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Vekoma cleaning up their act?


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Poll: Do you think that Vekoma is cleaning up their act?

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Do you think that Vekoma is cleaning up their act?

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#1 Shadowblur93

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 10:33 AM

In the past, Netherlands-based company Vekoma has not had the best reputation among roller coaster enthusiasts for creating the most enjoyable rides. However, it seems that over the past few years with the redesigning of their sit-down and inverted trains, the introduction of interesting new coaster and flatrides and the commissioning of Vekoma to build more and more ambitious projects such as Rock n' Roller Coaster and Expdition Everest, sometime in the near future we could see Vekoma, one of the most hated roller coaster companies of all time, pull off something REALLY cool.

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#2 Jness3

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 12:54 PM

Well, I just really like their improvement of the restraints on the Boomerangs and SLC's. If only every park could replace the restraints with the new ones though. I would really enjoy the SLC if it was smoother, I mean come on, who wouldn't?Posted Image
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#3 Shadowblur93

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 01:43 PM

^Go to MiA, ride Thunderhawk. Smoother than Raptor and Batman the Ride!

Edited by Shadowblur93, 16 January 2010 - 01:44 PM.

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#4 drachenfirebgw

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 07:28 PM

The Thunderhawk was completely refurbished between the time it left Geauga Lake (where it originally opened in 1998), therefore it has an excess to ride smoother than most SLC's now. I personally don't think Vekoma's act was ever in question.

I know we all joke on them, including myself, but their only real issue was the fact that their ride's has aged horribly. When Vekoma was building MK-1200's and Boomerangs, they were "in", and were at the time considered very good rides. Boomerangs were revolutionary, and began the modern age of non-traveling ride cloning. So many were built because they were compact, thrilling, cheap, and good rides (compared to the competition they faced when they were built in the 1980's and early 1990's).

The SLC countered B&M Inverted roller coaster, and had success for a while, (of course they weren't as good as the B&M's but they pleased park guests and were, more compact and affordable. The only time I'd question Vekoma's management was in the late 1990's and early 21st century. They began cloning everything to the point where they were shelling out clones so cheap they went bankrupt.

They have since been quite innovative in there design tactics mixing clones with a number of customized projects, (like they did before 1998-2001. They reached into the past and modernized their mine train design as well as their suspended coaster design, they finally branched out with their SLC concept, and they have also introduced the motorbike coaster.

As you mentioned before, the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Expedition Everest, and the 'new' Space Mountain at Disneyland, have been the big ticket custom projects. And in this economy and with the state the industry is in, all companies have to step up their game. Vekoma's new two-wide and four-wide trains will allow them to successfully recreate the past and build new, traditional sit-down and looping roller coasters that don't use the trains of 1990's.

So yes, the more I type the more I convince myself they are stepping up their game. However, everyone is having to in one way or another, and Vekoma's management group is doing a good job of stepping up at least so far. And a quick note, Vekoma has also introduced their own 'splash party' or Roller Soaker style ride and their own spinning roller coaster, however, have yet to sell a model yet. Their new flying coaster trains have worked well on their Sting Ray models.

And a last thought, I consider most flying coaster gimmick roller coasters. The only two I'd put above that generalization are Manta, Tatsu, and maybe these Sting Ray models. So their initial failure with the Flying Dutchman attractions isn't really their fault. The initial concept of a flying coaster was, (but hey, Vekoma came up with that too).

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#5 at5626

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 08:41 PM

You have to give credit to Vekoma for making some new designs and all.

Carolina Cobra is a apparently much better than its former self at Geauga Lake.

The new trains made it a lot smoother and probably one of the best "normal" boomerangs out there.

The stingray model looks pretty interesting-

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#6 Kevin Dice

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 09:20 PM

The stingray looks cool, but It doesn't look very high capacity. There are two trains on that...right?

Edited by X-Car, 01 February 2010 - 05:35 PM.

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#7 The BeastFan

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 11:42 PM

I think the Battlestar Galactica project at USS is definately a sign they're going in the right direction. Without looking at the track , you'd think it was a B&M by the train design. I think they are starting to gather what the more successful companies like Intamin and B&M do to stay great and implimenting it on some of their new rides. Granted, most parks may not be able to afford one side of BG, even minus the eventual theming and what not, but if they could take those design techniques and add them to their existing best sellers, they might be a good company. I've also been one to suggest they do different things based on the Boomerang design buy just adding different elements inbetween the lifts.

#8 Vater

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 11:51 PM

The stingray looks cool, but It doesn't look very high capacity. There are two trains on the right?

I'm not seeing a second train.
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#9 greatbearrush

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 01:55 PM

The only reason I didn't put that they definitely are moving in the right direction is because, in the past they have created coasters and ride designs that seemed wonderful and affordable, until they aged. If the new ones follow the same trend, then I don't believe they've stepped up at all. B&M and Intamin for the most part, know how to build lasting coasters. Vekoma is still in the experiment stage, after going back to the drawing board. But I believe in 5-10 years we will know if their rides can compare to that of Intamin and B&M's.
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#10 steel-Rock

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 07:56 AM

Vekoma may be hated but not by me; hate is such a strong word.
Boomerangs - not very comforable; my least favorite design by them. The inverted giant ones are great (Deja Vu at SFOG) and the inverted face to face are pretty good (Invertigo at KI). Sidewinder at Hershey is the best normal one, but the others are only so so.
SLC's - more rough than a B&M invert and quite a bit shorter too. Improvements of the restraints and the trains should help some. They don't stink. Even T2 is ok, but Hangman at WA is the best so far.
Multi Loops - Ninja at SFOG hurts like crazy (OTSR's), but other than that, no comment.
Flyers - B&M's are better, but theirs are ok. Batwing seems to have more flying on your stomach time. Restraints could be more comfortable.
Everest and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster - fair rides with great theming. One has a track that changes; cool. RNRC needs to have more comfortable restraints and be a bit longer of a ride. Both are still this company's best rides (so far).


