the first time this year, I wasn't convinced of its greatness just by having seen the layout on video. It looks a little boring on video. But then I rode it, and rode it three more times, and I understood. The same applies for MF. Prior to riding it, I thought the ride had a severe shortage of airtime. I mean, 310 feet tall and only four moments of air?!? But then I rode it, and felt the G's on the overbanks, felt the speed on the turns, and appreciated everything the ride delivered.

With that said, I think the key to a truly great ride is variety. When I rode Raging Bull a few weeks ago, I couldn't help but feel like it was missing something. The air was as fantastic as it ever was, but that's all there was. And, mind you, this is coming from an airtime whore.

Whatever the type of ride, having a variety of elements improves the ride as a whole. I won't fault The Beast for not being an airtime machine, but I do think it would be an even better ride if there was airtime on the first two hills. Because you'd still have the same ride, only with more thrills (I realize brakes have probably hindered that wish). And I've always thought Arrow and B&M multi-loopers would've benefited from some air-filled drops as well, just to add another thrill into the mix.

There are rides out there that do one thing, and do that thing very well. But, to me, that's tantamount to taking a new sports car out on the highway, taking it to 100, and staying there. Impressive, sure. But put it through its paces, see what it can do, and push it to its limits. Otherwise, you're not realizing the full potential of the machine.

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Ask about my references

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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 6:39 PM
Airtime > j00

End of story. :)

--Ryan

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A man who throws dirt loses ground.

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