Specific Type: Suspended Coaster
When it opened on May 21, 1988, Ninja at Six Flags Magic Mountain was one of a rather small selection of the unique Arrow Suspended coasters. Much different from any other types of coasters before it, the suspended coaster had its cars swing separately from the track, letting the g forces sway the cars as much as needed to achieve balance. For this reason, this coaster type has a very small amount of lateral g’s, and achieves a very unique ride. When it opened, it tied the record for fastest of its model at a speed of 55 mph; the other record holding coaster being Vortex at Canada’s Wonderland.
Arrow Suspended coasters are quite historic coasters, and are actually quite rare. When Arrow was popular during the 1970’s to the 1990’s, it was one of the leading manufacturers. However, in the mid to late 90’s, new companies were brewing, threatening the hold that Arrow had on the industry. Soon, Bolliger & Mabillard and Intamin AG started to show major innovations, and began to take control of the industry. By the turn of the century, Arrow was becoming desperate for business, and made a business decision that cost them their company. Built at the same park, actually, X was the largest project that Arrow had taken on in a very long time; and as much as it was a success in terms of ride popularity and ratings, it set them back so deep in a financial hole that they were ruined from then on.
Thus, the slow dying off of Arrow suspended coasters had begun, starting with many of the smaller coasters and then turning to the big ones as coasters began to break down due to age. Arrow Suspended coasters were already a slight rarity, but when the company broke down, they were no longer being built, and the ones in existence were slowly making their way out. First of the type to go was The Bat, however that was due to ride issues. The rest began to follow suit, beginning with XLR-8 and then Big Bad Wolf more recently.
In 2008, a man was hit by the coaster train after entering a restricted area, scaling two, six foot fences to find a hat he lost on the ride. He was treated on scene by the park’s medical team, and then air-lifted to UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was then pronounced dead, with the cause of death being blunt force trauma.
The ride starts as you slowly creep your way up the noisy lift hill, leveling out at the top. You soon witness your first dose of the unique Arrow Suspended ride, quickly flying around the dropping turn. Reaching a high speed, you hit another turn, your car nearly at a 90 degree angle due to the sway of the cars. You hit a crossover, and then another, dropping down and repeating the process over and over. You soon reach a long turnaround drop, and swing over the water at what is known as the top speed of the ride. You then encounter a few more crossovers and turns before reaching the brake-run. This ride has a unique feature, though, being a lift back up to the station. This is because of the drop of elevation that the ride covers, and how much speed is lost in the process. So, after a slow lift back up to the station, you exit the historic ride and enjoy the rest of your time at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
As the coaster type becomes less and less common, many coaster enthusiasts find refuge in Ninja. It is also a ride that is intense but also geared toward the family, as nearly any age group can ride it without any issues. Six Flags Magic Mountain, a park known for its coasters, added Ninja to its diverse lineup in 1988. It still stands as one of the fastest, largest, and biggest Arrow Suspended coasters in the world, and looks like it will for quite some time longer, seeing as it was just repainted back in 2007. A new control system was also newly added to the ride, again showing the parks interest in keeping the piece of rollercoaster history. The ride is in fact the only Arrow Suspended coaster left of the Mississippi, with Iron Dragon, Vortex, and Flight Deck being to the East.
©1998-2016 COASTER-net.com, All Rights Reserved.