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What's wrong with the Boomerangs!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:24 am
by FireRat
Hi.
I'm from Chile, and so far we only have 1 major amusement park called Fantasilandia (or Fantasyland). Its major roller coasters are: Vekoma's Boomerang, Vekoma's Mine Train, and a Vekoma SLC called Raptor (nothing to do with B&M :P)

In other words, I've only took Vekoma rides, which to what I seen so far doesn't have the best reviews...
But, it means I don't know any better yet!! This is what I think of all three:

Mine Train is meh, not good, not bad. Boring.

Raptor is horripilant, VERY unpleasant, and by the time I went, the train had the "shoulder harness" (hoping it's proper engrish here), and the first drop gave me sparkles to the vision, which I suposse is a super bad signal for mental health. It gave me motion sickness and never tried it again.

The boomerang though... it was super cool IMO, and I have nothing to complain about!. It's the third roller coaster I took in my life, and even if short, feels like a huge improvement over the previous two, although if I remember correctly it valley'd back in 2015 at the cobra loop.

Other than boomerang is prone to valley, and the fact it's so common almost everyone seen one of them at least once, I don't know why many people around internet seem to really hate it. Does it have any fatal flaw I haven't yet encountered, or is it unfairly underrated? =(
I even find it conceptually creative =/

Re: What's wrong with the Boomerangs!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:53 am
by Mike240SX
They are generally very rough, have jarring transitions through the cobra roll (the double-inversion where the train changes direction) causing severe head-banging when equipped with the traditional Vekoma/Arrow trains, are over quite quickly, and there are dozens of them in the US so they get kinda old.

Part of the problem is that most of the world has coasters from other manufacturers to compare to...B&M, Intimin, RMC, GCI, etc, and by comparison most Vekoma coasters have the above described problems while the other coasters do not.

I too think that Boomerangs tend to get a bad rap, but it is mostly deserved. Aside from ones that get maintained by unnatural spirits and have maintained their smoothness (the one at Morey's Piers, for example) or ones that have the newer vest restraint trains, most are unbearable pain machines.

Looking at Fantasilandia's website, it looks like your Boomerang does have those new-style vest restraints on the trains, so yeah, it's totally reasonable to enjoy it.

Re: What's wrong with the Boomerangs!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:50 am
by fraroc
Boomerangs with the hard horsecollars found on the Arrow trains or 90s-00s Vekoma trains tend to a bit rougher and painful to ride as compared to Boomerangs with the modern vest restraints.

And again, it also depends on the coaster itself, in my experience, Hershey's Sidwewinder has always been a little bit more on the smoother side even when it had the old Arrow train.

Re: What's wrong with the Boomerangs!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:08 am
by JT325
The corkscrew to loop transition is too harsh and was never redesigned. Similar to how the entrances to corkscrews on Arrow coasters snap so hard; I could never figure out why they didn't redesign that. It's really not rocket science (ironically, Ron Toomer of Arrow had a degree in Aerospace Engineering I believe.)

Even as a young teenage coaster nerd in the 80s, I wondered why anyone didn't take Mr. Toomer aside and explain "our corkscrew entrance kinda HURTS, maybe we can widen those radii a bit?" or something to the like. Ron Toomer had motion sickness and didn't ride his rides, but why didn't anyone tell him? Same with Vekoma (who worked with Arrow for while). It's clearly visibly a poor transition, especially with horse collars.

Re: What's wrong with the Boomerangs!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:15 am
by PKI Jizzman
To me they are a waste of my time. I'd rather ride any other thrilling coaster at the park I'm visiting. Consider traveling to try a different theme park with different coasters if you can.

I won't ever need to ride one again after I tried one with the vests, and it was still not good.

Re: What's wrong with the Boomerangs!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:12 pm
by A.J.
fraroc wrote:Boomerangs with the hard horsecollars found on the Arrow trains or 90s-00s Vekoma trains...

The original Arrow / Vekoma harnesses are not designed for human beings.

JT325 wrote:Even as a young teenage coaster nerd in the 80s, I wondered why anyone didn't take Mr. Toomer aside and explain "our corkscrew entrance kinda HURTS, maybe we can widen those radii a bit?"

Funny story, Arrow appeared to have fixed the transition on one of its last custom looping coasters, the Roller Coaster at Al-Sha'ab in Kuwait. Obviously Arrow went bankrupt so we never got to see what the traditional corkscrew / loop-and-corkscrew layout would have felt like had it been designed the same way as, say, Tennessee Tornado.

Re: What's wrong with the Boomerangs!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:50 pm
by thrillseeker4552
I will admit that I enjoy Boomerangs more now than I did when I first rode the one at Knott's 10+ years ago. You have to be the perfect height for those Arrow restraints to be not-painful (I don't want to say comfortable lol). If you're too short, you bang your head like crazy. Too tall and they uncomfortably press on your shoulders.

Flying Cobras at Carowinds is (by far) my favorite Boomerang. The one at Hershey was pretty good too. After that, all the ones I've ridden feel identical.

Re: What's wrong with the Boomerangs!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:06 pm
by bill_s
Mike240SX wrote:Part of the problem is that most of the world has coasters from other manufacturers to compare to...B&M, Intimin, RMC, GCI, etc, and by comparison most Vekoma coasters have the above described problems while the other coasters do not.

People have been complaining about them since before GCI or RMC existed, so those don't count. Intamin and B&M definitely have made rides as bad (at least after getting some age on them) but they didn't go and make a bunch of identical copies of those rides. I wouldn't call anything Vekoma did worse than most Arrows either, but except for the Corkscrews, which way predated Vekoma, they didn't duplicate those either.

I think it's more that people like to complain, or make fun of things, and others bought into the outrageous claims. It's pretty disgusting. Some of the old coasters could hurt you if you let them get you, which might be a valid reason to hate them, except every coaster that did that to me I came back to and rode many more times. Some of those who are big name enthusiasts of course do have reason to skip lesser rides, because they just go on to another park of their coaster tour, but normal people don't have that luxury, if that's really even a better thing than enjoying what is there best you can.

Re: What's wrong with the Boomerangs!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:14 pm
by Haymaker
Its not like Vekoma doesnt have good coasters, its just that clones are never highly regarded. The last time I rode a Boomerang was actually tolerable, by keeping my head off the seat back.

Re: What's wrong with the Boomerangs!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:26 pm
by Bamwa
I gave the one at Fiesta a chance after a long time of skipping them but it was a great time. I also like the inverted one at Kings Island. No hate here.