My Coaster Company Rant

Sunday, May 12, 2002 6:02 AM
Well, recently we have been seeing the reappearence of old companies, changes of extreme rides, and the evolution of companies. I'd like to sum it up in my opinion for the main coaster controversal coaster companies (I'll be reviewing B&M, Intamin, Arrow, and Vekoma).

Bolliger and Mabillard - They used to build the craziest, most intense coasters with rides like Batman, and Kumba. As of late, they have been lacking that original tanasity and are mimicking the old layouts. Although there are a couple out of the box rides, like Wildfire, AIR, SUF, and Batman - the Dark Knight (sorta), they have been really sticking to that old layout, with some tweaks. I would have no problem with this, but they seem to be over-engineering their rides. They concentrate so much on controlling the G-Forces that they make you barely feel them, or the transition between them. "IF it ain't broke, don't fix it", why not stick to the Kumba, Montu, BTR intensity instead of dulling rides down like Nitro, and Medusa.
They also seem to be really lacking innovation, and going over the edge. I mean, they only have 1 launch ride, and launch rides are really public appealers. Why not add to that count? And their hypers, IMO, are pretty sad. Nitro was just plain disappointing. They made the airtime feel, I dunno, the same on every single hill. I dunno, that and the weak helix (yes, I did say weak) really let me down. The restraints cold use some trimming down too, there's a little too much there.
My theory: Stick to loopers and add some innovation

Intamin - The #1 company as of right now. They just build incredibly insane rides. I mean, EGF, that drop is outright crazy, and it has the highest average speed on a coaster, and it ain't even that big. GOliath @ SFH, that coaster is one of the prettiest coasters ever, and it looks completely crazy with that Stengle DIve, somewhere I believe B&M will never go. And it's not even a hyper coaster! SroS @ SFNE, can you say perfection? This ride is just amazing. And then we've got rides like Volcano, which freakin shoots you outta the top of a Volcano. Then rides like impulse coasters, where you're freakin vertical and you stop for a second facing directly at the ground. Then XCellerator. The list just goes on. Intamin is basically an on the edge company, they are willing to go extreme. They structurally engineer their rides perfectly for minimalistic support structuring. But then they don't over engineer the track like B&M. I mean, look at the impulses. They have so much track w/o supports, and Xcellerator is the same way. It just looks, freaky. This company, if used to its abilities, will be hands down the best company. They are willing to do basically anything. They only thing they could use would be a better rap, they've had a couple accidents and people view them as kinda untrustworthy, but hey, most of them were not their fault (PP was the woman's partly and KNott's partly). This company owns non inversion rides and is pretty high up there in inverting rides (even though there aren't many Intamin coasters w/ inversions).
My theory: incredible, if they keep building hypers like this we will be seeing things we never could have thought of in our wildest dreams

Arrow - Used to be an incredibly rough comany, although it has the greatest history of ride technology innovation. They come up with the best ideas for ride styles, and are the basic building block of modern coasters. Recently they have come up with some incredible new rides. The 4D coaster is probably the biggest engineering feat to hit coasters since the loop, if not ever. The whole way it works is ingenious. And then they are reviving the Virginia Reel, and bringing upon the ArrowBATic coaster. Both, once sold, should be incredible. Their old rides, like GASM and Shokwave, Corkscrew, etc give them a bad rap because they are rough. But I hear nothing but compliments about TT and X. Hopefully we will be seeing more of this company in the future, with their launch technology being developed.
My Theory:Best innovators for ride styles, if sold, these rides will perform, but parks aren't really jumping to buy as of late.

Vekoma/Kumback Coasters - COmpany with great ideas but horrible execution. If they could get some better engineers, they could be easily up there with Intamin. Deja Vu, just plain crazy, and the flying idea is awesome. They need to take some of B&M's engineering. Their SLCs are enjoyable, only when smooth though, which is a rare case in the US. Boomerang coasters were a great idea, but poorly executed due to their valleying. I'm hoping Kumback coasters, the people who broke off of Vekoma, will take Vekoma's insanity and add some engineering.
My Theory: has incredible potential, but need to execute

That's my view on those 4 companies that draw quite a lot of attention due to differing opinions of them. I may add Premier, Togo, GCI, and CCI, but I didn't feel like typing anything more right now.

