Since all I did at the park was ride Tsunami, this is more of a Coaster Report than a trip report.
But what a coaster it is.
From the first drop to the last hop before the break run it doesn't leave up. Not simply content with trying to throw you out of the sides of the train in it helix and with some of it's quick direction changes, it also tries to throw you straight out of your seat with at least 5 pops of good air time. And that first drop... looks steep. And it is steep. The recorded spiel about the coaster claims the steepest drop on a wooden coaster in the country. I don't know if that is exactly true... could be... but it doesn't matter. It is STEEP. This is one of the few drops that still gets me in the stomach.
I knew that they were running trains of 4 - 2 seat cars for a total of 16 riders per train and I thought this a bit odd... I thought were they just skimping on the trains and could they add 2 more cars later for the more traditional 24 riders? However, the station is designed with just enough room with 8 air gates. Bad news... on busy days this will mean less riders per hour... Good news... every seat on the train is good... there are no "middle seats". You are either in the first four seats or the last four seats. They do have a very slow load process with many checks and double checks of the belts and the lap bars, but they are being very cautious I assume considering that this is a new coaster. Only bad thing with the loading... they only let enough people into the station to fill the gates. If you are first in, you get your choice of seats... if you are last in you get what is left... no waiting for a specific seat. This may or may not change with time. I remember on the old Jack Rabbit they did it this way too... but I do not recall if Jack Rabbit had actual air gates or if it was open.
Anyway... I got 5 rides on this beast with a bit of a wait between each one. 1 front seat (great visuals and the smoothest ride I had), 1 fourth seat, and (luckily) 3 in the back seat. What a wild ride! I am kind of glad I had the wait between rides... gave me time to calm down.
It was sad to see that the future of Jack Rabbit is in doubth. SBNO, it looks like this thing will not run again. You can't even tell that there is a station there... its all boarded up and the sinage is gone. Not srue the reason that it is SBNO... I have heard maintence issues and that repairs would be too costly... easier to build a new coaster than to repair the old. IF that is the case... then Clementon went about things the right way. Its always sad to see a coaster go... especially one as old as Jack Rabbit... but Tsunami is more than an "adequate" replacement. It is one great coaster! Clementon could have taken the easy way out with a replacement for Jack Rabbit and plopped in a Wild Mouse. But instead, they took the time and made the investment in Tsunami... and I think it was money well spent.
Given the choice between coasting in central NJ and southern NJ... I will give that park in Jackon a pass and head for Wildwood and Moreys with a pit stop at Clementon for Tsunami.
Oh... and to truely make this a trip report... The scariest ride of the day was the SureKill Expressway (better known as the Schuylkil [sp?]) around Philly. Tsunami or any other coaster look like a kiddie coaster compared to riding on that highway.
I know what you mean about the surekill, i am not even gonna try to spell the name correctly... if you want to know what road we are talking about it's I 76 in Philly. That's the easy way to name it.
I am glad to see some positive reports about Tsunami and can't wait to use my return pass from earlier this season to get back there.
I'm thinking I need to book a trip out to Clementon real soon to ride this newest gem from S&S.
The day after the Ivan aftermath, Sunday turned out to be a terrific cloud-free day. The sun shined blindly upon South Jersey's newest wooden addition: Tsunami at Clementon Park. Finally I was getting my chance to ride the beast after a long delayed construction/inspection/approval period this summer. It was the second day of a grand opening weekend. It was hard to get a picture of the station because the brake run and the station are situated so close to each other and are quite high up. Appropriately "I'm walking on sunshine" was playing in the queue line. That was all we needed with the sunny day and after all the delays. It was time to celebrate the new kid on the block! The lines to the new coaster seemed to move really quickly. I could hear the chain motor constantly run. It didn't die off between train launches but that's okay, it had to make up for all the summer action it missed. Within 10-15 minutes I was finally aboard Tsunami. The Tsunami trains are quite elegant. There's a dark blue and a marroon train. Each gleaming train had a flashy new Tsunami logo and nice detailing strokes of paint. I could see the tags on the trains that said: PTC, Philadelphia Toboggan Company. The train seemed to be "double checked" but it was actually one group just checking that the seatbelts were snug and other group making sure the lap bars were okay. Finally the train was cleared, my long wait was finally over!!! The first time I was on the early afternoon sun shined right in our faces as we were going up the lift. It was like we were a sacrifice to the sun god. I had that feeling before when I was riding Batwing @ SFA. I was surprised at just how quick the ascent up the lift hill was. We were cresting the top before we knew it. I was facing North America's steepest drop on a wooden roller coaster. I didn't have any time to absorb the feeling of the drop, but the visuals of the lake down below was amazing. The train whipped right up to the first left turning hill. The train was mildly shaking from side to side as it went up but I'm pretty sure it'll settle down eventually over time. Falling from that drop on the first hill, I hardly had time to collect myself. We were flying over to be the big turnaround that came next. The banking was crazy on the left hand turn. This led to a nice headchopper before a strong clockwise upward helix. The train went through two strong turns in the helix. It's something I haven't seen in the Jersey-Pennsylvania area at all. What a way to go with something different Clementon! My favorite part of the ride was the exit of this upward helix that suddenly dived down to the left. This sweeping transition took me off my feet! The train was on its homestretch down the bunnyhills. The train still had plenty of gas as it entered the brake run. I was just left with the feeling of:"What just happened?" There was NO way I could say that "the ride was too short" but rather: "that was alot in just a short bit of time." I don't think the ride was about cruising and having airtime. I thought it was about flying through the course with sheer aggressiveness. What a contrast to the park's first coaster: Jack Rabbit, a SBNO coaster that hardly has any banking and is one of the nation's oldest. Jack was a great slow family coaster. I'm glad I had the chance to get on that when I could. It's mandatory to take the park's train ride that passes through and around that coaster and off to the area of Tsunami. The train ride signifies the passing of the torch for the rides. Say goodbye to Jack while you can. TSUNAMI has just created a huge wave. Catch the Wave!!!
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