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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Preferred helix direction and random helix thoughts

Preferred helix direction and random helix thoughts

Streaker Streaker Profile

Posted:
12/26/11 at
6:04:20 PM

The other day I was thinking about the coaster helices and came up with a few random thoughts such as...
-Do most coaster helices travel clockwise (turning right) or counter clockwise (turning left)?
-Do riders prefer clockwise or counterclockwise or does the direction of travel even matter?
-How many coaster helices are ascending versus descending?
-Do riders prefer ascending or descending helices?
-Is a highly banked helix better than a flat (little to no banking) helix?

Ok, so I doubt if there are any actual stats to answer these questions, but it got me to thinking about the helices that I like and dislike. In no particular order here are some random opinions of helices.

I personally prefer clockwise helices (Ghost Rider, Goliath, Boss, Nitro, wild One, Steel Force, Raptor).
I personally prefer a highly banked helix over a flat helix.
Generally I prefer a descending helix, but Nitro and Titan have two of the best ascending helices I've ridden.
Superman (SFFT) has a noteworthy single helix atop the quarry cliff.
Rattler gets the award for worst helix.
Nessie gets the award for best "surprise" helix.

Just some of my random thoughts on helices.....would love to hear your thoughts.
-Streaker-

Re: Preferred helix direction and random helix thoughts by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 12/26/11 7:18:17 PM

Good stuff Streaker! I love threads like this. Ascending helices are good for positive-G's like on Backlot Stunt Coaster and the descending ones are good for momentum, and speed. SOB's 'rose bowl' ascends & descends; It's definitely not your ordinary helix. A descending helix feels kinda commonplace to me, and they are not too many good positive-G ascending helices, so I'll go with the ascending ones for my favorite.

Clockwise, or counterclockwise, I have no preference, both are fine with me; I could be wrong, but it seems like they are more clockwise helices than counterclockwise ones.

I always thought that all helices were banked; Which coaster has an unbanked helix? Outside of maybe the ill-fated Bat at KI, I can't think of any LOL. So that would basically be a flat turn going 360 degrees, I never saw that before; Talk about lats! If they are any flat helices, they're not many, and those coasters are most likely very old.

* This Post Has Been Modified *

Re: Preferred helix direction and random helix thoughts by alpengeistno3 at 12/26/11 8:12:13 PM

Best helices that come to mind for me (no particular order):

Goliath SFOG - lots of positive G's pulling out the bottom

Loch Ness Monster - why don't more parks have enclosed helices?

Nitro - probably most forceful on a B&M not named Batman

Great Bear - Great start to an inverted rather than the usual curving drop

Does I-305's 270* turn count as a helix? If so, it speaks for itself.

I'm curious. What coaster has the longest continuous helix? Loch Ness is 2 3/4 rotations for 1020*. Does any coaster have longer?

Paul

Re: Preferred helix direction and random helix thoughts by alpengeistno3 at 12/26/11 8:14:01 PM

> I always thought that all helices were banked; Which
> coaster has an unbanked helix? Outside of maybe the
> ill-fated Bat at KI, I can't think of any LOL. So that
> would basically be a flat turn going 360 degrees, I never
> saw that before; Talk about lats! If they are any flat
> helices, they're not many, and those coasters are most
> likely very old.

I think the Wild One's helix could be classified as "flat". There is very little if any banking to it.

Paul

Re: Preferred helix direction and random helix thoughts by Link Link Profile at 12/26/11 8:14:42 PM

Best helix I've experienced was King Cobra. Very strong and forceful.....ridiculously so. I love how banked that particular helix is. It almost feels like you are laying on your side 90 degrees.

Also Raptor.....it gets so crazy right before you enter the loading station.

If I'm not mistaken, both were/are ascending helices.

* This Post Has Been Modified *

Re: Preferred helix direction and random helix thoughts by Geauga_Dog Geauga_Dog Profile at 12/26/11 8:46:17 PM

The only helix I somewhat dislike is KI's Vortex. It's radius is rather tight and a bit forceful for the speed going through it.

My favorites are (that come to mind):

The Beast. The energy when you first enter after that long 141-foot drop is just crazy, especially when its fully warmed up and at night.

The Legend. It's been a while since I've ridden it and IIRC it's not a usual helix but has up and down moments while going through it.

Goliath at SFOG (if it counts). The turnaround helix starts out tight at first and then unwinds itself as it descends. Definitely a stand out part of the ride.

G-Dog

Re: Preferred helix direction and random helix thoughts by gvlaker27 gvlaker27 Profile at 12/27/11 1:24:55 AM

The one that's left the biggest impression on me is Shivering Timbers on a nice hot day, descending, and counterclockwise. You really get dragged and bounced through it in the back seat and it offers some great lateral Gs.

Other than that, Raptor of course, because of its intensity, and also KI's Vortex. That's the only coaster I've ever blacked out on when I was much younger on the helix, and it's stuck with me ever since, although I haven't experienced any gray/black outs in years on it.

Gemini would be a good comparison for clockwise vs. counterclockwise helices, considering all other factors are held constant (speed, ascending, location). It's fairly intense, and is definitely a ton of fun!