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Sunday, May 12, 2002 6:36 AM

personally, i think you got it all right! at times, B&M is over-rated. in nolimits for example, your rides get good ratings if you spend a ton of time on the support structure. its the same way with B&M. they throw in large elements with a smooth ride. like you said....they really should go back to a different style. alpengeist, kumba, montu, B:TR, are very intense. and then you get the new ones that are just inversion after inversion with little G's. Incredible Hulk is deffinatley an exception though...strong G's on that one!

and im with you on intamin. they are doing great. little bit of technical difficulty with some rides but i love the intensity.

you explained it pretty well, but someone is going to say that what you said about B&M is all wrong. keep in mind though that its not always what the company wants to do. its what the park wants/pays for.

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Sunday, May 12, 2002 6:56 AM

About B&M: Where's the credit for what they've done for the flying coaster? From what I've seen, they've managed to simplify the concept and give it that B&M touch. I know AIR was panned for its lack of intensity, but, try to find someone who will say the same about S:UF.

Arrow: We haven't even seen a Virginia Reel retread or an ArrowBATic anywhere. You should probably wait for those to actually be installed before you heap any praise. But credit for X is well deserved.

Good editorial. Just remember, plenty of people will disagree with you. Opinions are like arses, everybody has one.

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Sunday, May 12, 2002 7:33 AM
I agree with you completely. However, B&M builds what the park wants. If the park asked for an intense coaster, they would build one.
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Sunday, May 12, 2002 8:02 AM
Remember that each company has its specialty. B&M, while not making the most intense or innovative rides, is the ONLY company in the industry that can be counted on to deliver a VERY reliable product ON TIME. Intamin makes the most innovative rides, but they are generally not as problem-free as B&M coasters and generally do not open on time. They use cheap materials to build their rides also. As for Arrow, I think they are in the same boat as Vekoma. Both companies have great ideas with poor engineering. I couldn't disagree with you more about X being the biggest engineering accomplishment in the industry since the loop. It is probably a fun ride that is smooth, but loading procedures are horrendous and the maintenance is getting to be excessive. I personally don't expect many other companies besides Intamin and B&M to last much longer.

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Magnum Allan - FLCC member.

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Sunday, May 12, 2002 8:13 AM
So B:TDK isnt intense?

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Im the #1 Canobie Lake Park Fan!!!These are my top 3 coasters:
1. S:RoS @ SFNE 2. Yankee Cannonball 3. Cyclone

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Sunday, May 12, 2002 8:18 AM

My Theory: Coasters are incredible fun. Regardless of who made the ride, I find 99% of the coasters I've encountered to be good fun and I don't think I've ever ridden a coaster that I wouldn't try again. I enjoy riding coasters regardless of manufacturer and don't try to have preconceived notions when approaching a ride for the first time. Sometimes enthusiasts tend to overanalyze things and miss the point of it all in the first place - to have fun!

Although anyone who has the balls to say something even remotely negative about B&M is ok in my book! :) You nailed it right on the head, Kid.

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www.coasterimage.com

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Sunday, May 12, 2002 8:23 AM

SFGA2001 said:
I agree with you completely. However, B&M builds what the park wants. If the park asked for an intense coaster, they would build one.


I agree with you.

Remember, just because a ride may not be as intense as similar ride at another park doesn't mean the company is purposely making less intense rides for the heck of it. It all depends on the request of the park. The old term ' you get what you pay for' sticks with B&M. They provide a very reliable product.

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Sunday, May 12, 2002 8:39 AM
My theory: I like Gonchar's theory.

