Over in the News section there is a discussion going on regarding removing OTSR (over the shoulder restraints) from looping coasters.
I personally would not like this happen. In some cases (headbangers like FoF) it can result in a tremendous improvement - turning an unbearable ride into an enjoyable one. And it that is the case and no safety issues are comprised then remove them. We will also have to wait to see if FoF is really improved that much - it may just be a rough ride.
But in many cases I prefer the security that OTSR provide and would not want to sacrifice safety for comfort.
------------- My name is Jason, and I'm addicted to coasters.
OTSR's are an abomination that have no place on most coasters. A properly designed seat, with divider and lap bar, will hold you in just as securely, without any of the headbanging associated with most OTSR's. Safety doesn't have to take a back seat to comfort just to get lap bars in there.
The restraints on SoB, FOF, and even the Intamin hyper trains (MF, SROS, etc.) show that it's perfectly possible to design a restraint that holds you securly without going over your shoulders. (Let's face it, if for some reason the train got stuck on one of MF's overbanks, you may as well be stuck in an inversion, but you're NOT about to fall out!)
In addition to the headbanging issue, if I DID get stuck upside down, I'd rather have my weight pressing on my thighs (some of the strongest bones in the human body), than my collar bones (among the weakest, and VERY painful to break)
Now, OTSR's are still a good bet for rides like inverted coasters (although a good look at a ski lift shows how you COULD come up with a restraint on the inverted train that goes across the rider's thighs).
The coasters that need OTSRs to be safe could probably be counted on your fingers I believe. I'll let Dave make his point, since I agree with him 100%. But, here are a few things that I think:
My point has been that if an inversion did not have enough Gs to keep you in your seat, which they pretty much never do, you would have airtime! Lapbars have kept us safe for a century of airtime. Jackrabbit, Hypersonic, hypercoasters, and hundreds of other non OTSR coasters exert much stronger forces trying to cause our body to leave the train than loopers.
My suspicions about OTSRs being not needed were confirmed when I saw the Intamin shuttle in Europe that got stuck upside down with just lap bars, and no one was hurt.
Someone recently posted that many loopers could even be safely ridden without any kind of restraint at all. This may very well be true. In fact, I remember being dumbfounded when I saw pictures and read about the crew of the old Crystal Beach Cyclone riding it without restraint to prove how safe it was. And that was on the most wicked coaster ever built! (Man I wish I could have ridden that thing :) ) ---------- - Peabody
I have only been on two looping coasters with out OTSR... Hersheypark's SDL and Busch Gardens Tampa's Scorpion. Both are Schwarzkopf designs, and both are single loopers with enough G's to keep you in your seat. Centrifugal force and the laws of physics see to that. All the coasters that I have been on with OTSR have been ones where inversions other than loops are involved.
In the loops the centrifugal force holds you in your seat, in other types of inversions inertia would throw you out of your seat and OTSR's are needed. I am not talking "air time" either where gravity would throw you back down, but rather an ejection seat type of effect on the inversions.
That being said, I believe that OTSR's are going to be more and more common in years to come on loopers as well as coasters with other types of inversions. In today's litigation happy society parks seem to do what they can to make rides idiot proof to keep ahead of possible lawsuits.
After running for 54 seasons with out major incident, rumor has it that Hershey will be installing seat belts on the venerable old Comet. One of these days I fear that I will go to Hersheypark and see OTSR's on the old SDLooper (retrofitted like Six Flag's Revolution was) for this very reason... not because they are needed to hold people in, but rather to hold the lawyers at bay.
SLFAKE said: "In the loops the centrifugal force holds you in your seat, in other types of inversions inertia would throw you out of your seat and OTSR's are needed. I am not talking "air time" either where gravity would throw you back down, but rather an ejection seat type of effect on the inversions. "
Can you please give an example of a specific coaster/loop where these forces you refer to exist and you think OTSRs are necessary? I am not trying to start an argument, but am interested in your statement. Most modern coasters like anything from B&M or Intamin keep your rear against the seat during the inversion. The only exception I can think of is the zero G roll, and I can't imagine a lap bar not keeping you safe during one.
