Riding is less fun as an enthusiast

Wednesday, August 29, 2001 12:51 PM
I can remember my first trip to SFMM. I was scared to go on about everything. As the day progressed, I went on more and more coasters, and by the end of the day, I had been on everything. I loved each and every ride from Ninja, to Viper, to Psyclone. I wanted more, and soon I got to more parks such as the Texas parks, and the West Edmonton Mall in Canada.

When I became an "official" enthusiast, I began going on to message boards, websites, and talking with many other enthusiasts in person. I read reviews on coasters. My track record increased. I learned terms like "airtime", "forces", and "smoothness." This past summer in Virginia I was distressed to find myself rating many of the coasters I rode based on how much airtime they gave. I based the steel coasters on forces and smoothness.

Let me tell you, just 2 short years ago, I didn't care at all about airtime. I didn't give a hoot whether or not my butt left the seat. Heck, I stapled myself into Colossus, a ride virtually void of airtime in the first place, and I had a BLAST! Now I can hardly enjoy it due to lack of airtime. I sometimes wish I had never heard of airtime. I know that Alpengeist would have been my favorite ride if I didn't hear about the term "forceless". Instead, I went on skeptical, and had a good time, but I would have had a better time before learning the term.

Obviously I recognized a better coaster when I rode one in my pre-enthusiast days. For example, when I went on Ghostrider, I knew I was riding something special. However, I would still run back for more on Psyclone, Colossus, and Revolution. Somedays I wish I could go back to my "innocence", when I enjoyed each and every coaster for what it was, rather than rating them based on airtime, forces, and smoothness.

Please understand this is an observation of mine, and not a bash at enthusiasts whatsoever. I plan to remain an enthusiast. I like rating coasters, and I don't plan to stop. I am just lamenting the fact that riding seems less fun these days. Any questions or comments are appreciated.

Wednesday, August 29, 2001 1:00 PM
I noticed the same thing about myself as well. I'm glad coaster season is just about over. Then I can build up anticipation for next season. Heck, in the middle of winter I'd be happy to ride a kiddie coaster :)
Got a problem with RWB? you've got a problem with me! Rollercoasters are the secret of life!
Wednesday, August 29, 2001 1:14 PM
It doesn't matter to me. I don't think about Coaster Buzz or anything when ever I'm at a amusement park.
"Oncoming riders, please stand behind the red safety line and wait for the train to come to a complete stop."
-Phantom's Revenge Laps:12-
Wednesday, August 29, 2001 1:30 PM
It dont matter to me either, i dont rate a coaster on specifics the ride gives cause each coaster is different other than a few exceptions. But im glad im a coaster enthusiast cause then I know which parks are worth visiting and coasters worth riding. And if I wasnt a coaster enthusiast like I am now i never would have heard of these other parks around the U.S.A. that have rides better that what I have experienced.
NEW - 35 Michigan's Adventure Photos at G-Screams
Wednesday, August 29, 2001 1:31 PM
I'm with you Raptorfan. I'm still able to enjoy coasters the same way I did before I became a self-professed enthusiast. I ride them for stress free enjoyment, for watching my friends scream and hold on for dear life and to enjoy the beauty of the structures. I don't ride for political reasons, or to go overboard with increasingly annoying terms like "airtime", "trim breaks" and "clones". Nothing wrong with riding coasters with an eye on top 10 lists or cold terms if you choose, but that's just not me.

*** This post was edited by DWeaver on 8/29/2001. ***

Wednesday, August 29, 2001 1:48 PM
I enjoy being an enthusiast.  The whole coaster experience seems more complete having some knowledge of what some of the elements are that come together to make a great or poor ride, and looking at how each of them contributes to my degree of enjoyment of each ride.  I also find myself wanting to have more variety in the types of rides I experience than I had before; for example, four years ago you would have had to drag me on a wooden coaster, but now they are my favorite type.  I like being informed about where good places are to ride great coasters--places I wouldn't have otherwise gone (HW and MIA are good examples).  It's fun getting a chance to compare my impressions of a given ride with all of your ideas and to see if I understand why a ride is on a Top 10 list or if I think it's just hype.

