I think it's about time we discussed this.....

First of all, I hope no one takes much offense to this, but it's something i've wondered about for a while...

A trend I see with many coaster fans is that they are... well... overweight. Now I realize this is the great United States and being overweight is a pretty normal thing these days, but I also see many of these people express such distain for many of the companies because they cant ride certain rides (Intamin in particular). They have to design their rides with safety, and normality in mind, so i dont see how there is any room to complain about it. Being overweight seems to be more of a personal problem than one a coaster company should have to deal with. Now i'm not ridiculing anyone here who may be in this situation, I'm just very curious about why the companies get the slack for it.

Yeah, I totally agree. I get tired of hearing people moan and groan about how they can't fit on certain rides.

If I wasn't able to fit on a ride, it would definitely motivate me to lose some weight.

However, I do know quite a few people who are overweight and try so hard to lose weight but just can't. It is those kind of people I feel sorry for.

But the somewhat-typical ACEr who eats at the buffet once a day, I do not feel sorry for. They have no reason to blame Intamin, they have themselves to blame. *** Edited 7/26/2006 7:25:04 PM UTC by baller24***

To carry this one step futher.
I see that someone died on Gwazi today.
Being overweight leads to High blood pressure,heart problems,Back problems,
and probably has a lot to do with the number of deaths on rides in the past couple of years.
If the death toll keeps going up.Parks will tame rides and insurance companies will not cover them anymore.I am pushing 265 at 280 the restraints would not close on the Hulk.
So I went on a diet and lost 30 pounds.


It really is disturbing to hear people complaining about restraint issues. I'm sorry, the only people who have ANY excuse to complain are in-shape muscular people who are sometimes screwed over by Intamin's belt/bar designs on coasters like Milly.

If you're big, lose the weight! It's unhealthy, and not the responsibility of the company to design the restraints around your needs.

Get out, lose the weight, and then you can ride the rides. Simple solution to a simple problem.

Lord Gonchar's avatar
Look out overweight folks - as soon as society is done with the smokers, you're next. :)

^Couldn't be more right.

I agree, if I was overweight and couldn't fit on a ride I would definitely be very motivated to lose the weight.

So only skinny people should be able to ride rides? Interesting idea. I guess I should ask, what is the definition of someone who is overweight? 20 pounds? 30 pounds?

I don't have an issue with hideously overweight people not being able to ride coasters. If you're 5'2" tall and weigh 250 pounds, of course the coaster shouldn't have been designed to accomodate you. I have an issue with companies like Intamin whose restraints are severely more restrictive than those featured on coasters by other companies like B&M. Why is it that I've never had an ounce of trouble riding anything by Morgan, Arrow, Vekoma, B&M, Gerstlauer or Mack but Intamin rides most always give me some sort of problem? I could see if Intamin was able to post a stellar safety record, but there are probably more accidents on Intamin rides than there are my all other manufacturers combined. I do have a problem with Intamin because of that. Rides should be built to accomodate more than just the standard rider because only a few people can actually be defined as "standard".

I'm a tall guy (check my profile if you're looking to see if I'm some fatso going on a rant) and I have a problem with a lot of things in life. Finding clothes. Low-hanging lighting fixtures (yeah, they exist). I am limited to certain cars because I need more head and legroom than most cars provide. Since the average height for a male is something like 5'9", should I be excluded from buying clothes and driving cars?

I know there are exceptions, but some companies could do a little to make things easier for more riders because everyone's situation is different. Many people can't ride Millennium Force at CP because of their proportions, not because of their weight. Are you going to say that people can do something about their proportions?

^ I'm kinda with ya, Rob. I'm not an overweight person. I'm almost 6'4" and around 195 lbs. I can understand that obese people would have trouble riding some rides. But Intamin doesn't do a very good job of designing their rides for larger people--tall people like myself included.

For instance, the headrests on their hydraulic coasters BARELY work for me--like the top of the headrest can touch the lower portion of my head. Whereas, I'm better off on B&M, Premier, & Vekoma (invert) rides in this respect.

