Why did inverts catch on?

Sunday, July 13, 2003 5:08 PM
Upon review with some respected enthusiasts ;) , it was agreed that stand ups WERE and flyers ARE "flavors of the months,*" while inverts are one of few new concepts with any longevity. So the question then (though I invite you to respectfully disagree with any of my premises) is WHY did inverts catch on while the others didn't?

Bonus question...where do floorless/sitdown/sitdown loopers factor in?

*Hmm...should both flavors and months be plural? Any grammarians care to help? I'll edit.
*** This post was edited by dawnmarie313 7/14/2003 12:22:47 AM ***

Sunday, July 13, 2003 5:16 PM
Well I for one completely, whole-heartedly, systematically, and catagorically disagree with you on all levels, Dawn. But who the hell am I? ;)

I'm not an enthusiast. I just play one on message boards.

Sunday, July 13, 2003 5:19 PM
Certainly NOT a respected enthusiast. Or even a respected pretend enthusiast. ;)
Sunday, July 13, 2003 5:21 PM
I think you ask a good question (but then again we were born in the same year, go figure), but I wouldn't necessarily state that flyers are a flavor of the month. I don't think we've seen the end of them yet. Standups either, for that matter.

As far as inverts go, they're a blast - and comfortable for most riders, too. Flyers exert unusually strong forces in all the wrong places for a lot of riders. Standups, too (especially if you're a male). Inverteds can pack quite a punch, deliver some solid G's, and offer a host of (albeit overused) elements which, combined in the correct order and at the right speed, offer unparalleled rides (see MONTU, RAPTOR, NEMESIS, and maybe ALPENGEIST, although I'm not a huge fan).

Just my thoughts, of course.

By the way, as you use it, it should say "FLAVORS of the MONTH." You could say FLAVOR of the MONTHS or FLAVORS of the MONTHS but I think it is a bit confusing. But don't bother to edit it. It's more fun to watch people make themselves feel better by correcting your grammar.

Have a pleasant evening!

"That's DOCTOR Evil. I didn't spend six years in evil medical school to be called 'Mr. Thank You Very Much.'"

Sunday, July 13, 2003 5:50 PM
I think the key factor is that the inverted coaster was SO different when it came out. Flyers are a take on the invert, standups and floorlesses are variants of the "normal" looper. One could argue that the invert was a take on the suspended, but it was a MAJOR evolution. The result was something that resulted in tons of installations, and a few new ones even today.

As for "flavor of the month", I agree -- when was the last new stand-up installation? The simple answer for "why no new standups" is, of course, "parks aren't ordering them", but why is that? It's not like every park out there has a stand-up. Why the lack of interest? Because something else came along (several something's, actually).

As for the flyers, they're interesting, but again, there IS a bit of a gimmick in there.

Not that any of this is a bad thing, of course. New ideas are welcome. If they take, as the inverts, that's great.

--Greg, aka Oat Boy
My page
"Another visitor. Stay a while. Stay FOREVER!"

Sunday, July 13, 2003 5:58 PM

True, GregLeg, but a lot of 'new concepts' over the years could be considered "SO different." I don't think you can chalk up inverteds' popularity solely to this. B&M Dive Machines, suspended coasters, and even the Intamin bobsled-type coasters were all considered mechanical wonders in their day, and relatively few exist today (you can make an argument against that but I think it's generally true). I don't think an inverted is any more of a 'mutation' of coaster nature than a standup is of a traditional looper.

1999 isn't that long ago. I think standups have life in them still, and I am a huge fan of any standup that offers some airtime as opposed to simply positive G's (i.e., Riddlers).
"That's DOCTOR Evil. I didn't spend six years in evil medical school to be called 'Mr. Thank You Very Much.'"

Sunday, July 13, 2003 6:02 PM
just a guess, mind you, but I like the feeling of freedom from the inverts....stand-ups and flyers are fun too, but nothing else gives the free feeling of an invert...for me at least...:)
It seems today, that all you see, are violins in movies, and sax on TV....
Sunday, July 13, 2003 6:04 PM
I agree. Yeeeeeeeeee haw!
"That's DOCTOR Evil. I didn't spend six years in evil medical school to be called 'Mr. Thank You Very Much.'"
Sunday, July 13, 2003 6:06 PM
I will agree with the fun and comfort factors mentioned above. I think that cost may have been a factor as well, since many inverteds are less expensive than hypers (for example). Particularly when they were as heavily cloned as B:TR and the Vekoma SLCs. People may be less intimidated by inverteds than by other types to some extent since they don't have a chance to be scared about an upcoming element because they can't really see it coming (except for front row riders of course).