Plenty of lap bar coasters provide ejection style forces and sharp laterals, and they do not require OTSRs.
Right off hand, one that comes to mind is Sea World Orlando's Kraken. I am not sure the name of the element, but there is at least one point where you are diving at the same time you are going through an inversion or twist of some sort. All I know is that in that element you are out of your seat and sort of thrown "upward" and to the left. The only thing to keep you from flying one way and the train diving another way is the OTSR which you are pressed firmly against (inparticularly, your left shoulder).
*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 4/3/2001. ***
So why wouldn't a lap bar keep you safe? I would ride Kraken again with just a seat belt and nothing else and feel totally safe. I could name dozens of coasters I've ridden that throw you out of you seat with amazing force (Hypersonic back seat in particular) and none have OTSRs, but are completely secure. There are also plenty of woodies that launch you while also applying lateral forces. (Back seat of either Roar, West in particular on that first hill.)
I'm trying to understand your argument and just don't get it yet. Sorry :) ------------- - Peabody
SLFAKE said: The only thing to keep you from flying one way and the train diving another way is the OTSR which you are pressed firmly against (inparticularly, your left shoulder).
And again, a proper combo of lap bar and seat divider would be completely sufficient to keep you in your seat. In fact, if you really get pressed that firmly on your shoulder, a padded lap bar would be a LOT more comfortable.
Peabody, I beg to differ with you. I've been saying since my first ride in 1996 that Kumba should lose its shoulder bars. The interesting thing is that what I envisioned for Kumba back in '96 is pretty much what appeared on Apollo's Chariot when it opened. Except it never occurred to me to tip the seats back and leave the feet dangling.
Do you think that OTSR allow coaster designers to be a little more free with their ideas. Its allows them to come up pretty much any inversion without worrying if the forces will be too great for a lapbar.
Plus the lap bar also secures a wider variety of body types. I bet the ride restrictions for coasters would be even stricter if they didn't have them.
------------- My name is Jason, and I'm addicted to coasters.
While I agree that OTSR are generally an unneccesary pain brought on the rest of us due to idiots and lawsuits, I will say I'm glad they exist on the stand ups!!!!! But putting them on the Revolution was blasphemy....................
------------ Winlock, Lakewood, and Federal Way is what's making me stay
*** This post was edited by Coasterbob on 4/3/2001. ***
GregLeg said: "OTSR's are an abomination that have no place on most coasters. A properly designed seat, with divider and lap bar, will hold you in just as securely, without any of the headbanging associated with most OTSR's. Safety doesn't have to take a back seat to comfort just to get lap bars in there.
In addition to the headbanging issue, if I DID get stuck upside down, I'd rather have my weight pressing on my thighs (some of the strongest bones in the human body), than my collar bones (among the weakest, and VERY painful to break)"
While I would tend to agree that there *can* be designed other ways to secure riders than OTSR, I DONT believe that OTSRs are in and of themselves a bad invention (NOTE: I am PRO OTSR). It is more a function of the track layout/train tolerances that cause the OTSR to be a less than desireable restraint.
Futhermore, I disagree that the majority of riders would be held upside down by their collars rather than their femurs (thighbones). The majority of OSTR I have seen have the bottom of the 'U' is adjacent the thighs of the rider, so I would argue that the femurs would still be the load bearing members.
Additionally, there is something to be said for the psychological effects of OSTRs. While physically, either OTSRs or lap bars are viable solutions, the OTSRs can 'feel' safer simply because there is more visable mass. And honestly, believe in the safety systems plays a significant role in the decision to ride (why else are people afraid to fly, even thoug commercial air travel is the safest mode of transportation?) lata, jeremy