Sarkanniemi 5/1/05 - Zamperla Volare "Trombi" surprises

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Sarkanniemi opened to the public yesterday, but as May Day is a popular celebration day here in Finland, I didn't get there until today. With a slight headache, I headed for the park to check out their latest coaster, the infamous Zamperla Volare called "Trombi" (a small tornado).

Crowds were medium as the weather wasn't exactly nice. It wasn't raining, but the sky was gray and it was windy with the temperature at roughly 3 celsius degrees (38 fahrenheits). I've got a year pass for the park so I had no problem making just a short visit.

I headed straight for Trombi. The area around it was still a little rough with gravel visible and the queueing area unfinished. The coaster itself was running reliably though with five car operation.

My initial impression was that the coaster was smaller than I had thought. It looked more cute than intimidating. The spiral lift was cool though. The loading system was ok IMO. I had no trouble finding a good position and I felt comfortable in the car.

Ascent was fun, the vulnerable position heightens the feeling of height and the coaster ends up feeling much taller than it is. I had heard loads of negative criticism about the Volare so I was expecting a beatdown of my life. Didn't get it.

First dip down was nice, turn to the left was intense, but didn't hurt me. The inline-twist was taken at good speed and I didn't experience any headbanging and my back didn't hit the restraints. I kept myself in place by pushing against the shoulderpads. Turn to the right was again intense, but not too rough. Small dip and turn to the right into the second inline-twist.

Few more turns with some of them at higher turning radius and the ride was at its end. Initial impressions - unspectacular. The ride wasn't too rough, it just lacked certain kick to it. At no point did I feel like laughing or smiling. It felt like the coaster was just going through its motions. Small size of the thing made the elements feel a bit weak.

I got off the ride with mixed emotions. I was positively surprised about the way I didn't hit any part of my body during the ride and the headache the ride caused was because of last night's drinking, not the ride itself. It wasn't smooth, but its roughness was definitely tolerable. However, Trombi failed to impress me. It was a nice ride, but nothing else. Its gimmick wasn't good enough to make it rise above its small size. I've never rode a spinner, but they seem like coasters that are able to be more than their size would indicate.

I rode park's Intamin inverted coaster Tornado and got off smiling. It's still an amazing ride and it felt like it was running better than during last season's end. Last seat is the place to be in Tornado - you get pulled down the first drop and out of the loop and cobra roll with great force opposed to the almost hangtime you get in the first seat. I also tested the Intamin Half-pipe for the first time and was positively surprised. Good air with unpredictable spinning. Liked it a lot.

I decided to give Trombi another chance. This time I took the place on the side. Last time was in one of the two middle 'seats'. The difference was clear. Trombi got rougher but also more exciting. Motions were much more interesting and we hit the brakes with me smiling. Didn't hurt myself this time either, but the ride was a lot wilder. The ride was still a bit unspectacular, but the side-seat made it actually very nice coaster expecience for something so small.

Overall feelings about Trombi were definitely positive, but not markedly so. Either improvements Zamperla made for the ride have worked or I just can take more beating, but I wouldn't describe the ride as overly rough. Intense, yes. Rough, not really - like I said, I didn't hit any part of my body during the two rides.

I rode Tornado and Half-pipe again and headed home. Nice day and the park looked good - especially with the new kiddie area looking a lot better than the old one that used to be in Trombi's place.
*** Edited 5/1/2005 2:06:17 PM UTC by Drift***

Wow that's some cold coaster riding! Nice TR Drift. Tornado looks wild on RCDB.

I survived a Japanese typhoon and the Togo flat ride of death!!!!!!

Me and my wife made an afternoon visit to the park today. She's pregnant so we ended up riding just family rides (and having loads of fun doing it), but I did get to ride both Trombi and Tornado once.

Trombi had changed since the start of May. Maybe it was that the weather was so much warmer and that the ride had settled in, but it felt significantly faster and rougher. It was throwing me around and we hit the brakes with me feeling rather puzzled. This was not the same ride I found myself enjoying last time. It still wasn't exactly painful, but my shoulders didn't like the bashing they got. Other parts of my body were fine though.

Trombi is not something you ride with a big grin on your face. It's something you ride with a half grimace, half concentrated look. It's a challenge ride - it challenges you to endure it and while there's some fun to be found in that kind of a thing, I take pure riding enjoyment over it any day.

I was a little sad to find Trombi that rough this time. I will probably ride it each time I'm at the park, but I don't think I will ever come out of it with a pure feeling of "that was really fun". I was advocating for a Maurer Söhne spinner for the park before they got this thing from Zamperla. I'm fairly certain it would've been a better bargain.

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