Son of Beast Lapbar Update

Tuesday, May 27, 2003 4:51 PM
I visited PKI today. I rode Son of Beast, which took an absurd amount of time because it was down to one train operation. There was a train sitting on the maintenance track with the old lap bars intact and new lap bars on the railings next to the train. While in line, about nine mechanics came and started taking off the old lap bars. Unfortunatly, the new lap bars look like nothing more than the old lap bars with padding on the metal part of the bar, where my legs normally slam into. Hopefully, the padding will make the ride more enjoyable. Although, I thought it was incredibly smooth today!

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Coney Island (Cincinnati) ride operator

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 4:58 PM
They are also flat instead of round. They look good Lets hope they have both trains done soon.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 5:16 PM
What do you mean they are flat instead of round? They lloked like the same lap bars except that they had added padding. Some of the new bars, didn`t have the black part of the bar on yet.

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Coney Island (Cincinnati) ride operator

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 5:27 PM
Flat - more like Intamin lapbars AKA Millennium Force and Xcelerator. http://www.coasterbuzz.com/rollercoasterphoto.htm?i=909

Round - The old Son of Beast lapbars

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*** This post was edited by Darth Saambe 5/27/2003 9:30:20 PM ***

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 5:36 PM
The sides looked flat from my POV they do look alot like the old ones. They look much more comfortable. If I had my camera it would be easier to explain.

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Hi.....whats your name again?

Visit the 1st and only Jeff Seibert Fan page!!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 6:12 PM
The addition of lap-bars with "flat sides" to SOB is a reality. It is the same thing that HW and SFSTL did with the lap bars on Boss and Legend's G-trains (when Legend still had one.) In order to minimize side-to side leg banging, new lap bars were installed on those trains that used flat steel on the sides rather than rounded steel. Also, the flat sides had a thick foam "pad" added for side-to-side leg cushoning.

From what I understand, the new lap-bars on Sonny will have flat sides with foam padding, along with a less cumbersome lap pad unit.

However, contrary to urban legend, the lap bars are not being altered into "t" bars ala an Intamin train. To further explain, the new restraints will not have a single bar extending between the legs.

Because of TUV and various other insurance and safety standards that PKI uses, they will utilize a lap-bar restraint system on a looping coaster only if the restraint completely surrounds both legs. That is pretty much standard practice when it comes to coasters with inversions that operate with lap-bar restraints.

I am most curious to see what PKI does with the floor of the SOB trains. IMO, that is where the problem with comfort lies. I did experience some side-to-side leg banging, but nothing that warranted a massive restraint re-design IMO. The larger problem at hand is the uncomfortable positioning of one's feet. The floors had wooden "blocks" added under the rubber matting a season or two ago in attempt to limit the movement of the lower portion of the rider's bodies. But most importantly, they were added to keep riders seated in a perfect "Z" position.

The ideal riding position, according to many ride manufacturers, safety instectors and insurance groups is the "Z" position. This situates a rider so that their knees are raised higher than their butts. The desired effect is restricting the movement of the rider, while stabilizing their backs, spine, legs and feet.

To furthur ensure the "Z" position on SOB, last year PKI installed additional padding to the front edge of the seats on SOB. That is why you feel like you are sitting into a hole when you first climb in. Because the front of the seat is much higher than the back. It is not uncommon. Most modern day steel coaster trains all utilize this.... B&M, Vekoma, even Intamin all create seats that seat riders in that shape. The difference is, the seats by those manufacturers were originally designed in that manner so that they slant backwards. SOB has been a piece-meal attempt at achieving something Premier should have been smart enough to think about when designing the trains.

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Shaggy

Proud A-lister!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 6:28 PM
Shaggy,

I know it's a long stretch, but it seems to me, with all the complaints PKI has gotten, why don't they just make all new trains?! I know..... $, but it seems to me that would solve the problem, make the ride better in the long run, and they wouldn't have to keep making these stupid changes every year!

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ALL NEW COASTER SITE!
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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 6:33 PM
Actually, Shaggy, the floor of the Son of Beast car was cut and bent to get those idiotic blocks under your feet. That raised the legs and rocked the rider back in the seat, but it left most riders with a very small point of contact with the seat, located directly beneath the spine. In my opinion, that was...well, never mind; this is an open forum. Anyway, the seat pad that they added last season was a major improvement as it allowed something besides the tailbone to carry the rider's weight.

The idea behind the seating position is to make certain that the rider's legs are wrapped around the end of the seat. A problem on some rides is that by straightening out, the rider can slide straight through the opening between the lap bar and the seat. Intamin fixes this by putting a rail over your toes just above the car floor so that your feet don't come out. Schwarzkopf and Seay accomplished the same thing by putting a bar across your ankles. On Sonny they tried to do this by elevating your feet instead of simply forcing the feet back. Forcing the feet back would be just as effective, and a lot more comfortable.

But there is an added dynamic on Sonny. To avoid injury, it is important to slide forward and lean forward a bit so that your back doesn't get clobbered by the unpadded seat back. I want to know when they're going to fix *that* problem, on all three of their big woodies, though Sonny is the worst. Why is it that Flight of Fear has a nice soft seat back, while Son of Beast has a seat seemingly made of concrete?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 10:18 PM

Shaggy said:
Because of TUV and various other insurance and safety standards that PKI uses, they will utilize a lap-bar restraint system on a looping coaster only if the restraint completely surrounds both legs. That is pretty much standard practice when it comes to coasters with inversions that operate with lap-bar restraints.

I wasn't aware that TUV mandated that. Do you have a mandate number?

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 4:28 AM
Great, now I'll never be able to ride SoB again. My issue is that I have large thighs and I'm already cramped inside the lapbar. Adding padding will further limit the room between the side bars making it impossible for me to fit. I guess that lipo-suction surgery is really in order now. :)

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Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." - Albert Einstein

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 5:09 AM
Actually, DEK, you might find it easier to fit. The main thing they were trying to do was to make the space in the center of the lap bar wider, so you might be in luck...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 5:11 AM
"I wasn't aware that TUV mandated that. Do you have a mandate number?"

Heck no, don't know the first thing about TUV, just repeating what I have been told by the park.

I do know that PKI uses them... that is one of the reasons TR doesn't flip consecutively.

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Shaggy

Proud A-lister!

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 9:08 AM

RideMan said:
Actually, DEK, you might find it easier to fit. The main thing they were trying to do was to make the space in the center of the lap bar wider, so you might be in luck...

I certainly hope you're correct on this. I like SoB but haven't ridden it since early last season. The lapbar is just to painful on my legs.

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Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." - Albert Einstein

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 5:56 PM
UPDATE...

We left the park at 6pm when the rain started....anyway....maintenance worked on SOBs train #2 all afternoon, finishing up around 5pm.

It appears that train #2 has all of it's lapbars converted. They are as described, flatter, with padding on the sides. They also appear slightly 'wider' based on the 'bent' shape of them.

I am praying that train #2 will be operational tomorrow, but I am guessing that the 'water dummies' will get the first rides.

See you all at my first ever coaster event, SRM, in a couple of days!

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Fever

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