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|| Jonathan Hawkins ||
http://www.starcoasters.com
Top Gun: TJC flights - Approx. 240 (54 in 2002)

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Sunday, May 12, 2002 8:49 AM

coaster_fanatic_kid said:

Bolliger and Mabillard - They used to build the craziest, most intense coasters with rides like Batman, and Kumba. As of late, they have been lacking that original tanasity and are mimicking the old layouts.

I always thought it was up to the park to help input exactly what they want in a ride.

Although there are a couple out of the box rides, like Wildfire, AIR, SUF, and Batman - the Dark Knight (sorta), they have been really sticking to that old layout, with some tweaks. I would have no problem with this, but they seem to be over-engineering their rides.

They concentrate so much on controlling the G-Forces that they make you barely feel them, or the transition between them.

Which is one of the reasons why parks like them so much. They know they can provide a ride that can be more 'force friendly' if a park wants it to be that way.

"IF it ain't broke, don't fix it", why not stick to the Kumba, Montu, BTR intensity instead of dulling rides down like Nitro, and Medusa.

What about Superman at SFOG? Have you ridden that? To me, that ride has THE strongest element of ANY coaster I have ridden. No joke!


They also seem to be really lacking innovation, and going over the edge.

I could make a comment about Oblivion and a edge, but I wont. Ooop, too late. =:^)

I mean, they only have 1 launch ride,

Which is who's fault? B&M's or a parks?

and launch rides are really public appealers. Why not add to that count?

Because of the park. If a park was willing to produce the cash for a B&M launced, there is no doubt in my mind that B&M with work with them.

And their hypers, IMO, are pretty sad. Nitro was just plain disappointing.

I found that to be the opposite. But, to each his own. They made the airtime feel, I dunno, the same on every single hill. I dunno, that and the weak helix (yes, I did say weak) really let me down. The restraints cold use some trimming down too, there's a little too much there.

Considering the riders feet aren't touchnig the floor, I found those restraints to be rather minimal.

Intamin - The #1 company as of right now.

That all depends on what you are looking at I guess.

They just build incredibly insane rides. I mean, EGF, that drop is outright crazy, and it has the highest average speed on a coaster, and it ain't even that big.

Are you sure about that? I thought MF would have a higher average speed.

GOliath @ SFH, that coaster is one of the prettiest coasters ever, and it looks completely crazy with that Stengle DIve, somewhere I believe B&M will never go.

Georgia Scorcher at SFOG has a simial element half-way through, although smaller.

And it's not even a hyper coaster! SroS @ SFNE, can you say perfection?

I can't because I have never ridden it. It was closed when I was there due to a maintence problem.

This ride is just amazing. And then we've got rides like Volcano, which freakin shoots you outta the top of a Volcano.

Volcano is a fantastic ride. I do like that ride a lot. Forwards and backwards! (no joke)

Then rides like impulse coasters, where you're freakin vertical and you stop for a second facing directly at the ground.

The last two Impulse coasters I rode didn't have that feature. =:^)

Then XCellerator. The list just goes on. Intamin is basically an on the edge company, they are willing to go extreme. They structurally engineer their rides perfectly for minimalistic support structuring. But then they don't over engineer the track like B&M.

My guess would be they would if a park asked them to. I have heard a few complaints that some folks don't care for Millennium Force because it feels too over engineered. I don't feel that way, but I have heard that comment before.

I mean, look at the impulses. They have so much track w/o supports, and Xcellerator is the same way. It just looks, freaky. This company, if used to its abilities, will be hands down the best company. They are willing to do basically anything. They only thing they could use would be a better rap, they've had a couple accidents and people view them as kinda untrustworthy, but hey, most of them were not their fault (PP was the woman's partly and KNott's partly).

The accidents aren't the only thing that people are looking at. Maintence is a big issue also. They seemed to have fixed their chain lift problem as of late.

The way I look at things, each company out there has it's own weaknesses and gains. I really like B&M rides for the ultra comfortable rides they have provided me, as well as some neat ideas.