Intamin also doesn't make their seats as roomy and large as B&M & Vekoma (inverts).

I wish Intamin would at least try and accomodate the same size people that other coaster manufacturers do. *** Edited 7/26/2006 8:20:42 PM UTC by rablat5***

coastin' since 1985

as soon as society is done with the smokers, you're next.

There are signs already. For example, Disney has announced they will no longer enter into cross-marketing relationships with McD's for films aimed at children. Many speculate that one reason is to avoid any possibility of liability for childhood obesity.

If they can figure out a way to get my thyroid to function at all... :(

Most of America eats too much junk, and it's starting to show up in other countries now too. This is going to eventually be a worldwide problem. More public activites that don't cost an arm and a leg would help. Just get people out and moving around! We all sit here in front of computers (me included) and have to make special arrangements for activity because our jobs are mostly seditary now. We get around in cars, even if the store is just down the street.

I take my evenings off to play hockey for two hours about 3 times a week. Most people don't even get out and take a walk once a week! I watch how much I eat and I am still 75 lbs overweight. Everyone has different metabolism rates, mine is just non-existent with no thyroid.

I can also tell you that the health care we get also isn't that great either sometimes. They don't always know the best ways for people to diet. Doctors today and all about making money and getting people in and out fast with quick fixes. Everyone is different and not all diets work for some people. They put me on a 1500 calorie diet and I GAINED weight. They couldn't figure out why but I know it's because I am active and my body went into starvation mode. Either that or those green beans had a lot of hidden calories in them! But if you think about it, I burn almost 1500 calories each time I play hockey for that long. And my dad even complained I was grouchy and ate my food too fast! I ate fast because I was so hungry. They correlate fat with being totally inactive which isn't true. A lot of the guys I play with have a big belly and still get around good.

My problem with Intamin is that "normal" sized people can fall out of the restraints. What about the 14 year old girl who fell out of the pelerious plunge ride? B & M restraints are very accomidating in my opinion. What worries me more then big people are the little people that can slip out of the restraints like on Storm Runner. I watched a kid do it one day while I was standing in line.

Yeah...let's discuss this. I'm an overweight fatso, so what, I don't care what you think of me. But know this...I can ride any damn ride I want except Millennium Force...so it's not me with the problem!

SOB's biggest fanboy!
^^But yet, they wont remove McDonald's food from their parks! ;) I really hate when corporations/politicians/civic leaders/etc. make gestures that make it seem like they care about a problem, but dont actually address the problem at all. In the instant case, the problem is less about *what* we eat, and more about *how much* we eat. Portion sizes are all out of whack. (see 20oz sodas).

But what do I know, I was always the skinny kid going to the local sub shop and ordering a double gyros cheesburger combo*.

lata, jeremy
* double gyros cheeseburger combo = two 1/4 hamburger patties, and 2 slices of American processed cheese food topped with a handfull of lamb gyros meat; accompanied by a large order of french fries and 1 Liter of soda...and yes, I'd finish the whole thing myself ;)

Lord Gonchar's avatar

Brian Noble said:
There are signs already.

Tons of signs. Too many, in fact, to even begin to get into here.

The most obvious is this thread. The "love you for who you are' philosphy is long done, it is now acceptable to look at overweigh people with contempt and bombard them with impassioned pleas of health and joy.

In fact, it mirrors the reaction to smoking in this country to an eerie degree and I honestly believe that once smoking disappears (it will never be banned, it will just become too expensive, inconvenient and handicapping to life to parktake) that the fat hunt will begin.

With that said, I don't feel a bit of sorrow toward anyone who has an issue with anything because of physical dimensions.

The best anyone can do is work things toward a goal of accomodating as much as the majority as possible. Sure if sucks if you're too fat, too tall, too square, too stupid or whatever to manage without additional concern, but to accomodate ever last person in every last situation is unreasonable.