Regarding flyers, they're so new that I don't think they've had a chance to burn out just yet - they may still catch on.

Sunday, July 13, 2003 6:12 PM
I don't particularly associate inverted coasters with relative cost effectiveness (unless you are going to build a Vekoma clone of course like you mentioned). I can imagine they might be cheaper than a hyper, but I think it really depends on the design on the table. And besides, not many parks have probably asked the question "hyper or inverted next year?" since the early-ish nineties when many started to spring up.

"That's DOCTOR Evil. I didn't spend six years in evil medical school to be called 'Mr. Thank You Very Much.'"

Sunday, July 13, 2003 6:52 PM
For stand-ups you really have a smaller amount of elements to choose from. (looking from what has been built) There are no multi-inverting elements like cobra rolls or boomerangs. The inversions have been limited to verticle loops, oblique loops, diving loops and corkscrews. I also think, my opinion, that a Stand-up would need to be above a certain height to be thrilling. Don't the big three stand-ups, Mantis, Chang and Riddler start out with a verticle loop, diving loop and carousel?

Inverts really are the opposite, very exciting no matter how tall, and many different elements and layouts have been built.

I would also add the inverted impulse as being a "flavor of the month".

Sunday, July 13, 2003 6:57 PM
It's funny that you should mention the inverter being an extension of the suspended coaster. Steph and I were talking about that (though she'd never admit it ;)) in line for Top Gun, remarking how it was kind of a bummer that Arrow never had another chance after finally getting it right.

People (not enthusiasts) like loops for some reason, and the inverter took the neat sensation one step further by offering the precise control to make the train do anything. Batman was a hit, Raptor turned it up a notch, and now we have great rides like Talon (and to a lesser degree, Alpengeist).

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
DELETED! What time does the water show start?

Sunday, July 13, 2003 7:37 PM
Personally I think that Arrow "got it right" in 1988 with Ninja. It's just too bad that once they surpassed "got it right" and achieved "woah" in 1993 with Top Gun the things kinda fizzled out.

It's nice to know, though, that S&S/Arrow still has the ability to fabricate at least the fiberglass bodies for their wonderful contraption!

Anyway, I don't really consider the inverted to be a direct decendant of the suspended at all. Distant cousins, maybe, but they're to different to be so similar. The only thing they really have in common is the relationship of the train to the track.

If the only suspended you've ever ridden is Iron Dragon you will not understand the rest of this post...

Suspendeds (GOOD suspendeds, not pieces of crap like Iron Dragon) are all about the sensation of flight. The good suspended coasters pull some killer Gs in their swooping, yet abrupt, changes in direction. They feel much more out of control than the invert, which I think if your average Joe coaster rider would realize would lead to some more being built.

The invert, however is all about control. They control exactly what you do and when, almost mechanically. The abrupt directional changes on inverts are not swooping as they are on the suspended- they are more rigid. Inverts are very structured in nature- nothing is left to "chance."

I don't really see why everyone thinks they are so similar in concept. It's not like you just change the trains and get a new coaster (standup/sitdown/floorless and invert/flyer). The suspended is totally different than the invert conceptually.

- John
I snap flyers.
*** This post was edited by Michael Darling 7/13/2003 11:48:01 PM ***

Sunday, July 13, 2003 8:13 PM
There's no question that B&M fell uphill with their inverts. Everybody seems to like them, enthusiast or not. I think they will do the same with their flyers, just wait until some start popping up with original layouts. The restraint system on them are very similar to the invert's, so they should be as widely accepted.


Sunday, July 13, 2003 8:38 PM
Hey, can I take some of the credit for coining the "flavor of the month" thing? I'm sure I was among the first pointing out the sudden lack of popularity of the stand-up and comparing it to the flyer. :)

Oh come on - you got to give me something there. Don't make me find the threads ;)

Why did inverteds catch on? Because they're good rides that provide a substantially different experience without being "too different" - if that makes any sense.

