I am a fifth grade student in central Texas. I have been studying the history of roller coasters for an independant study project at school. I thought it would be fun to see what riding experts thouught about wood vs. steel coasters. I know what my friends think, but they haven't ridden that many coasters. Also-have any of you ridden The Beast? WHat is it like?
I rode the Beast for the first time last year and loved every second of it. The best part of the ride for me is the double helix at the end. However, if you have only ridden the Beast during the day then you have missed out on a real experience. The Beast at night seems to be a completely different ride. It is a blast riding through the dark forest and not really be able to see where you are going!
* The wooden rails of wooden coasters are covered with steel plates that move with the wood. Even though the wood doesn’t move very much, when it does, it squeaks and the steel plates rattle. Riders can hear and feel this movemement riding wooden roller coasters. Steel coasters use steel tracks that move very little and tend to be quiet and smooth. Some enthusiasts prefer noisier, rougher roller coasters, while others prefer quiter, smoother roller coasters. I like both.
* wooden coasters require more grease (on the wheels, chain and track) and wood preservatives (on the track and structure), both of which are smelly. These smells affect people in different ways – many enthusiasts (like myself) like these smells.
* Since wood changes shape with weather and humidity, the track will change, offering different ride experiences, depending on the weather. Steel will also change shape in extreme temperatures, but these changes are very small and barely noticed.
* wooden roller coasters were built in the 1800’s, but many of the oldest were taken apart and destroyed. The oldest operating wooden roller coaster is Leap the Dips at Lakemont Park in Pennsylvania, which was built in 1902. The first steel roller coaster was the Matterhorn Bobsled, at Disneyland in 1959, and it's still operating.
* Today, fewer wooden coasters are installed than steel coasters because they are more expensive to build and maintain
* It’s difficult, but some roller coasters have been moved. This is a lot of work, especially for wooden roller coasters. The Phoenix was moved from Playland Park in San Antonio, Texas to Knoebel’s Grove near Elysburg, Pennsylvania between 1984 and 1985. In 1994, The Comet was moved from Crystal Beach near Niagara Falls, Canada to its present home in Six Flags Great Escape at Lake George, New York. The Phoenix and The Comet are still considered among the best wooden roller coasters in the world. (I rode them – they’re great!)
* No, I’ve never ridden the Beast. But when I was at Cypress Gardens in January, I rode Triple Hurricane (wooden), Swamp Thing (steel) and Okeechobee Rampage (steel). All three were very new, just opened a couple months before. They were all fun, but Triple Hurricane was the noisiest, shakiest, and smelliest, so I rode it the most.
[edited for role model spelling :)]*** Edited 3/8/2005 5:14:30 PM UTC by greatwhitenorth*** *** Edited 3/8/2005 5:16:11 PM UTC by greatwhitenorth***
Don't get me wrong I like steel coasters too but if I had to pick, one or the other for the rest of my life I'd pick wood.
Usually the trains on wooden coasters feel less constrictive and let you move around a little more then on a steel coaster. I like being able to turn my head and look around while on the ride
I also like the fact that wood coasters generally deliver different rides in different weather conditions and times of the day. A wood coaster will run a bit slower in the morning and get faster as the grease in the bearings warm up. Add a little rain to wet the rails and you can't get much better ride.
Wood coasters tend to have a more out of control feel and tend to shake you around a little more then steel coasters too. Thats what I like about them.
As for the Beast. The first time I rode was in 2000 and the last time was last year. It's a long ride! It has strong lateral forces and it tends to keep getting faster and faster as the ride continues to the second lifthill. The drop off the second lift is cool because it is basicly a straight drop (although not very steep)that banks to the left as it enters into the tunnel. Add it's forested course, it's lowness to the ground, and many tunnels make it one cool ride.
There's just also that feeling of reckless abandon, that you do not get as much on steel coasters. Wood gives you the freedom to move about the track a little, just enough to make you feel you have no control, (...which you don't!), while steel sticks to the design it's been given, and doesn't leave it.
Don't get me wrong steel is fun, but I'll ride a wood coaster 95% of the time given a choice.
I love Holiday World's Raven and Legend because of all the above, plus, NO TRIM BRAKES on their coasters, it is one wild ride on those two beauties.
I have togo turn in my project so that the judges can view it. I am a little nervous. My title is "what are you screaming about" and I wanted to share the conclusion with you--wish me luck!Roller Coasters are much more complicated than they appear. I learned that many people from different professions were involved in creating the early roller coasters. I also found out that there is much more to know about these thrill rides and I hope to keep learning more as time passes. I think the best way to learn about them might be to visit them in their natural habitat. (Will my Mom think that’s homework?)
I think the best way to learn about them might be to visit them in their natural habitat. (Will my Mom think that’s homework?)
Sounds like you're the next Paul Ruben.
"The annual ranking is determined through extensive
onsite research by Ruben, who travels the world seeking the ultimate thrill." - SFNE press release
Let's ask Paul Ruben what he thinks.
"Every ride is #1!"
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