Vekoma wooden coasters

Wednesday, December 10, 2003 3:01 PM
I was looking over the results of this year's wood coaster poll and was surprised to see the three Vekoma woodies score so highly. Tusenfryd's Thundercoaster scored the highest at #22, followed by SF Belgium's Loup Garou at #28 and SF Holland's Robin Hood at #49. The best CCI's shouldn't be threatened by this trio, but I still think that those are pretty good numbers for coasters by a company that is known for some of the roughest steel coasters in existance (at least according to some people).

And not only do they seem to rate well, but they're all beautiful designs! The rolling stock looks like GCII's Millennium Flyers, except with three rows of seats instead of one (see Robin Hood's train here). And the structures are gorgeous! Need proof? Check out Robin Hood, Loup Garou and Thundercoaster. Need I say more?

I'd love to know why no parks have contacted Vekoma to build them a wood coaster, especially because they have supplied so many parks with so many rides (there are parks that seem to get Vekoma rides every year). Obviously, they aren't lousy rides, so ride quality can't be to blame? Is it cost? I find that hard to believe because Vekoma rides are usually fairly inexpensive when compared to similar rides by other competitors.

I may have to start making excuses to get over to Europe in the next couple of years!

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Wednesday, December 10, 2003 3:14 PM
Are the trains Vekoma built, or are they Gertslauers?
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Wednesday, December 10, 2003 3:21 PM
Yeah - Robin Hood is my favourite woody to date!
It's not very tall, but just really fun - nice pops of airtime, cool dips and curves - and somehow the way the train connects to the rails already tickles in the stomach. Definitely the coaster I had most "fun" on.

SFH can be really crowded though - when I was there last year I only had 6 coaster rides for an entire day - and I did nothing but queue up for hours and hours - all the time except for a tiny lunchbreak. There's two really fun things at SFH: Goliath and Robin Hood. The rest is okay: a launch/spaghettibowl and a standard boomerang... and a regular wild mouse... oh yeah I almost forgot the horrible SLC that I would rename from "El Condor" to "El Headbang".

I would love to go back there when it's less crowded... any advice?

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Wednesday, December 10, 2003 3:22 PM
Vekoma hasn't sold any more woodies because they don't offer them any more. They're now only selling their rolling stocks if anyone wants one. I'm not sure if the Robin Hood clone in Poland is still going to be built but I belive it may not be built by Vekoma.

About Thunder Coaster, it has alot more to show than it does in it's current state, but after some retracking the coaster should be in it's opening year shape next year. And that second drop is something out of this world, one of the best I've ever experienced. While the vekoma trains are one of the coolest and most compfy seats I've ever sit in the lapbars sucks, and with some constant legbanging it's not fun. Thunder Coaster is a twister and the rolling stocks are too big and heavy for that kind of track layout. I hope the park will change the trains sometime that might fit the layout better than the Vekoma trains does.

Edit: Thunder Coaster's lapbars are different from the other Vekoma woodies... *** Edited 12/10/2003 8:27:08 PM UTC by olov***

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Wednesday, December 10, 2003 3:22 PM

Rob Ascough said:
...those are pretty good numbers for coasters by a company that is known for some of the roughest steel coasters in existance (at least according to some people).
I've heard from most people that have ridden Vekoma steel coasters (including SLCs) not located in the U.S. profess that they are quite smooth. Ask Rob (nasai) about Blackout at Suzuka Circuit in Japan.

felixleprechaun - I'm not certain, but I believe the trains are manufactured by Vekoma.

*** Edited 12/10/2003 8:24:06 PM UTC by Vater***

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Wednesday, December 10, 2003 3:34 PM
I am fairly certain that Vekoma's wooden coasters use Vekoma wooden coaster rolling stock. I know that no PTCs are on any of Vekoma's woodies, and I believe that GCII only supplies their MF trains for their own rides.

When did Vekoma get out of the wooden coaster business? It seems like they took forever to finally get an order!

