No race to build the biggest wood coaster?

Wednesday, January 30, 2002 4:53 AM
Is it just me or are wooden coaster alot smaller than they used to be. I know SOB is an exception, but look at Meanstreak and Texas Giant. We have really seen any coasters of the scale since they came out. Now I think parks are focusing on smoothness and enjoyabilty rather than height or speed. For example Roar, it is a great wood coaster but it is still around 100 ft. I think that they are trying to build a great ride rather than to beat a record. What is your opinion?
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SFDL NEEDS A GOOD EXPANSION!!!!!!!
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Wednesday, January 30, 2002 5:00 AM
I think Holiday World put it best with The Raven. Bigger isn't always better. Many of the best wooden rides I have been on do not exceed 100 ft or are very close to it
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Wednesday, January 30, 2002 5:05 AM
I have to say that I have wondered this for a long time. But I basically knew the answer when I first rode Mean Streak. Before I had been on it I was hoping it would be one of the greatest wodden coasters I would ever ride. Was it? No! I still enjoyed it, but it is simply too big a wooden coaster. When it opened I'm sure that it was great without the stupid downhill brake. Same goes with Hercules at Dorney Park. Both of these monsters are creations of Dinn Summers who are the famous designers of the worst wooden coaster I have ever ridden, The Grizzley at PGA. Now if CCI built a 160+ coaster it might be another story. Same goes with Intamin and their building the first woodie that rides like steel, Collossus at Heide Park in Germany. I always thought the bigger wooden coasters would be my favorites untill I rode The Phoenix at Knoebels, 78 feet high, tons of airtime, my absolute favorite.

I do hope we get a gigantic smooth wooden coaster in the US sometime in the future, but for now it seems that medium sized ones are here to stay and rock our world.
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Gravity is your friend!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2002 5:20 AM
I think though, even though Son of Beast is a GIANT coaster, do not believe it is nearly as bad as Mean Streak, Hercules, etc.  The reason why Son of Beast may be violent at times, is not the ride at all.  It is the poorly designed trains.  Those things are horrible.  I love Son of Beast, and it is one of my top 10 coasters, but I do hope PKI will do something about those trains some time in the future.

-Aaron

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Wednesday, January 30, 2002 5:33 AM
go with gravity, gotta agree with you that Phoenix is absolutely AMAZING!  ThunderHawk at Dorney is also pretty good, another Schmeck creation, but the Phoenix rises from the....crowd (and the ashes)!
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PoTP acolyte - remove fear to reply
Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!
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Wednesday, January 30, 2002 6:06 AM
I agree:  better to build a great, thrilling ride than go for a record.

Anyone who has ridden the bigger woodies like SOB, Mean Streak, Rattler, and Herc knows why companies like CCI and GCI stay away from designing larger wooden coasters and parks stay away from putting them in: they tend to be VERY rough and have been maintenance nightmares.

Look at the poll results, too.  The most popular wooden coasters tend to be in the 90-120 foot range.  In Mitch's 2001 Wooden Coaster Poll the taller coasters were near the bottom of the list.

However, with Intamin's new track design [like the one they used on Colossus in Germany] we may see a resurgence of bigger woodies.  But not until the economy improves IMHO.

*** This post was edited by Mamoosh on 1/30/2002. ***

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Wednesday, January 30, 2002 6:10 AM
long live the phoenix ! the new hyper wooden coaster are all built using southern yellow pine which is cheeper that the superior douglas fir. that's why you don't see re-tracking every two years on colossus, or american eagle. also the two bench ptc's tear up the track.
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Wednesday, January 30, 2002 6:11 AM

Mamoosh said:
I agree:  better to build a great, thrilling ride than go for a record.
Anyone who has ridden the bigger woodies like SOB, Mean Streak, Rattler, and Herc knows why companies like CCI and GCI stay away from designing larger wooden coasters and parks stay away from putting them in: they tend to be VERY rough and have been maintenance nightmares.
Look at the poll results, too.  The most popular wooden coasters tend to be in the 90-120 foot range.  In Mitch's 2001 Wooden Coaster Poll the taller coasters were near the bottom of the list.
However, with Intamin's new track design [like the one they used on Colossus in Germany] we may see a resurgence of bigger woodies.  But not until the economy improves IMHO.
*** This post was edited by Mamoosh on 1/30/2002. ***

Well, I can honestly say that the only complaint I have heard about Colosos is that it was too smooth for a woodie.   Believe it or not,  I had that same complaint with SOB on it's opening day!  Except for a slight missalignment on the second hill turn I found SOB to be TOO SMOOTH FOR A WOODIE on opening night!!
Imagine my surprise when I came back in June and had my spine jackhammered!!
Chuck, who is very glad SOB is ridable again.

