Timberhawk - The new S&S?

Associated parks:
None

Yes McNulty is the only one that to my knowledge did not go to The Gravity Group. He along with Denise went to S&S.

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UnfrigginbelievablyIncredible

So after letting my Timberhawk rides sit in my head a little bit and comparing them to other coasters, I've realized that maybe I was a bit too enthusiastic about my rides on Timberhawk. I know that the ride is new and needs a significant amount of break-in time - however, break in time can not resolve my three major issues with the ride.

1. The "far" fan turnaround is flat. It would be much better if it had some up and down movement to it.

2. There's a stretch of flat track right before the last dip before the brakes. Yes, flat track on a CCI-inspired coaster. It seems very out of place and kills the pacing coming into the brakes.

3. During parts of the track, the train shuffles. Not a little bit, but a lot. It's very noticeable in the far turnaround - it was tracking almost as bad as Villian was when I rode it last year during my SRM trip (when you can see the trains shuffle more than 9-12 inches in a turn, I consider it bad).

As far as comparing it to Roar - I don't think you can compare the two (or three) at all. Roar West is a great ride - a masterpiece if you will - of graceful turns, just the right amount of air, speed, visuals (the shed!) and trains. I was underwhelmed by Roar East when I rode it three years ago, so things might have changed with it.

Overall, as Sprig said, it's a good ride. Not great, not bad, but good. I guess we'll have to wait and see how it breaks in as time goes by.

Mike

nasai's avatar
All the comments have power since my last post. I was able to drive down this morning (augh, morning) for a few more rides. I was only able to get one more in before the ride went down for a spell, but fortunately, I was able to take Mike's advice and hit the very last bench in the train. It isn't worlds apart from the front, in that up front it's a kiddie coaster, and the back is Legend, but there is a noticable difference, and one that makes the layout much more enjoyable. I did get air in about 5 or 6 spots. Quite nicely too. It also did seem as though it was already running faster. However, those issues mentioned above are very true. It does suffer from "uninspired-last-section-layout" syndrome. After the wonderful 5th drop, the ride just kind of coasts into the station. Too bad, because they could have kicked your ass all the way in.

If McNulty actually was responsible for this ride, and not *****ing if he was, then how can you go from making rides like Legend, Raven, Cornball, etc. and not take that know how to S&S? Am I missing something here? I don't think it's just that Six Flags wanted a family coaster. There are huge gaps in the layout. I will start the battle cry now. Change the trains!!!! (like that's gonna happen);)
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Hair Metal? I think not. - Click it, or lose it. ;)

So who would have ever thought they'd see the day when enthusiasts would complain about three bench PTC trains? ;)

Too bad it's not all we thought it would be. I watched the POV video on the WildOnes site, and that ending does look really *lame.*

Oh well...

They all can't be the Boss. ;)

nasai's avatar
Isn't that drop pretty, though? :)

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Hair Metal? I think not. - Click it, or lose it. ;)

Is there any site for good pictures of this ride, yet?

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SFNE Central v5- Online Six Flags New England Resource

nasai's avatar
Only place I know is Northwest themepark guide. Don't know the direct link, but you can search on Google. It comes right up. It's Aaron's (NWTPG) site, and it's pretty helpful. It has some POV too.
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Hair Metal? I think not. - Click it, or lose it. ;)
I'll sort through the photos and video I shot on Sunday and see if any is worth posting.

Mike

The thing you have to remember is, building a coaster is usually a colaborative effort, and usually built to what the park in question wants. It was probably built to thrill families and first timers as oppose to experienced riders with rides like Raven under their belt. I'm thinking SF *wanted* a modest coaster. Neither S&S nor McNulty are about playing modest, but remember who they're building for, a company that has given them fits over not giving them specifically what was asked for. It was they're first time out and they played it safe. Early CCI weren't exactly monsters of intensity either.

Still, this looks like a fun coaster that I might enjoy quite a bit.

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Tease Alert!

