Cobra Rolls on Inverted Coasters

TiggerMan's avatar

So this weekend we made our first trip to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and of course, we rode everything (numerous times), including Alpengeist.

While overall I liked just about everything about Alpengeist, I found that the cobra roll was the worst part of the ride - it's too fast and if you're riding the back row on an outside seat it's positively painful as it jerks you through the element.

This got me to thinking that I have a similar opinion about Raptor at Cedar Point - great ride overall, but damn, that cobra roll is NOT a fun element - as well as many of the inverted boomerangs have cobra rolls and they aren't always fun.

On other coaster types, I have no issues with cobra rolls - for instance Medusa/Bizarro at SFGAdv and Hydra at Dorney - these elements actually work quite well and aren't painful.

It seems to me that it boils down to the fact that on an inverted coaster your body and the train/car are further away from the track, which means the whole train/car has to move further than on a sit-down or floorless in the same amount of time - thus making for the "getting yanked through the element" feeling. Or is it more related to the whole "track below you vs. track above you" thing?

Anyone else share this opinion/feeling about cobra rolls on inverted coasters? 

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Raven-Phile's avatar

Having just ridden Raptor a few times yesterday, I think I'm going to have to disagree with you. I love the snap of the cobra roll. It was a really warm, sunny day yesterday, and Raptor was running balls-out fast and intense, too.

I will agree that Alpengeist's is a bit fast, but it's an interesting sensation. There are definitely some odd things about that ride, though - the elements just seem so strange as it is. I like it, but it's definitely not my favorite.

I dislike the B&M *snap* on their corkscrews (do they still call them "flat spins"?) and Cobra Rolls.

It's probably a 50/50 thing; 50% of people LOVE the B&M snap, and 50% of us dislike them. I had a thought that B&M may have smoothed out those snaps, but to be honest I haven't payed enough attention. I'm busy riding Anton rides :)

delan's avatar

I think the snapiest element is Fire Dragon's second Immelman. I actually love the cobra roll snap. Its kinda like OMG....thisshouldntbegoingthisfast!!

I was thinking about this my last few seems that Raptor has gotten snappier/rougher with age, or maybe it's just me. I don't find the snaps particularly pleasant either, especially since the train feels slow and heavy through the cobra roll. It's an awesome-looking element to me, but not all that fun to go through. My favorite part of Raptor is the zero-G roll after the loop, and I wish it had more of those.

That's not to say that I don't like snappiness, as I love the snappy turns on Maverick and I-305, as the train feels quick and light through those elements.

Vater's avatar

I've never been a huge fan of cobra rolls in general. And yeah, Alpengeist's is probably my least favorite part of the ride as well (though it remains one of my favorite coasters).

Hydra's, on the other hand, is designed so there's no real snap to it, and as such I figured I'd probably prefer it to all the others. Wrong. It was as uneventful as the rest of the ride.

Hydra is definitely a meh ride.

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Agreed, though the jojo roll is an interesting but meh quirk.

Last edited by Jeph,

I love the smooth snap of Raptor's flatspins... Especially in the back seat, left side. Nothing better, IMO.

As far as the cobra roll, I don't mind it at all. It can be rough at times, but I kind of know how to brace for it so it is never an issue for me.

Maverick on the other hand, is abusive!

Raven-Phile's avatar

SteveWoA said:

Maverick on the other hand, is the best ride in the park!

Fixed that for you. :)


I used to love Maverick... But lately it is just getting a bit much for me. I don't even have the desire to ride it when there is no line. I generally end up with terrible 'square wheels' and rides rougher than I ever have experienced since it opened. I used to ride it 2-3x a visit, but now maybe 2-3x a year. I tend to stay up front these days with Raptor, MF and Dragster.

Raven-Phile's avatar

Oh, man. I rode it twice in a row last night in the back seat. It was kicking major ass, and the girl who was with me hadn't ridden it before - she was impressed with how smooth it was for how aggressive it was.

RPM's avatar

I agree with TiggerMan that the cobra roll on Raptor is not at all enjoyable. Being in the front seat helps a little bit, maybe because its easier to see whats happening so you can brace yourself.

As for Maverick, I enjoy the ride if I'm in the first car, otherwise its just painfull. Although that one twist, after the 2nd launch and sweeping turn, is painful no matter where you sit.

Although in general, as I get older, I feel like I'm less tolerant of any kind of over the should restraints. I've yet to find one that is completely comfortable. Maybe its because I'm of below average height and they always seem to bang into my ears.

rollergator's avatar

IMO, the cobra roll is generally two inversions too closely together, and typically results in some headbanging or neck-smashing.

Hulk is one that notably is S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D out...and delivers no such abuse (at least not in that section). Ice, on the other side of the park, almost always gets me on the second half of the cobra roll, as I end up unprepared for a second rapid change of direction. Ouch!

eightdotthree's avatar

Depends on the ride. Raptor and Alpengeist are more "old school" B&M, Silver Bullet is more "new school" and its cobra roll is smooth.

sirloindude's avatar

I'm all about the snap, personally, on the corkscrews and the cobra rolls. To me, that snap is part of what makes B&M's inverted coasters so awesome. Even the top of the loops have a little snap. The intensity boost from that characteristic is great.

Last edited by sirloindude,

13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones

blasterboy6500's avatar

I actually hated it. The one on Alpie was quite a bit too fast for my liking and really jolted my arms and back. I had to sit on a bench for like 30 seconds till I felt okay. As fast and intense these inverts are trying to be, they should be a little aware of the limits. My best solution is to get up front. The inversions are still intense and powerful, but they aren't painful. But the speed and g force makes you feel like you're going VERY fast. To be honest, at SFOT (pretty dull park), Batman felt twice as fast as Mr. Freeze. It almost felt too fast for an invert at the time I rode it (5 years ago).

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sirloindude's avatar

SFOT a pretty dull park? Blasphemy!

13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones

blasterboy6500's avatar

The day we went, the place was littered, ride operators gave me dirty looks when I cracked a joke, and there was no happy laughing just an awkward silence. Everything other than the rides just sucked, as simple as that.

Vater's avatar

Maybe the joke wasn't funny.

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