Re: Preferred helix direction and random helix thoughts by KHTOExtreme at 12/27/11 12:06:25 PM

As mentioned in above. Raptor at Cedar Point come to mind. As it enters the ascending helix fast and shots you out fast. It is the only helix that I really feel the forces of the "g"'s on you. But I it is awesome and crazy.

Re: Preferred helix direction and random helix thoughts by alpengeistno3 at 12/27/11 12:54:26 PM

> Best helix I've experienced was King Cobra. Very strong and
> forceful.....ridiculously so. I love how banked that
> particular helix is. It almost feels like you are laying on
> your side 90 degrees.

> Also Raptor.....it gets so crazy right before you enter the
> loading station.

> If I'm not mistaken, both were/are ascending helices.
> * This Post Has Been Modified *

I have to agree about both (if KC is/was identical to Shockwave at KD as I never got a chance to ride it.) Unfortunately, I think you messed up the direction for both. KC's was descending. I'm looking for Raptor because I could have sworn it was descending as well...I guess it depends which you are talking about. The one into the block brake is an ascending helix, but the one into the final brake run is descending.

Paul

Re: Preferred helix direction and random helix thoughts by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 12/27/11 1:20:18 PM

> I think the Wild One's helix could be classified as
> "flat". There is very little if any banking to
> it.

> Paul

I saw the POV. I wouldn't classify Wild One's helix as flat; It is lightly banked, but the thing is, if it has any banking, it's not truly 'flat', damn near though. However it does have two true flat turns that 'sandwich' the helix, a pretty unique stretch of track; A high clockwise flatturn that gradually descends into the lightly banked helix, then finishes off into fast flat turn towards the brake run.

Re: Preferred helix direction and random helix thoughts by alpengeistno3 at 12/27/11 2:39:24 PM

> I think the Wild One's helix could be classified as
> "flat". There is very little if any banking to
> it.

> Paul

> I saw the POV. I wouldn't classify Wild One's helix as
> flat; It is lightly banked, but the thing is, if it has any
> banking, it's not truly 'flat', damn near though. However
> it does have two true flat turns that 'sandwich' the helix,
> a pretty unique stretch of track; A high clockwise flatturn
> that gradually descends into the lightly banked helix, then
> finishes off into fast flat turn towards the brake run.
>

If you ride it, you will not feel any banking. You ride the outside of the car the whole way around like a musik express.

Paul

Re: Preferred helix direction and random helix thoughts by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 12/29/11 1:49:05 AM

> Loch Ness Monster - why don't more parks have enclosed
> helices?

You're preaching to the choir.

> Does I-305's 270* turn count as a helix? If so, it speaks
> for itself.

No, a helix has to go 360 degrees; Sorry I-305. ;)

Re: Preferred helix direction and random helix thoughts by mugen828 mugen828 Profile at 12/29/11 2:01:55 AM

Not sure if it counts, but Talon has a sick banked turn near the ground that is my favorite part of the ride. I love Talon (dorney park) and it's a pretty forceful ride!

Other than that I love the helices of Nitro and Shivering Timbers. I only rode ST once but the helices were absolutely insane! Now that I think about it, the Wildcat at Hershey has nice ones too!

Nice thread :)

- mugen828

Re: Preferred helix direction and random helix thoughts by alpengeistno3 at 12/29/11 2:55:40 PM

> Loch Ness Monster - why don't more parks have enclosed
> helices?

> You're preaching to the choir.

Chris,
My recent trip to Florida has made a convert out of me. All coasters need "good" tunnels :)

Paul

Re: Preferred helix direction and random helix thoughts by frontrow frontrow Profile at 12/30/11 4:29:23 PM

The Beast has the best helix of any wooden coaster. The tunnel really adds to the ride experience.
Titan has the best helix. I grayed out every time. The positive g's are just amazing.
Like some of you mentioned Nitro, Raptor and Shivering Timbers have a great helix also.
2 coasters that I haven't seen mentioned are Twister at Knoebels and Raging Bull. Both are really impressive.

Re: Preferred helix direction and random helix thoughts by frontrow frontrow Profile at 12/30/11 6:43:34 PM

> Not sure if it counts, but Talon has a sick banked turn
> near the ground that is my favorite part of the ride. I
> love Talon (dorney park) and it's a pretty forceful ride!

I thought of Talon also. Out of the 15 B&M inverts I've ridden, Talon is my 3rd favorite. Montu and Raptor are the only 2 I like better. The whole ride is forceful and the elements are brilliantly placed. You actually get air time on Talon. I know that low to ground turn isn't a helix, but it sure feels like one.

Re: Preferred helix direction and random helix thoughts by MarathonRunner MarathonRunner Profile at 1/30/12 4:36:22 PM

Just to chime on for SFA's great helicies:

1. Superman:RoS has a downward helix on the turnaround and an upward helix comming back. This really flows well with the ride as you are going downward and clockwise while you are "speeding up" and upward and counterclockwise as you are "slowing down." Supe's helicies are fast, smooth, and fantastic.

2. Batwing - you are facedown and you almost feel as if you can touch the ground - another great helix.

3. Wild One. Several of you have discussed this one already. Maybe it isn't totally flat, but it feels that way. Even though it is slightly braked, you still feel like the coaster will fly off the track - INCREADIBLE laterals.

I really love those helicies. However, my alltime favorite helix will probably always be The Beast at King's Island. That helix is one adventure, for sure.

MarathonRunner