*Something* wicked this way comes...to the west coast in 2004!
*** This post was edited by DWeaver 6/9/2003 10:38:55 PM ***

rollergator's avatar
Definitely true that the *BUYER* determines the ride, DWeaver, but Sky Princess was certainly not lacking when I rode it last year....maintenance be praised, the coaster ran hard and fast, but smooth, and *amazed* me for being at Dutch Wonderland....

When someone wants an intense ride from Stan Checketts, I'm *pretty sure* that's what they'll get...;)

nasai's avatar
Both really good points Dweaver and Bill. I am sure that it'll break in as well. :)
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Hair Metal? I think not. - Click it, or lose it. ;)
When I rode last Tuesday, a park employee told us that Denise Dinn was responsible for the design of most of the ride, which I found surprising. Less than an hour earlier I had told a fellow ACEer who made the same claim that I thought she was more of a business leader and spokesperson for CCI, rather than a designer. I checked out the S&S Arrow website to find out more about it, but couldn't find anything on their wooden coaster division.

While I enjoyed the ride, it isn't the mean little thriller I was hoping for. All but three of the drops pull out well above the ground. Most of the ride consists of elevated, winding bunny hills, punctuated by an occasional bona-fide drop.

The first and fifth drops, which run nearly parallel to each other, are the obvious highlights. My favorite was the sixth hill, which forms a ninety-degree turn partly hidden beneath the high turnaround before the first drop. The climb treats us to one head chopper after another--the supports seem to get thicker and closer as the train rises. A slight swoop in the track (more of a concave bump, really) during the turn, accompanied by a horrible squeal from the track beds, provides the biggest "little" thrill of the entire ride. The drop that follows has a hint of ejector airtime combined with a final head-chopper.

The final turnaround was a bit of a disappointment. In the diagrams released a few months ago, this turn appeared to bank sharply and swoop all the way to the ground. What we have instead is a flat, slightly banked turnaround that delivers a panoramic view of the parking lot.

A unique s-curve connects the far turnaround to the infamous flat section. The first half of the curve is banked and rising, the second half is flat and level, creating a nice little left-to-right shuffle.

I didn't see any brakes on the flat section before the final dip. Maybe it has more to do with clearance (the first and fifth drops go right underneath it), than with blocking. The easiest way to liven up this spot would be to enclose it, starting at the middle of the S-curve, and ending at the bottom of the final dip.

A tunnel still wouldn't compensate for the lack of a grand finale here. There probably would have enough momentum to carry a train through one more half-layer of twisting bunny hops at ground level before returning to the station, or perhaps a helix or swoop turn beneath the near turnaround. Instead, the train hops directly onto a block brake, comes to a complete halt, then lumbers around a flat turn and over the transfer track on its way to the station.

How does Timberhawk compare to other coasters in the region? It doesn't come close to delivering the speed, airtime, and lateral forces of Idaho's pair of CCI's, Timber Terror and Tremors. While it lacks the intensity of the Windstorm at Seattle Center or the ragdoll ferocity of Playland's Coaster, it nudges ahead of these two on account of its grace, complexity, and gorgeous surroundings.

As disappointing as it might be to enthusiasts who were expecting a mini-Megaphobia, it might have been a smart business decision for Six Flags to limit Timberhawk's intensity to keep it popular with families. Higher profits = bigger budget for their next major project. Thrust-X, anyone?
*** This post was edited by Railshark 6/10/2003 6:12:05 AM ***

On Saturday I was able to obtain a VIP pass with a little BS. When the GM of the park made his speech he introduced Denise Dinn as the desighner, she then gave a little wave to the crown on hand. On my first Ride Denise was on the same train, She seem to like it.

I found the coaster to be a little tame, like Rob said needs more speed.

nasai's avatar
Mike, stop lurking, and start posting more!!!!!!!!!

Glad I am not alone in this opinion on Timberhawk.
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Hair Metal? I think not. - Click it, or lose it. ;)

I generally have to agree with the comments, this isn't exactly the Thunderbolt, but for an area that's starved for coasters it's a nice start!