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Charles Nungester
Park Jockey :)

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Wednesday, January 30, 2002 7:28 AM
I think the best reason that the small and medium woodies are the best, is beacause of wooden coaster technology. Woodie technology has not made any significant advances since the invention of the upstop wheel in the 1920's. Sure, CAD programs help the layouts to be more exciting, and building materials have improved in quality, but only Intamin has tried to make an "all new" wood track. (and like others have mentioned, it may be too smooth)

I think the basic (1920's) woodie design cannot adaquetely handle the speeds that are generated by a drop of over 140'. They simply start to tear themselves apart, OR trim brakes are needed to tame the speed, OR both!

Of all the larger woodies out there, only The Beast and Texas Giant ever seem to make it onto enthusiast's list of favorites. Even then, there are plenty of others out there who dislike those two.

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Nothing... NOTHING... can prepare you for... the Fourth Dimension!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2002 7:32 AM
Big woodies have operating budgets of a half-million dollars or more. They're expensive. Smaller rides, especially those with steel structure, cost far less.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Wednesday, January 30, 2002 8:40 AM
I agree that when it comes to wood coasters,bigger isn't better when it comes to ride quality.My #1 woodie,the PNE Coaster,has a lift hill of only 68 feet and a track length of 2840 feet.It has the most comfortable trains I ever rode in,tracks beautifully,and delivers insane ejector airtime.If any wood coaster is cloned ,this would be a good one to clone.On the other hand,the 2 biggest woodies on my track record,Collosus and Pscyclone at SFMM,either beat the **** out of you or are boring rides after the first couple of drops.When I first rode Collosus back in 1981,it was a great ride and was also my first woodie.Oh how the mighty have fallen.
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Wednesday, January 30, 2002 8:52 AM
What bothers me is when parks spend all this money to build the tallest, fastest whatever,  then add so many brakes that you never even get the feel of this supposed extra speed. Mean Streak and Alpengeist seem the main culprits. It's particularly irritating on wooden coasters, which is why I would have to agree, leave em mid-sized.
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Have you ever considered that maybe it's not the park that's the problem, but YOU?
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Wednesday, January 30, 2002 9:09 AM
What about the layout of the big woodies?  It seems that most of the big ones -- Mean Streak, Son of Beast, Texas Giant -- are "twister" style.  What would a really tall out and back be like?  Would a taller version of, say, Shivering Timbers be unbearably rough?
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Aaron
"If love is blind I guess I'll buy myself a cane..." - Guns n' Roses
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Wednesday, January 30, 2002 9:13 AM
Well, a perfect example of a tall out-and-back woodie would be American Eagle at SFGAm which has a 147ft drop. This coaster is nowhere near what it once was from massive braking. I still enjoy it though because the first drop and out camel backs are still pretty thrilling.
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"The Peoples Elbow" or "The Spinaroonie?. Cant decide which is the most electrifying move in sports entertainment!!! LOL
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Wednesday, January 30, 2002 9:17 AM
I'm gonna have to agree with ColumbusCoaster on this one guys.  I don't think it's necessarily bad to have a really tall fast woodie...and I don't think it HAS to be a maintenance nightmare.  But add great height and speed to a twister type layout with low-banked turns, that's just ASKING for trouble...
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PoTP acolyte - remove fear to reply
Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!
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Wednesday, January 30, 2002 9:21 AM
How tall is ST? 125'?  Seems if ya made a bigger one the negative g's might be way too high at least it works that way on RCT but what do I know anyway LOL.
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Does CCI know how to make a bad coaster?
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Wednesday, January 30, 2002 9:40 AM
R-gator and CColumbus - I think the laterals are the biggest issue.  The problem spot on Herc is the bottom of the first drop.  On Mean Streak its always been that first high turn.  Even Ghostrider had a problem in the helix.  I would think it is entirely possible to build an out-n-back bigger than ST and still be relatively smooth. 
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Wednesday, January 30, 2002 9:44 AM
le monstre at la ronde in montreal is about 125 ft. and i heard it is very rough (due to poor track maintainance). i remember even when i first went there (about 1990) the tracks were rusted  and it didn't pick up speed till later at night. the park at that time was open until 2:00am. since six flags now owns the park i wonder if they will ever do work on it. too bad, i had one of my best rides on any coaster one august night.
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Wednesday, January 30, 2002 10:11 AM
that's EXACTLY what I'm saying Mamoosh.  The high-banked turns, a la Hurler, don't impart ALL those heavy laterals, and the train can sail right through, smoothly, at high speed.  But just like you say, Herc has the "flat" turn at the bottom, and those laterals have two results:  rider complaints about roughness, and maintenance complaints about "it's tearing the track apart".  You CAN have low-banked turns, like those on a mine train, that give SOME laterals, but they'd better be taken HIGH in the air at SLOW speed, or we'll find some trims to cut the speed eventually.  P.S.  Herc really did bite...and MS wasn't much better in '01...

IMO, the answer to these coasters, and to SoB, is to BANK your turns if they're taken above 15 mph, and to increase the banking as the speed increases.  Comfort AND durability, what a concept!

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PoTP acolyte - remove fear to reply
Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2002 10:23 AM
Take Kennywoods wooden coasters,they are all awesome and none of them are even 100' tall.
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You will never forget the name........GOLDUST
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