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if i were Greg Schied, i would never have bothered trying to fix son of beast in the first place. KI took out 6/10 of the fun of SOB when they removed the loop. when it opened in 2000, it was an accident waiting to happen. sure, the lift hill is over 200 ft tall, but thats proved to be more of a disadvantage than an advantage. you could not make me set foot in the rides Queue unless you paid me, and it would have to be a lot.
I wasn't expecting much from Son of Beast when I went on it last year. Overwhelmingly negative reviews and pervasive warnings of its incredibly rough ride set the tone, and as I boarded the unimpressive trains and headed down the prelift (which doesn't deliver much considering it had a decently-sized drop to work with, by the way), I started to have second thoughts about CLANKCLANKCLANKCLANKCLANKCLANKCLANK
Did I mention that the lift hill is unfathomably loud? It wouldn't be nearly as bad if the coaster wasn't over 200 feet tall. Come to think of it, I also didn't mention that making a wooden hypercoaster before Intamin started prefabricating them and having RCCA build it wasn't the brightest of ideas? Well, there you go.
After disengaging from the lift hill, the train goes around a curve and down the drop. I can't think of anything else notable to say about the first except that 1) there isn't any airtime to speak of and 2) this thing doesn't track well at all. It's not as bad as, say, Rattler pre-refurbishment, but it's still pretty terrible. A couple of turns, one to the right up high and one to the left down low, follow. There would be a nice sensation of speed if these elements weren't so gradual, although considering how rough SOB is already, we should count our blessings.
And then we get to the first tilty double helix thing, which looks cool from the air, but isn't. The curve at the top is slow and jerky, then it accelerates to the bottom and bucks around the helix while shaking violently enough to shame most jackhammers. Violently enough to let its esteemed riders entertain the not-all-too-pleasant thought of structural failure. Which happened, by the way, back in 2006, albeit in a different place on the ride when they were running heavier trains, but that's besides the point. So, after that funfest, we get to do it all over again. Keep in mind, I don't usually mind roughness much; it's part of the experience for any woodie that isn't a pre-fab, and it can add to the ride experience. However, this was just unacceptable. I can say without fear of self-contradiction that the bottom portions of that helix are the roughest parts of any woodie that I've been on. Racer is still rougher overall on the blue side (I think... it was one or the other), but that's for another review.
After that fun-tastic helix, we hit the mid-course brakes, strategically positioned at the beginning of a straight segment that goes on for too long. Then we learn that the purpose
of that straight bit was to build up speed or something for the gradual drop to the left that follows. Where the loop used to be, there is now a bit of an s-bend that doesn't really do anything. Then, another tilty double helix thing. This one curves to the right where the first one curved to the left, and it isn't nearly as rough.
SOB really tightens things up for the rest of the second half (right, right). There's an airtime hill minus the airtime, a turnaround into a drop, then we hit the brakes. The station is fifty feet high or so, after all, to make room for the prelift.
Alright, Son of Beast wasn't quite as bad as I'm making it out to be. I can't say for sure whether it's likely to induce headaches or spineaches or anything like that; I took some Advil in advance (reputation is a powerful thing), and any pain I might have had upon leaving the park was probably from Racer's blue side. Regardless, you probably won't be in much agony after the ride ends. It's really more of an unremarkable disappointment than anything, for me. One thing that I haven't seen criticized much is the ride's pacing, and that surprises me. I'm not asking for GCI-esque madness here, but there shouldn't have been any need to make it seem like slow motion. Even that would have been acceptable if there was any airtime, or even lateral forces that didn't come with a side of heavy jackhammering.
As I said, SOB doesn't inspire the kind of hatred that, say, a bad SLC might get from me, and if you like this sort of thing (I would say Dinn-Summers coasters or other RCCAs, but I don't know of anyone who likes those specifically), or if you're willing to put up with roughness, it's worth a try. Rounding up, I'd give it a 3/10, and rounding up further (I would have liked to have the old out of 10 rating system here, but this will do), it gets a 2/5.
I don'..t know, folks - I'..m something of a discriminating coaster fiend, and I happened to get quite a kick out of this one. It is NOT for the faint of heart, and maybe it tried a little too hard to push the boundaries of what wood is capable of - but hell, that'..s why I enjoyed it so much. I never rode it when the loop was intact, but holy hell, this coaster doesn'..t need it. In fact, I'..d say it was likely improved when they got rid of it.
Anyhow. To begin with, yes - SOB would be massively improved with better trains - there is something ludicrous about a coaster of this size and intensity carrying such piddly things. However, I do not fault the character of the coaster itself - frankly, I thought it was bordering on wonderful. It'..s big, it'..s fast, and yes, it'..s rough - but I didn'..t disboard with a headache, leg issues or even a strain. I really don'..t understand the complaints. Rather, I came off charged as all get out, thanks to the deep hills, strong laterals and sheer speed of the experience. I rode in the middle of the train both times - day and night rides were enjoyed (night is THE time when this thing comes to life).
I wish I could find it in myself to explain the ride itself - layout-wise and all - but it was almost an holistic experience, involving a hell of a lot of blatant POWER. A great first hill and drop, intensity that is challenging to say the least, and a pretty wonderful finish. No, it isn'..t the perfect coaster. But it is seriously fun, as far as I'..m concerned. As far as the hatred for this coaster is concerned, I don'..t get it. Maybe people just don'..t dig rawness anymore - because that'..s the nature of SOB. Raw, powerful, deeply intense. I personally see noooooothing wrong with that.