It's nicely themed, fits the surroundings well and is smooth with an intriguing design. The twists and turns leave you wondering what's coming next.

As others have mentioned, there is no grand finale, it just sort of slows down, hits the brakes (and today it hit them HARD, by far the roughest part of the ride was getting the lap bar in the stomach as we ground to a halt on the brakes) and then just kind of rambles back into the station.

I'd agree it beats windstorm overall but that windstorm is a bit more ferocious. I'll need a couple more rides before I could say if it's better than Playlands coaster, that one rates pretty high with me. I will agree the theming and layout are superior on Timberhawk, but it's not quite as intense.

Bottom line for me? Well, it's a lot better than the corkscrew, and while the Puyallup Fair coaster is a classic, it's only open a few weeks a year, and the layout, while classic, is hardly inspired. I'd say this is definitely the best coaster in Washington state, and probably only the Playland Coaster in BC comes close to matching it for coasters in the region. (I can't comment on Silverwood, but it's fair enough away that I don't consider it to be "in the area" anyway)
*** This post was edited by CoasterBob 6/11/2003 8:11:54 PM ***


nasai said:
Mike, stop lurking, and start posting more!!!!!!!!!

I try not to post unless I have something really important to say - I find myself staying out of trouble that way. ;)

nasai's avatar
CoasterBob said:
I generally have to agree with the comments, this isn't exactly the Thunderbolt, but for an area that's starved for coasters it's a nice start!

Yes, I have to agree there.

It's nicely themed, fits the surroundings well and is smooth with an intriguing design. The twists and turns leave you wondering what's coming next.

True, although the layout isn't intensely hidden, like say, Coaster at PNE?

As others have mentioned, there is no grand finale, it just sort of slows down, hits the brakes (and today it hit them HARD, by far the roughest part of the ride was getting the lap bar in the stomach as we ground to a halt on the brakes) and then just kind of rambles back into the station.

How about putting your hand out to prevent you from that? Heck, that long stretch of straight track certainly gives you time to pick that option. ;)

I'd agree it beats windstorm overall

100%

but that windstorm is a bit more ferocious. I'll need a couple more rides before I could say if it's better than Playlands coaster,

Impossible, and you know it. How can you even consider comparing? Apples and oranges, dude.

that one rates pretty high with me. I will agree the theming and layout are superior on Timberhawk, but it's not quite as intense.

Again, duh.

Bottom line for me? Well, it's a lot better than the corkscrew, and while the Puyallup Fair coaster is a classic, it's only open a few weeks a year, and the layout, while classic, is hardly inspired. I'd say this is definitely the best coaster in Washington state

Disagreeing here (as you are entitled to) and saying that Coaster: Thrill ride is badass. A great ride with those wonderful trains, and a perfect, albeit small, ride with the yellow P&C train.

and probably only the Playland Coaster in BC comes close to matching it for coasters in the region.

Again, how can you even consider comparing this to Coaster? I agree that they are both wood, and taste is taste (many here know I adore Coaster), but why are you even comparing. There is no comparison. Coaster is a nasty, adult ride. Timberhawk is all family, all the time.

(I can't comment on Silverwood, but it's fair enough away that I don't consider it to be "in the area" anyway)

Fair enough. Those Silverwoodies will change your life, though. It's hard to imagine such good coasters in the middle of nowhere. I guess CCI did that part well. :)
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Hair Metal? I think not. - Click it, or lose it. ;)

Rob,where is your secret parking spot? I will be there on Monday.:)

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Meet me at the PNE in 2003. Happy 45th birthday,Coaster!

SteelForce, I think Rob was talking to me. But your comments to Rob are right on the money. I try to post when I feel I have something to add to the thread.

And yes Rob, Where is your secret parking spot?

It isn't really a secret.

If you drive fifty feet past the entrance to the parking lot and turn left [on the south side of the cedar fence that flanks the lot] you can park for free. None SF season pass holders can also save five dollars on admission with a coke product can.

Mark

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