Standard Vekoma Boomerangs: Vekoma Trains and Aarow Trains
This weekend I went to Trimper Rides in OC MD and got two rides on Trimper's Tidal Wave, a Vekoma Boomerang, one ride Saturday, one Sunday.
On Sunday, I noticed that the coaster had Arrow trains. Is there a difference in ride experience between the Arrow trains and the Vekoma trains?
I looked up on RCDB and saw that Sidewinder at Hershey had Vekoma trains.
To be honest I wasn't riding for the sake of writing a trip report. I was riding my first coaster in nine months and enjoying it.
Saturday night I rode solo. Sunday night I rode with my 56 year old Dad. He hasn't been on a coaster in a few years.
But is there much of a difference in the ride between the two?
Yes. The Sea Serpent at Morey's Piers ran an Arrow train for it's first 15 or so years of operation. I prefered it to the newer Vekoma train. I felt it ran faster - it may have been heavier.
The only reason I say that is because on the return run, the train used to completely clear the station brakes, which allowed you a nice little drop back into the station at the end of the ride. The new ones, not so much.
I believe the Geauga Lake Head Spin also ran an Arrow train. But I'm not sure. It runs the newest of Vekoma looping trains now, in its new Carowinds home.
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.94 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.56 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28%
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I've never ridden a Boomerang that ran Arrow trains (the only Boomerang I've ever ridden is Sidewinder at Hersheypark), but given that the Arrow restraints' shoulder bars are much closer to your neck and they don't have the flexible chest piece that the new Vekoma restraints do, the Vekoma trains are probably much smoother than the Arrow ones. I'm pretty shocked that more parks haven't been replacing their old Arrow trains with the new Vekoma style based on rider reviews of how much smoother the ride was once the train was replaced.
My home park has always been SFA. Been going to Wild World in the 80's, Adventure World in the 90's, and honestly been there hundreds of times in my life time. I don't hate SFA, don't understand the hate for SFA, when I have a good experience I say good things, when I have a bad experience, I'm harsh. I love the park. It's been some great years looking at the timeline of additions.
In 1993, one half of SFGAdv's Lightning Loops was relocated to Adventure World. You had to climb flights of stairs.
The ride itself was intense for what it was. The "launch" forward, down that insane airtime hill, through a loop up an insane airtime hill. And then you had to walk back down the steps... They allowed re-rides, never had more than a two cycle line... the steps were just too much for people in Maryland's 95 degree 100% humidity days.
After many trips up and down those steps, I learned the best way to ride that Arrow train was to leave enough slack in the OTSR because the ride itself is going to staple you.
If you know how to avoid the neck chopping on an Arrow train, you're doing all right.