The sob is the best woodie in the world. It looks intimidating but, you have to ride it.
I went on this ride on my trip to King'.s Island. I had read most of these reviews, and saw that it had gotten panned left and right. However, I was still determined to ride this, seeing as it is such a unique roller coaster. So it was the first thing I went on, and boy did it wake me up. I liked it so much I decided to go on it again at the end, making it both the first and last ride I went on.
So here'.s the truth. Is it rough? Hell yes. Is it fun? I'.d definitely say so. Will you like it? That really depends.
You see, I am young, and the utter brutality of this ride did not bother me very much at all. I was nervous getting on it, but after riding it the first time, I realized that what some people consider one of the roughest roller coasters really isn'.t that bad.
Now granted, every thing after the first hill feels like you'.re riding a chainsaw around the track, and the trains don'.t help. They aren'.t very well padded, and they just look kind of... odd. On one hand, they didn'.t look very modern, like a Millenium Flyer would. On the other hand, they didn'.t look too classic, like the ones Kennywood uses. (I don'.t know the technical name for them)
So here'.s the big jaw-dropper: I prefered this ride to the Beast. Also, I prefered this ride to the Stunt Track, Flight of Fear, and Vortex. This was my favorite ride in the park.
It is rough. No denying that. I can almost guarentee you will walk away with slight back pains or a tiny headace from the rattling. But if you can look past that rugged property, a true gem of a wooden roller coaster emerges. Just looking at the layout reveals a true modern masterpiece. It is unfortunate the loops was removed. It would have been interesting to experience, but oh well. Anyhow, I reccomend this if you can take a few licks. You really have to have full-body control, and even when you do, you will bounce around the car like a super-ball. If you are not up for such a turbulent ride, I reccomend the Beast, which is a step down from this. But if you are up for it, I highly reccomend this wild sensation of a roller coaster ride. The site'.s description sums it all up: ".You'.ve never been on anything like this. Never before.".
In some ways, not as big of an SOB as I was anticipating, but still not especially enjoyable. I don't remember getting any good air, and it certainly had its share of roughness. I also found the layout to be rather uninspired, as it is mostly helices (the large terrain-inspired drop out of the station was one of the coolest elements). I wouldn't call it bad, but it wasn't really good either. Like most of this park's collection, it was just an average coaster that is mostly unremarkable to me looking back on it.
Abysmal wooden coaster. The structure looks beautiful and its a massive coaster, but the ride was just plain bad. The segment before the lift hill was cool, but unfortunately the first drop somehow didnt provide any air, but just strong Gs at the bottom and lots of rattling. Following that was a very rough series of turns that were very bumpy and I got slammed really bad and then after the brake run was much of the same. Unfortunately the whole ride had no air time at all and was just a huge disappointment.
This ride is good for me. I rode many times and the only spot I didnt like was the very back. Now that the loops gone I dont know what to think of the ride.
Times Ridden: 3 in the middle of the train each time. Date Ridden: Twice in the summer of 2006 with the loop present and once in September of 2007 without the loop.
OK. I know Im in the minority but I dont think this thing is absolutely terrible. Now granted, I will probably never make a point of going out of my way to stop in KI again unless on my way to or back from Cedar Point with my Cedar Fair Platinum Pass in hand, but still the facts have to be looked at. This is the tallest, fastest and second longest wooden roller coaster in the world. It has been looked upon as probably the greatest disaster in roller coaster design EVER, but it is still the worlds only wooden Hyper coaster. It has no airtime to speak of and still delivers a beating for the unprepared (I am normally prepared and allow myself to become a rag doll...stiffening up and fighting it only makes the beating worse), but it is still really really fast. I cant see it being rated a 1. As for its roughness, it did indeed beat me up fairly well but not nothing like Papa Beast did to me less than one hour later (please see previously posted review). I am by no means claiming that the SOB is anywhere near one of my favorite rides. However, as far as these two highly debated coasters go, I feel that the Beast is sometimes over-complimented and the SOB is sometimes over-criticized. Its by no means a great coaster, but does have some redeeming qualities which in my humble opinion make it at least average hence the 7. Let the firestorm begin to rain down upon me.
I cant think of anything good to say about this ride. As impressive as the structure is, and as much as I like woodwork, I cant even say it looks good because I think it has a bad case of "too much". I pretty much hated the Myrtle Beach hurricane, and I cheered when I saw that it was torn apart, so to see some of it live on (in the form of 2 G-Trains), I wanted to cry. Nothing like putting awful trains from one of the worst woodies on earth on an even worse waste of wood. The pre-lift wasnt too bad, but Im sure its nothing like Hades. The lift is annoying because it is terribly loud. Havent even gone down a big drop and already its losing points. The first drop is ok, though even on the turn up top and on your way down you can start to realize this isnt going to be fun. Going into the massive helix-like bowl, I braced myself for what was indeed one of the roughest parts of any ride on earth. Already before we began to head back towards the station, I needed pharmaceutical relief. Going back through the former loop, it was nice to have an almost-smooth section of track before we began to toss through the second nasty helixt. The worst part is that at one point, you pass near the station and at least I thought it was almost over -- nope! Still more torturing left, as if we hadnt gotten enough at this point. Once it did and and I realized I had survived, I couldnt help but vow to never ride again. Of course, I said that with Psyclone too, and ended up riding one last time before they demolished it... but if I dont get my courtesy goodbye ride on this piece of crap, I wont lose any sleep. Son of Beast joins the ranks of Predator, Villain and Psyclone as the worst coasters I have been on.
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