*** Edited 7/26/2006 8:40:25 PM UTC by Lord Gonchar***

Thats why most coasters have a test seat which no one ever uses. I hate it everytime I go to SFNE to ride SROS and fat people hold up the line because they can't fit and then they try to get the seatbelt to buckle for like 5mins when they should just get off right away. IMO if your overweight it means your eating way too much there is no other excuse!!
Believe me Gonch, I know it's my fault I can't ride MF. The point is that I used to be able to ride it. So is Intamin now saying that the ride was operating "unsafely" for the first 4 years? That's what I just can't see. And I know that they are just covering the proverbial @ss, but we don't all have to like it.

SOB's biggest fanboy!

Rob Ascough said:
I'm a tall guy (check my profile if you're looking to see if I'm some fatso going on a rant) and I have a problem with a lot of things in life. Finding clothes. Low-hanging lighting fixtures (yeah, they exist). I am limited to certain cars because I need more head and legroom than most cars provide.

I feel your pain Rob. Add into that mix shoes, airline seats (don't even get me started on those friggin commuter jets), low clearance doors, and other things that are too low. Countertops for example. It's just low enough to cause me to bend in a certain way that isn't very comfortable for long. And brooms? Can we please make a broom I don't have to hunch over to get a good grip on? And my favorite... "wow, you're tall! Do you play basketball?" Wow, haven't had anyone ask me that before. Are you a jockey?

I'm 6' 4" and 205, and have never had a problem getting on coasters, sans Viper at SFMM (very low OTSR). Sometimes leg room is an issue, but that's about it. At the same time, kids who are 2 feet shorter than me and half the weight can ride the same rides. So yes, manufacturers DO allow for a fair amount of play. How that relates to the obese? Not entirely sure. But I do believe America as a country does need to slim down.

janfrederick's avatar
It would all be so much easier if McDs passed out gagging spoons with their happy meals. ;)

Eric -- who eats pretty healthy, exersizes, and is still pretty big. Must be all that delicious beer I drink. ;)

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
john peck's avatar
Hey everyone

Remember... SOME European culture has very little obesity, therefore many of the European rides have tighter conditions.

Look at Arrow, Morgan and Chance. The designed rides for Americans first, because well, they tested Americans in each car.. from big to small.

But then look at Vekoma... Arrow built their cars for them, and HUSS... owned part of (or all-I can't remember) Arrow and therefore used many of their seat mold designs.. plus "some" Germans are heavy.. but they have a major culture that deals with food. (of course, thats also part of Europe.. but so much of the world is) Im part German, too, so don't get offended.

Heres another great example.
I have a 1989 Honda Accord Lxi with 192,087 miles on it. My car has NO cup holders. Im not sure if it still is, but with Japanese culture, they don't eat or drink in their cars. My car was designed Partially in Japan but built in Marysville Ohio. At that point, Ohio had been making Accords for 9 years.

Now, since Honda has grown up so much in this country, many of our culture has been reflected in the new Honda products... Bigger Cabins, more cup holders, V6 transmissions... things Honda never built in the past.

Of course many car companies have Americanized themselves and vice versa.... we adapt other cultures as well.

When will more ride companies do more of that?

BeccaRaptor said:
If they can figure out a way to get my thyroid to function at all... :(

Interesting that you say that. My thyroid doesn't work either.

Last summer I was at Coaster Con at SFGam. During the night time ERT on Raging Bull, a woman in the row behind me was VERY overweight. It took litterally four ride ops and many tries to even get the lap bar to click once for her. And that was it. Meanwhile the other train was already at the breaks waiting to come into the station.

What really has to change in this situation? Is it realy B&M's fault she barely fit? Should she have been on it at all?

We complain about all of these coasters that are rough and painful to ride...she couldn't have had a good time riding RB like that. I wouldn't feel safe if my lap bar was only one click in.

Is it true that B&M's provide an "oversized" seat on their trains. I thought I saw a mention of this in another thread. Haven't seen them...never looked to find out.

Put the food down...walk around the park some more. If it is truly a medical issue, good luck.

Thanks for another great season, VF!

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