Intamin are great also because they are being innovative with their new designs, but aren't as reliable depending on your view.

Arrow has put a nice scar on the face of the amusement indusrty with X, but opened late. The payoff for waiting is great (actually getting to ride a coaster like that) and I hope to see many more of this type of coaster.

Vekoma, well, they aren't doing too well right now. I really thing they have some great rides out there, and they are very innovative, but as luck would have it, they do have a lot of problems with their newer rides like Deja Vu. I know for a fact that at least one park with a Deja Vu ride is upset with how many days that coaster has actually run.

What i am intrested in seeing is different companies working on exsisting designs. Premier supposedly has a 'X-like' coaster in the works. It would not surprise me to see a B&M version soon either.

-Sean


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Sunday, May 12, 2002 9:00 AM
I agree with Gonchar, if a coaster is fun regardless of "forces," I think it is good for any park.

A good example is that my ordinary family definitely perfers less intense coasters. They would rather ride a Kraken-type ride than a Dueling Dragons/Kumba-type ride.
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SFEG awaits The Flying Coaster-coming in 2002!

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Sunday, May 12, 2002 10:31 AM
I have to agree with everything Sean commented on. Although I've only ridden three B&M's, they didn't seem that appealing to me. Intamin seems to be a higher quality. Not only do they do coaster but they have made drop towers, white water raft rides, and various other attractions. They've branched out more. Intamin just is all around better IMO.

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Sunday, May 12, 2002 10:33 AM

sean f., the only thing i have to about the b and m 4d is i hope not. i mean, look at air, everybody ranted and raved about how awesome it would be, and now, thats all you can hear about it. air. hence NOTHING. and then theres suf. the pretzel loop looks cool. THATS IT. anymore those guys refuse to think up something new. they need to get there own ideas.

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If your really evil in this life, do you come back as toilet paper????
ladies and gentlemen, due to an increase in line jumping, people caught cutting in line will no longer be ejected from the park. u will be ejected from the ride

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Sunday, May 12, 2002 10:53 AM

OK, I'll comment on some of these replies. SUF's Pretzel Loop was not supposed to be intense, at least I got that impression from Claude when he got off. In an interview, he said, "I did not expect it to perform the way it did"

Please explain to me how the lack of launched B&Ms is the parks fault? B&M does not off a launched ride, IOA asked for Hulk to be launched. Although in a couple years we will be seeing more of B&Ms being launched.

GS does not have a stengle dive, it is more of a banked dive, not an overbanked camel back.

ArrowBATic, I've talked to someone who's rode it, he said it was amazing, and I mean, just look at the layouts, vertical drops and such.

Oblivion and the edge. Ooooo, B&M dared to go vertical, o wait, no they didn't go vertical, and, o wait, there are only two of those coasters, and they have OSTRs, what about XCellerator, can you say vertical, with lap bars, and with complete lack of support.

B&M Hyper restraints - Please tell me how riders feet touching the floor or not makes a difference? I truely just don't get it. I mean, those restraints just have so much vertical bulkiness.


And don't anyone dare say X is not an amazing engineering feat. It enables us to do so much more with coasters, it's just incredible. Basically it's a flat ride on rails that are 180+ feet off the ground

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Sunday, May 12, 2002 12:09 PM
Not touching the floor in B&M restraints wasn't intended to be an added on thrill. Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't it made so people can't standup, or try to do something like that just as dumb?

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Sunday, May 12, 2002 12:13 PM

Please explain to me how the lack of launched B&Ms is the parks fault? B&M does not off a launched ride, IOA asked for Hulk to be launched. Although in a couple years we will be seeing more of B&Ms being launched.



If B&M was getting enough response from parks who wanted to incorporate a launch system into one of their rides, they would certainly develop one. Why should they spend all the time and money needed to create their own system when they are turning a nice profit as it is with the non-launching rides they have to offer? You're forgetting that B&M run a business and, in the end, it really just comes down to turning a consistant profit.

