Specific Type: Steel, Stand-up
Intamin wasn’t a huge company in the 1980s. Now they are building 300 foot coasters and launches faster than anyone ever tried before, but while the company wasn’t new, it still paled in comparison to industry giant Arrow. But when Japanese company Togo unveiled the stand-up coaster, and Arrow’s attempt on Worlds of Fun’s Extremeroller failed, Intamin seized the opportunity.
Their first shot at it was dubbed Shockwave and placed at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Immediately it was clear that the ride was innovative and way ahead of its time. The ride featured four across trains similar to those on the earlier Z-Force that Intamin manufactured (It was later also moved to Magic Mountain as Flashback and demolished in 2007), except with seats accommodated to the riders standing up. Shockwave featured track thicker than most currently being used, with the entire ride looking rather like a modern Bolliger and Mabillard coaster than a Togo. This is no coincidence, as Bolliger and Mabillard (Usually shortened to B&M) worked for Intamin before leaving to make their own coaster design company, with their first coasters being stand-ups.
For their second project, the company did what they would often do later in the 2000s, but a rarity in 1988, which was build a coaster outside of the US. In 1988, two custom, full-sized rides were built in Europe while six custom rides intended for adults were built in the United States. Skara Sommarland was in for a doozy. The uncreatively named Stand-Up opened in 1988 and the park closed it down in 1994, and to this day the Sommarland has never had a larger coaster.
But where would the ride end up? Luckily for Stand-Up, another extra-U.S. park was standing by. La Ronde, itching for a ride to compare to 1985’s Monstre, relocated the ride to the park. It added a brand-new yellow and black paint job to replace the original blue and black, (with an odd red-and-white striped loop and several supports) used in Sweden. Later La Ronde would repaint it green and black.
The ride’s layout is certainly unorthodox. At a point in time when the goal was more and more inversions, Cobra has only one. The way it gets its thrills is from the numerous curves and hills that adorn the well-designed layout.
The ride begins with a slow climb to the top of the lift, with the passengers standing on their toes, waiting for the ride to start thrilling. The ride wastes no time getting down to business at the top, though, and it immediately drops them on a hard right-turning, 87 foot drop. This leads straight into a forceful, 75 foot tall loop that is nearly circular. This leads into a fairly unique element, which is an elevated helix. It bears some resemblance to a B&M inclined loop, but the top doesn’t even try to invert, instead opting to become more banked on the dive back down, creating a unique element not often found on coasters.
After this is a surprisingly small bunny hill that is taken at high speeds, providing feet-off-the-floor airtime. This exits into a right-turning rise up to the brake run, which slows the train down considerably. The drop off the brakes turns to the left, which leads back into the rest of the track, and the remainder becomes a gnarled mess that makes the entire ride feel like a spaghetti bowl. The train quickly pulls out of this and takes a right turn which extends all the way past the loop and back around, threading the loop. There is a short break before hitting another right turn, taking the train back to ground level to prepare it for, finally, a left turn, though it is short lived. It leads into another short bunny hill providing another dose of air, before finally turning right again leading into the final brakes.
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