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Wednesday, December 10, 2003 3:47 PM

Vater said:
I've heard from most people that have ridden Vekoma steel coasters (including SLCs) not located in the U.S. profess that they are quite smooth.

Hm... I couldn't confirm that - most of the Vekoma rides I have been on where about as rough as anywhere - e.g. the boomerangs I've been to in the U.S. and Canada where in no way rougher than the ones I've been on in Europe.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2003 4:11 PM
I never thought Boomerangs were all that rough in the first place. Then again, I never thought any Vekoma was that rough, with the possible exception of T2 and sometimes SFA's Mind Eraser.
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Wednesday, December 10, 2003 4:22 PM
The Vekoma woodies were the surprises of the Europe trip of ACE.

I still hear a lot of hype about Wear Wolf (Loup Garou)

The trains are Vekoma and look simular to GCI's

Chuck, who still thinks S&S could beat em if they put their minds to it and get rid of PTC's or at least pic a PTC newer design

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Wednesday, December 10, 2003 4:52 PM
Get rid of PTCs? Why????? Are you talking about a specific kind of PTC (2 bench, 3 bench), or just in general? If so, what kind of bad experiences did you have with them? I'm just curious...

Honestly, I have never found Vekomas to be rough, either. I enjoy boomerangs and SLCs, much more than most enthusiasts, who find them to be too painful and violent.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2003 5:42 PM

olov said:
Vekoma hasn't sold any more woodies because they don't offer them any more. They're now only selling their rolling stocks if anyone wants one.

If that’s true, that would be a shame. I had a blast riding Robin Hood in the pouring rain.


While the vekoma trains are one of the coolest and most comfy seats I've ever sit in the lapbars sucks, and with some constant legbanging it's not fun.

I agree, except for the “legbanging” (not sure what that is). Those trains, like GCI’s Millennium Flyers, are extremely comfy and smooth, but unfortunately the lap bar lowers during the course. I’m all for having the lapbar snug, but when it lowers a click without you expecting it, that can be kind of painful.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2003 8:59 PM
olov, what happened with that proposed "Vekoma Land" that was supposed to open this year in Poland? I'm assuming since we haven't heard anything, plans fell through, but any details?
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Wednesday, December 10, 2003 9:46 PM
I wasn't over impressed with the Vekoma woodies, Robin Hood was average, Loup Garou was very good in the back, but only okay in the front. However, they were smooth. SLC's are awful, except Jubilee Odyssey which is awesome. Boomerangs bore me to death, but the GIB's are great (when they work, which is all the time when I've been to Six Flags).

By the way Evanescence are great, sorry, but I'm listening to My Immortal and it's brill.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2003 9:57 PM
I rode two of the Vekoma woodies and found them to be incredible. I don't think anyone on the ECO trip had high expectations for those wooden coasters but during our morning ERT on Loop Garou, each train was coming back into the station with applause.

Not only are the trains among the most comfortable rolling stock I have ever sat in, but the layout of Loop Garou was a huge surprise. It didn't look like much from photos I had seen but there were a couple of nice surprises along the course that caught me off guard every time.

As for the Vekoma SLC's being smoother overseas. I found that to be both true and false. Two of the rougher ones weren't as bad as some of the versions I have ridden over here, but there were a couple that were very smooth. I thought Traumatiser was awesome. I couldn't believe how smooth it was. The Cobra (Boomerang) at Six Flags Belgium was a huge surprise as well. I probably rode that as many times as I rode Loop Garou during ERT.

-Sean *** Edited 12/11/2003 2:57:48 AM UTC by Sean Flaharty***

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Thursday, December 11, 2003 3:18 PM
SF Holland's El Condor was every bit as painful as T2, but then both are first generation SLCs. Most of the SLCs in Europe were the same as they are over here. Perhaps Traumatizer was a little smoother, but not enough for me to want to reride it.
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