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#11 at5626

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 10:51 AM

rock n roller coaster's restraints are over the head restraints. Don't FOF models only have lap bars? I remember KI's FOF only having a lap bar. I think RNRC's restraints could be redesigned similar to FOF's. I know the two are from different companies, but you get my point.



#12 steel-Rock

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 07:50 PM

The problem most people have with Vekoma is unnecessary roughness. Of course, trains and track are the villains. I don't like their restraints 80% of time.

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#13 DBru

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 01:37 AM

Slightly ahead of Mack, I personally believe Vekoma is making much larger (and better) advancements in their rides/technology than any other company in the industry.

Each year we are seeing more and more improvements in their rides, whether it be newly built attractions or simply upgrading older coasters. This began in 2006, with Vekoma's design of Expedition Everest, their first creation (excluding their suspended models) to utilize a track system in which the wheels run on the outside of the rails. Advances continued to appear in 2007, when Jimmy Neutron's Atomic Flyer debuted at Movie Park Germany, with a new two-seater train design. In 2008, Gardaland's Magic Mountain (a standard double-loop & corkscrew) replaced its Arrow train chassis for new chassis from Vekoma. The next year, they replaced the trains' bodies with those from Vekoma, which included the new vest-style restraint system that has now become standard for their looping coasters.

Now, opening to the public very soon, Vekoma has introduced to us Battlestar Galactica. This, I feel, will truly be the company's biggest step (forward) yet. This coaster shows us many new things that Vekoma is now capable of. Along with a brand new track system (which is very comparable to S&S FreeFly track) comes LSM-launched lift hills, 4-across trains complete with a form of spring-loaded wheels, magnetic brakes, and much more. I see all of these as major elements that show just how considerably Vekoma is coming around.

My only current concern is the status of their first Stingray model. It was completely constructed early last year, and I even remember seeing pictures of it testing...but, it has yet to open to the public. The park opened its gates when it was expected to...but the coaster did not. I'm not sure what is wrong with it, or if anything is at all, but there must be some reason as to why it's not operating. Hopefully, it isn't the fault of Vekoma.
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#14 Silver Swordsman

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 10:05 PM

I still hate Vekoma for the double corkscrew on Nighthawk--that gave me bruises. But hey, if even Jean Valjean could change, can Vekoma not?
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#15 Vater

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 08:48 PM

This began in 2006, with Vekoma's design of Expedition Everest, their first creation (excluding their suspended models) to utilize a track system in which the wheels run on the outside of the rails.

Vekoma has utilized outside guide wheels since long before 2006, and not just on their suspended coasters.
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#16 LeoRoy1902

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 05:57 PM

I can't say they aren't trying. They took a blow to their reputation for sure with that Deja Vu failure, among several others.

And from what I've heard, a few of those Deja Vu coasters have been relocated elsewhere. Where to, though?
I didn't want an empty space, so now you have to look at a message about how I didn't want an empty space, so now you have to...

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#17 drachenfirebgw

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 06:20 PM

The Giant Inverted Boomerangs (the Déjà Vu's) were built before the company went bankrupt and pulled themselves off the floor back in 2001. We've just all noticed a change in the company's philosophy and technology from about 2006 on, hence this topic. I actually think that was one of their better concepts during the late 1990's/early 2000's, but was just poorly executed.

Four Giant Inverted Boomerangs were built, (all in either 2001 or 2002), and two still remain in their original locations, Déjà Vu at SFMM and Stunt Fall at Parque Warner Madrid. The Déjà Vu at SFGAm is now Aftershock at Silverwood Theme Park in Idaho, and SFOG's Déjà Vu is being relocated to Mirabilandia in Brazil.

That and welcome to COASTER-net, and some good points to the conversation.

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#18 steel-Rock

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 08:51 PM

I loved the Déjà Vu at SFOG, but it was down a lot. Not to that extent, but even Everest and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster do have a great deal of time that they are closed. The Vekoma flyers are up and down with long waits all the time.

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#19 Ryan Shrout

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 10:00 PM

Most of Everest's downtime though is due to the yeti, though not problems with the ride system itself. As for R'n'R, its a launch coaster, so downtime is expected. And it still suffers less downtime than most others.

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#20 at5626

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 03:03 PM

http://www.parkworld...rom_Vekoma.html

Looks interesting and uncomfortable!



#21 Ryan Shrout

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 04:19 PM

I saw that. My initial thoughts reminded me of a Volare Flyer but it sounds more like they're trying to take their Moto-coaster seats and hang them below the track.

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#22 Jeremie

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 08:34 PM

I just want to say I rank Vekoma really high now! Ever since they released their giant inverted boomerang, I started to like them. Their flyers are really great, much preferable than B&M flyers. And I also think they are inventing some great new rides, such as Battle Star. The newer SLC's are also pretty sweet, with the newer layouts. But even Thunderhawk is glass smooth, so I am in favor of Vekoma more than B&M now.

If that didn't make sense, oh well. Vekoma is great!

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#23 steel-Rock

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 07:37 AM

That is an idea; where does this company rank with the others?

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5. Morgan Manufacturing

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#24 DBru

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Posted 01 March 2010 - 09:58 PM

The kneeling concept looks very interesting...

I'm glad to see that the cars are free-swinging. The suspended-genre has always been one of my favorites, so I'm excited to see that Vekoma is making a step to bring (a form of) this type of coaster back into the market!
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