Specific Type: Euro-Fighter
Galveston, Texas is a small coastal town along the Gulf of Mexico, but despite its small size, the area boasts huge tourism. Most notably to the amusement park community is Kemah Boardwalk, a relatively small park along the water’s edge, nestled in amongst a vast array of restaraunts and shops, most notable for its star wooden coaster, the Boardwalk Bullet. What’s even more amazing is the small area’s resilience against natural disasters, namely hurricanes. In 2008, Hurricane Ike slammed head on into Galveston Island, causing much destruction to Kemah, nearby restaurants, and the town in general. What’s amazing is that within weeks, much of the area was back to business as usual, and within months, all the restaurants and attractions were opened once again.
It is only fitting that another historic site there should rise from the ashes of disaster and continue to boost tourism, with the addition of the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier in 2012. Built on the site of the original Pleasure Pier, which stood for almost 20 years until it was destroyed by Hurricane Carla in 1961, the pier has recently been holding the SBNO Flagship hotel, also destroyed by Ike in 2008. The new Pleasure Pier will take over that spot on the 1,130 foot pier with a vast array of classic attractions.
But what is a park on a pier without a roller coaster? Galveston will not disappoint in that department, opening along with the park the signature coaster, Iron Shark. Iron Shark is a custom-designed Euro-Fighter from the German-based ride manufacturer, Gerstlauer. The ride features a 100 foot tall lift, followed by a series of tightly packed twists and turns that will allow the coaster to pack a punch in a small space on the side of the pier, optimizing both space and thrill. The coaster also stands as the only coaster of its kind in Texas, and the fifth built in the US, behind Dare Devil Dive at Six Flags Over Georgia, Mystery Mine at Dollywood,Untamed at Canobie Lake, and Spongebob Square Pants at Nickelodeon Universe.
A ride on Iron Shark starts off with a 180-degree U-turn out of the station and engaging with the rides 100-foot vertical lift. Without even a slight slow down at the top, the train quickly rolls over the precipice and drops down to the pier surface, curving under itself in a beyond-vertical drop. Careening mere feet over the pier at 52 mph, the train blasts up and into a double-inversion, which seamlessly combines an Immelman straight into a Dive Loop. Heading back in its original direction briefly, the train then hops up and to the left, then dips slightly and rolls right, hurling itself upwards through an inverted turnaround. Diving back to pier-level, before riders can get reoriented, Iron Shark then rolls up through a vertical loop, before barreling into the final break run. It’s quite a short, but sweet ride!
©1998-2016 COASTER-net.com, All Rights Reserved.