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Battle of the beyond-vertical drop coasters; Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter vs S&S El Loco

Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter or S&S El Loco?


  • Total voters
    20

Matt N

Strata Poster
Hi guys. In 2003, the beyond-vertical drop coaster battle began when Gerstlauer opened their first Euro-Fighter model in the form of Vild-Svinet at Bon-Bon Land, which had a 97 degree (I think?) drop.

The model began flying off the shelves, and Gerstlauer began to make the models steeper and more ambitious with time; the company held the drop angle record for a number of years following Vild-Svinet’s creation, and it seemed as though their Euro-Fighter model was virtually unrivalled within the sphere of beyond-vertical drop coasters.

However, in 2008, a new contender in the beyond-vertical drop battle was unveiled, a contender that gave Gerstlauer their first serious competition in the drop angle race. 2008 was the year that S&S opened Steel Hawg at Indiana Beach, their first ever El Loco model. This ride had a 111 degree drop, which was at the time substantially steeper than anything Gerstlauer had conjured up.

As with the Euro-Fighter, El Locos began flying off the shelves following Steel Hawg’s successful debut. Each El Loco sold was seemingly even steeper than the last, and even though the record transferred from ride to ride fairly quickly, S&S clung onto the record until 2011, eventually reaching 113 degrees on Timber Drop at Fraispertuis City.

Gerstlauer did eventually reclaim the drop angle record, with the opening of Takabisha at Fuji-Q Highland in 2011 taking it to 121 degrees, and they are also the current record holders, with TMNT Shellraiser at Nickelodeon Universe boasting a 121.5 degree drop (which I’ll admit still seems marginally pedantic to me…). S&S has in the past threatened to reclaim the record (the Orlando polercoaster is/was said to have a 123 degree drop), but Gerst are still the current holders.

But I didn’t make this thread to give you a history lesson on the drop angle record (one of the few records that still seems to be being actively fought for, might I add!). I made this thread to ask; which of the two beyond-vertical drop coaster types do you prefer? I know that there are other coaster types out there that have included beyond-vertical drops, but these are the main two that really focus on them as the key element, so I thought they’d make for an interesting comparison.

I can’t really contribute, as I haven’t ridden an S&S El Loco, but I’ll admit I’m not personally a huge fan of Gerstlauer’s Euro-Fighters myself; I find them a bit too rough for my liking, and I sometimes feel like they prioritise intensity over fun, which isn’t really for me, personally. Some of them do have good layouts, however, and it’s a very versatile ride type!

But which of the beyond-vertical drop coaster types do you prefer?
 

gavin

Administrator
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The Eurofighters for me. The only El Loco I've actually enjoyed is the one in Las Vegas. The stock model (Steel Hawg and Mumbo Jumbo) is total crap, though the one in Tianjin was slightly better thanks to not having the awful shoulder restraints.

I've never had much of an issue with Eurofighters, even some that are considered to be pretty rough, and some of them (Takabisha and Novgorod) are actually very good.
 

Peet

Hyper Poster
The El Loco doesn't have a beyond-vertical drop, it's a controlled descent, just like the screaming squirrel. I really don't know how they got away with claiming it as a record. Brakes on a drop are not cool, S&S.

Eurofighters aren't the best but I do quite like them, Speed NL is a little under-rated in my opinion.
 

Will

Strata Poster
I'm not a massive fan of either, but while Eurofighters were a gimmick that aged badly, El Locos have always been among the worst coaster types ever built, to my mind.

Also, an above post reminded me that FvN is a Eurofighter and that one actually is fab. Even Saw can be bearable if you catch it on the right day :)
 

JoshC.

Giga Poster
I've only done one El Loco (Mumbo Jumbo), and it ranks firmly in the 'Meh' pile. It's not awful, but it's not good. Doesn't seem very versatile either (or, at least, was never given the chance to be).

I've done more Euro Fighters (five), and there's some there which I quite like. Even the most bog standard one on that list (Rage model) is a fun ride. Plus hugely more versatile.

So Euro Fighter quite easily.
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
Well, given the results of the poll thus far, maybe a better question would be; is there anyone who prefers El Locos to Eurofighters?
 

HeartlineCoaster

Giga Poster
The matchup isn't ideal, there's tons of variety across the range of Eurofighters but we've not really seen much in the way of El Loco layouts.

I actually rather like the S&S for what it is, both of the inversions are cool little tricks and the lap bar versions in particular makes it decent fun.
I'd probably put it somewhere right in the middle of the Eurofighters - there are both better ones and poorer ones for sure.
 

Rupert

Mega Poster
The matchup isn't ideal, there's tons of variety across the range of Eurofighters but we've not really seen much in the way of El Loco layouts.

I actually rather like the S&S for what it is, both of the inversions are cool little tricks and the lap bar versions in particular makes it decent fun.
I'd probably put it somewhere right in the middle of the Eurofighters - there are both better ones and poorer ones for sure.

Completely agree with this - I quite enjoyed Mumbo Jumbo though it’s quite small and not world-beating. Fluch is absolutely incredible and shows how good Eurofighters can be, but Saw is so far the other direction, I think largely because of how rough and jolty it is.
 
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