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James Draeger
http://draegs.livejournal.com
"Legend is a wooden Jesus"

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Sunday, May 12, 2002 1:14 PM
CFanaticKid: If you're voicing your opinion on coaster companies, fine. If you're trying to "prove" somehow that Intamin is a better company than B&M, you're never going to get anywhere. You might as well try to prove that S:TE is a coaster or that over banked turns are inversions.

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AC?, RB?, MF?, DD?, PR? Who can keep track of it all?

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Sunday, May 12, 2002 1:42 PM

Okay, here's the deal:

First off, it's the PARKS who decide wether the coaster should be intense or "tame" or whatever they want to. Atleast with the good ones such as B & M, Intamin ect. What parks want at the moment is something wild and thrilling, but still something everybody can ride. B & M recently said that they wish they could build some more intense coasters, but the most importent is the buyer's satisfaction, and in this situation the buyer is the park, and the park will only be satisfied IF the park gets what the park wants, a (in this situation a socalled "tame") coaster, and when the park is happy with what they get they will most often buy this product again. This is one of the main reasons why B & M probably are the world's best coaster manufactor. The park doesn't care about the design is only a little different from another coaster in another park. They get their product wich is super reliable, low maintenence, and a very fine coaster.

You see, many people think that B & M should be the record breaking company, with new innovative rides and **** like that. Claude Mabillard rode his first coaster in the 70's or something like that. And after that he decided that he would build the best roller coasters in the world. Not the fastest, of the highest or the wildest, but the best overal quality of a coaster. If anyone don't think they have achived that, please tell me.

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Sunday, May 12, 2002 1:51 PM

coaster_fanatic_kid said:
"OK, I'll comment on some of these replies. SUF's Pretzel Loop was not supposed to be intense, at least I got that impression from Claude when he got off. In an interview, he said, "I did not expect it to perform the way it did"

By saying that he probably meant that it exceeded his previous expectations.


Oblivion and the edge. Ooooo, B&M dared to go vertical, o wait, no they didn't go vertical, and, o wait, there are only two of those coasters, and they have OSTRs, what about XCellerator, can you say vertical, with lap bars, and with complete lack of support.

B&M was the first company (correct me if I am wrong)to attempt a vertical drop roller coaster. I give them credit for developing something new. You talk about Xcellerator that has a vertical drop, well maybe if it wasn't for B&M, vertical drops *might* not be as popular on the newer coasters. Also, take a look at the track used on Xcellerator. It was created by using the triangle, much like engineers would use on let's say, a bridge. They are designed to support themselves with minimal supports.



B&M Hyper restraints - Please tell me how riders feet touching the floor or not makes a difference? I truely just don't get it. I mean, those restraints just have so much vertical bulkiness.

The responses I have heard from the general public is that when your feet do not touch the floor, it gives you a sensation of flying (not like a flying coaster, more like a floorless).


And don't anyone dare say X is not an amazing engineering feat. It enables us to do so much more with coasters, it's just incredible. Basically it's a flat ride on rails that are 180+ feet off the ground"


X isn't a flat ride, and this is the first time I have ever heard someone say it is like one. X is a roller coaster, more specifically a 4th Dimension roller coaster designed to perform the maneuvers that it does!

Sorry, I'm just bitter today...
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Dave Bonnetti

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Sunday, May 12, 2002 1:59 PM

Dave, he means a flat ride like Top Spin which spins you around. X is like a Top Spin but on rails and 180+ ft off the ground. Also you might want to consider trimming down the quote to only what you really need. I didn't see the point of having all of what he said.

And for my opinion, it's B&M, period. Super-reliable, super-awesome, super-appealing. Intamin is great, but only when their coasters work! ;)

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The Jet Coaster ROARS!
Will Johansson, Webmaster of Xtreme Paramount Parks
http://xpp.coasterbuzz.com/

*** This post was edited by The Jet Coaster on 5/12/2002. ***

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