The only problem is that I'm driving my wife (non-enthusiast) crazy dragging her (and the kids, but they love it) all over the country to coast!  We're on our way to PKI on 11/3 to celebrate my birthday!

Wednesday, August 29, 2001 2:09 PM
I agree with DWeaver, I really don't care about stats or terms like "forceless" or "trim brakes", although I don't like trim brakes very much.  ;)  I just have fun riding period.  I do find myself setting expectations for certain rides though, and I really shouldn't do that.  If the ride doesn't meet those expectations it sort of ruins or cheapens it in a way.  I normally just go and enjoy the ride.  Coasters are fun, no matter what kind of ride it is.  I have ones I don't particularly care much for, but I love most coasters and will ride over and over again simply for the enjoyment of riding.  :)
Rollercoaster lovers do it in the front seat!
Wednesday, August 29, 2001 2:11 PM

Sorry to hear that. I've found just the opposite to be true. Before this summer, it never occurred to me that I could be travelling around checking out all these cool places. I've found that once I get to the park I forget about all the hype, and enjoy the time there with my friends . I go to the parks to have fun and goof around, not to analyze and theorize (I get enough of that in my day to day life).
Wednesday, August 29, 2001 2:36 PM
I try to keep my enthusiasm down when riding, or planning to ride, new coasters.  I don't want to overdo it.  Everytime I have, I have been so disappointed.  I was so fortunate to have known nothing about Ghostrider prior to my ride.  I was thrilled, and it remains my favorite to date.  I have been very fortunate to ride the coasters I have ridden, but many do not hold up to the hype.  I still don't get Millennium Force...  Yes, I really liked it.  REALLY liked it, but the best?  Not in my well worn book.  I liked Steel Dragon much more.  It wasn't the height, nor the speed, just the experience.  I found out something that day.  The best coasters in the world are only the best when ridden with others who share your enthusiasm.  Without them, a coaster is reduced to a rock concert, played in the largest stadium in the world, for 10 people.  It just isn't inspiring.  However, I cannot WAIT until I can ride Expedition G-Force!  Bring it on....:)
;)More about me?;)
Wednesday, August 29, 2001 3:10 PM
I think I enjoy coasters more as an enthusiast. I've traveled to more places to experience them, and I understand more of what's happening on them. If you find yourself becoming more picky, take a break for awhile. You'll come back refreshed and ready to enjoy yourself again.
Wednesday, August 29, 2001 3:39 PM
All I know is the first coaster I ride after the winter I have the time of my life
Assistant Webmaster
Kennywood Park Unlimited
Wednesday, August 29, 2001 3:49 PM
Having been employed in the outdoor amusement industry for nearly thirty years, I still enjoy a busman's holiday. I still thrill to the sounds of the anti rollback clattering, the shrieks of joy from fellow park patrons. Yes I take mental notes of how a certain park does things,good or bad. This is something that I did before I got into the business. It's always a learning experience,but I have fun doing it!
Wednesday, August 29, 2001 4:37 PM
To be honest, I think I've had MORE fun since becoming an "enthusiast".  Not only do I still love riding for the sake of riding, but now I seek out coasters and parks I would never have bothered hitting earlier.
My page  My other page  And my coaster page
Wednesday, August 29, 2001 5:41 PM
I do find myself critiqing rides more, but I also find myself enjoying coasters now that I know more of how they work and such...
.:| Brandon Rodriguez |:.
Wednesday, August 29, 2001 6:51 PM
thats cause you've went out into the world rode the best of the best, so the lesser rides will seem to not be very fun.  think about it say you grow up next to a small park and love the small coasters they have then go and ride some B&Ms, after that you can't go back, you'll always compare the small coasters you grew up with to the best you've rode.
Montu, God Of Coasters
Wednesday, August 29, 2001 7:01 PM
I STILL love riding Vekoma rollerskaters with little kids, hands in the air, screaming and whatnot.  I understand a little of what you're saying, but it's important to JUST HAVE FUN while at the park, and worry about rating rides and such until you get home.  Whenever I start to get a little "jaded", I try to find a nice 1920's era woodie to remind me what it's all about.  Sounds like you're from CA, so I'll suggest you take one or two old beachside woodies and check back with us afterward...Happy Coasting!
rollergator - intent on improving the "guest experience" - coming soon to a park near you
Thursday, August 30, 2001 7:17 AM
If you are one of those ‘enthusiasts’ who can only enjoy a coaster if it’s the best hyper/inverted/wooden invented, then I feel sorry for you.  I think its fun to analyze what makes a good coaster good, but you can over do it.  Just relax and enjoy every ride. 