Stand-ups are very gimmicky in that the layouts are mostly tamed down versions of sitdown layouts. OK, I stood, I get it - where's the good rides?

The flyers are like standups to the Nth degree. They take the layout and tame it even further. Ok, I stuck my butt in the air, that was cute - where are the good rides?

The inverted design just tweaked the formula enough to work. The layouts are every bit as great as their sitdown counterparts and the ride experience isn't too far from the regular sitdown steelies. Good is good.

It's the same reason woodies thrive today - good is good. It's also why some of the biggest wooden coasters are among the least popular. It was good, but someone had to try to mess with the formula and got it all wrong. The only way to push the wooden design was bigger (and that loop thing), but there wasn't any reason to do it except marketing. Give me a good ride, not one you can sell.

Here's where you may question the floorless design. Yes they use the gimmick to "sell" the ride, but face it, it's just a sitdown looper. Think of it as having redesigned trains because that's all they really are. There's no difference in the ride due to the floorless nature of said trains. Slap some standard B&M sitdown trains on a floorless and it's be the same ride. The same can't be said for the stand-ups and the flyers. However it *could* be said for the inverteds. (assuming you flipped the track, blah blah blah - you know what I mean)

Inverteds stuck, because they were still good rides that just twisted the norm enough to provide a different experience.

On an unrelated note:

It's too early to make the call on the 4D design. With X as the only example, I'm personally on the fence. The next few (if more ever do get made) will determine the future that design has. X feels familiar enough while pushing the boundaries just far enough to be "unique" without feeling "gimmicky". The next few to pop up will determine which way the ball bounces.

Dorney Park Visits in 2003: 13

Sunday, July 13, 2003 8:41 PM
Well, if you slapped standup-inverted trains on an inverted, then it'd be a different ride ;)


Sunday, July 13, 2003 9:22 PM
I'm going to suggest that riding in the inverted position is how looping coasters were meant to be experienced all along - that there's something inherently more exciting about being turned upside down while hanging from the tracks, rather than riding on top of them. It could be the truer sensation of flight, the body's greater exposure to the air, or the visual effects of generally not being able to see where you're going next, and seeing only sky beneath your feet while you're inverting.

I think with the introduction of B&M inverts, the function of inverting roller coaster riders finally met its most perfect form. I don't feel that stand-up coasters ever found the function to match their form - they're essentially sit-down loopers with fewer elements. But imagine a stand-up ride with a hypercoaster's layout - something based on airtime and speed, rather than inversions?

Sit-down loopers were novel for their time, but so many seemed to exist entirely as a set-up for the inversion. Strangely enough, both the early Arrow loopers (corkscrew or corkscrew + loop) and later loopers (Shockwave, GASM, Viper) exhibited this tendency, while intermediate loopers (Loch Ness Monster, Orient Express, Vortex) seemed to have more of a ride beyond just the inversions. I would go as far as to say that sit-down loopers, floorless included, are obsolete in the age of inverted coasters.

Then again, I could just be sleep-deprived.

Come on fhqwhgads!

Sunday, July 13, 2003 9:23 PM
Why are inverts this popular after 10+ years in existance, simple: THEY ARE FUN! Ive really not met a person who doesnt like them, stand ups are too painful for half the population of this eart so thats why they are gone. As for flyers, you cant really "improve" too much on them do to gs but hey whose to say someone doesnt figure it out.

Folks, I may be blasted for saying this but here it goes. The 90s was an unpresidented time of coaster inovation, I dont think we will be seeing very much "new" coaster types for a while. Look for 4-Ds and Thrust Airs to improve on their designs, as well as inverts to stick around and somehow get better (I dont know how).

Summer 03-CP, HP, SFDL, SFNE, SFWOA, and SFGAm.

Sunday, July 13, 2003 9:34 PM
I think another reason they cought on is how great the first one was. That was the 1st coaster @ SFGAm to not have a mid-course break (not counting Tidal Wave). You really fealt the essence of speed because of that.

Another note is the absence of flooring. I remember my first ride (and even now) when the floor drops and practically the whole trains starts waving they un-restriced legs around.

Monday, July 14, 2003 3:37 AM
I have to disagree with the seemingly common feeling that floorless coasters aren't as good ad inverteds. I think i like floorless better because you really have nothing around you it's all where you can't see it thus adding to the view and feeling of just being on the verge of going out of control.

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