Specific Type: Wooden "Hybrid" (steel structure), Out & Back
Though Indiana Beach had hosted a handful of small steel coasters as it began to grow and expand, the park never boasted a wooden coaster that many parks of its size and stature were getting boosts from. In 1994, nearly 70 years after the park opened, that legacy was to change in a big way. Designed by Custom Coasters International’s masterminds of Dennis McNulty and Larry Bill, the Hoosier Hurricane would the first wooden coaster built in the state in over 50 years and the only operating at that time. Also, despite the addition of 4 other coasters since its opening, Hoosier Hurricane remains the parks largest and signature roller coaster.
Because of the space constraints at the boardwalk park, much of the layout is situated right on the edge and even out over Lake Schafer, where it parallels the boardwalk much of the way. To allow easier construction over the water, to build over many of the existing attractions along the edge of the boardwalk, CCI utilized a steel structure for the Hoosier Hurricane. It would be the third coaster designed by CCI, and would also be the first modern “hybrid” wooden coaster built with a steel support structure. The area around the lift also intertwines and shares real-estate with the lift of the coaster’s “little brother,” the Cornball Express.
Outfitted with classic “buzz bars,” Hoosier Hurricane begins with a right turn and short jog to the 77 foot tall lift hill. At the top, a slight dip leads into an S-turn which puts the track out over Lake Shafer before plummeting down nearly 100-feet, skimming the lake below at 51 mph. A long, sloping double-up element turns slightly to the right before a drop and left turn under a pedestrian suspension bridge over the lake leads up into a sweeping turnaround around the mini-golf course. Heading on the “back” leg, riders get a short breather and a chance to wave at passengers on the Giant Gondola Wheel as the track flattens and turns to line up nearly parallel to the “out” leg. Back down the train shoots, right along the edge of the boardwalk, where it roars over two long hills. Turning slightly right to line up parallel to the lift hill, the track drops halfway down, pulls back up, and drops through a semi-double-down before rising into the final brake run. At 2900 feet long and 1 min 45 secs in duration, the Hoosier Hurricane remains the park’s largest and longest coaster.
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