Since becoming an ‘enthusiasts’, I have found I appreciate rides I might not have appreciated before.  For example, I never knew what the Racer at PKI got so much attention when it was first built.  I always liked the ride, but never thought it had any particular significance until I read the article about John Allen posted in the news section.

Thursday, August 30, 2001 8:18 AM

GregLeg said:
"To be honest, I think I've had MORE fun since becoming an "enthusiast".  Not only do I still love riding for the sake of riding, but now I seek out coasters and parks I would never have bothered hitting earlier."

That about sums it up for me too (though I do hesitate to label myself with the "enthusiast" moniker).

I have found out that this has even brought me back to "local" parks. The park I have been too the most is Hersheypark, but I live 20 minutes from Williamsgrove but had not been there since the early 1970's until I started looking at web sites and I discovered that the old Cyclone is STILL running.

Same with other parks... 21 years have passed since my first trip to Dorney park. This year I made it a point to get back there after following the construction of Talon on the web.

Now my wife and I even plan short trips to hit parks. Even on our FL trip in March we set aside certain days to hit certain of the FL parks (IOA, BGT, SW). Even when we are travelling to non park related destinations, I make a point to chart what parks may be along our route... we might just be able to hit them.

As for riding "the best" and not appreciateing the smaller coasters anymore... I could not disagree more. Some of the most enjoyable coasters are some of the small ones... or some of the ones that I "grew up" riding (Hersheypark's duo of the venerable old Comet and the sooperdooperlooper) that while not the biggest or most intense are still FUN! In my opinion newer, bigger, faster, more intense does not always mean better... for me, given the chance, I would rather take a re-ride on Dutch Wonderland's modest Sky Princess anyday over SFA's much over hyped Batwing.

It all depends on your point of view... and what you like. I refuse to use the "enthusiast" label for myself... I hear too many critiquing every little thing about a coaster... I want to ride them for the fun of it.

I liken it to motion pictures... growing up in the 1970's, I was captivated as a 12 year old by "Star Wars". In '99 when "Phantom Menace" came out, I went into the theater with the same enthusiasm as I did back in the summer of '77... I went in with the same "Wow" factor as a 12 year old kid... not with a note book and criticle eye of a Roger Ebert. I approach coasters the same way... riding the Comet and looper at Hersheypark I still board the trains with the same enthusiasm as I did in 1977 when these were the biggest coasters that I had ever seen... not with the attitude of "Well, [insert coaster name here] is bigger... and has more drops... and higher speed..."

"I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."

Thursday, August 30, 2001 9:34 AM
Wow, it sounds like most of you haven't experienced what I have. I think I've just become a little too picky. Sometimes I appreciate even a ride on Jaguar, but sometimes I feel a little burnt out. Perhaps I should take more breaks! No, I'd rather be picky than go without coasters for too long! :)
Saturday, September 1, 2001 2:30 AM
I think riding coasters is much more fun as an enthusiast.

A rollercoaster enthusiast is someone who loves and enjoys all types of rollercoasters.

A person always complaining or being picky with coasters is a roller coaster bigot and not an enthusiast.


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