Sean: Obviously we like Vekoma’s products, and though admittedly some can be a bit rough or intense to the point where most modern riders find them uncomfortable, not all Vekoma coasters are created equally. Vekoma’s newest products have taken the world by storm and are considered some of the best thrill rides ever created, none however, are located in the United States. Let’s take a look at what the 5 Best Vekoma coasters are in the US, leaving out obvious Disney-fan favorites this time.
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5. Thunderhawk – Michigan’s Adventure
First on our list is the biggest underdog of them all. To my surprise this classic Vekoma SLC has not only been relocated but also still runs the original rolling stock, yet manages to be incredibly comfortable. Thunderhawk is the smoothest, most enjoyable SLC I have ever ridden. The ride has a nice location on the lake with great landscaping, operations, and color scheme. This SLC is a clear star coaster at Michigan’s Adventure and is well taken care of. This is one of those very pleasant surprises where suddenly you prioritize rerides. For the most excellent Vekoma SLC experience you travel to Muskegon, Michigan.
4. Batwing – Six Flags America
Next up is Batwing! The Vekoma Flying Dutchman flying coaster has not seen a wide success, mainly due to low capacity and significant mechanical problems with the first version that originally operated at California’s Great America. Batwing is one of now two remaining coasters of the type and we think it is a phenomenal coaster. Batwing is particularly smooth, has awesome transitions between elements, the coaster is comfortable and terrifying. We regard Batwing to be better than most B&M’s smaller Flying Coasters, particularly the infamous Superman: Ultimate Flight clones. Vekoma recently relaunched the flying coaster concept, ’til we see one open, Batwing will remain to be their best flying coaster.
3. Invertigo – Kings Island
Securing a spot in the Top 3 is Invertigo, one of Kings Island’s best coasters. This Vekoma model added a twist to the old-school Boomerang coasters! The coaster features unique back-to-back seating where guests face another and can choose to either face forward starting the ride or backwards. The ride is quite smooth and the brakes, lifts and catch cars are very smooth. Overall the level of intensity is just where we like it to be, impressive. The coaster packs 6 inversions in a short ride cycle, is inverted, and goes forwards and backwards. What a win!
2. Blue Hawk – Six Flags Over Georgia
Surprise? This formerly rough Vekoma looper has been completely retrofitted in 2016 with track improvements and new rolling stock to be rebranded from Ninja to Blue Hawk. The ride currently runs the sleek MK1212 trains with vest restraints and suddenly became one of the country’s best loopers. The very tightly packed layout with unique-to-Vekoma elements, its location over water, the great pacing and wild forces makes for an unforgettable ride. So unforgettable that it landed the #2 spot on our list.
1. Aftershock – Silverwood Theme Park
It should be no surprise that the coaster located in the middle of nowhere in Idaho took the #1 spot. This excellent Vekoma model is almost 200 ft tall, features 2 completely vertical drops, runs forwards and backwards through intense elements, and happens to be about the smoothest classic Vekoma in existence. The sheer terror of getting lifted nearly 200 ft into the sky vertically at an incredible speed to then be dropped at speeds of 66MPH is an exhilarating feeling. Add stellar inversions to the mix, as well as 191 ft backwards drop and you’ve got a beast of a coaster that’s easily the best Vekoma in the United States.
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