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Can roughness ever improve a ride?

Matt N

Well-Known Member
Hi guys. As I've talked with many theme park enthusiasts over the years, I've noticed that many enthusiasts (myself included) tend to frown upon rough rides in general; most people tend to prefer a smoother ride, from my experience. But in your eyes, has there ever been a ride where its roughness has actually worked to its advantage and made you enjoy the ride more?

For me, I'm afraid that my answer to this question is an instant no; I very much prefer fun, smooth, rerideable coasters to rides that cause me pain. But the thing that actually made this question pop into my head was when I visited Blackpool Pleasure Beach with my parents last week and got to hear their opinions on some of the rides. Both of them loved Grand National due to how rough and brutal it was, for example, and my dad said that Big One's roughness added to the exhilaration; he even said that he preferred it to Mako in terms of the hypers we've ridden because Mako was "too smooth". I've also heard a lot of people cite rides like The Ultimate at Lightwater Valley as examples of rides where the roughness adds to the experience.

But for you, has there ever been a ride that has been improved due to its roughness?
 

JJLehto

Member
Yes, sometimes a woodie would be completely boring/not worth it if they were smooth. I sincerely felt Mean Streak was worse after it was re tracked. Some of the classics as well would probably suck if not for the roughness.
 

Hixee

Flojector
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Roughness? Absolutely not.

Old-woodie-jigglyness? Yeah, on the right ride.

There's an odd fine line between rough and bouncy/jiggly/whatever-you-want-to-call-it, but I've never done a ride that is genuinely rough and enjoyed it.
 

JoshC.

Active Member
Roughness? Absolutely not.

Old-woodie-jigglyness? Yeah, on the right ride.

There's an odd fine line between rough and bouncy/jiggly/whatever-you-want-to-call-it, but I've never done a ride that is genuinely rough and enjoyed it.
100% this.

Rough is bad. Simple as that.

Some rides (usually woodies) are improved by their 'judders'. Those judders get lumped in under the roughness umbrella, which they shouldn't be, unless they become too juddery. In which case they are rough*

So yeah, fine line for those rides. But in any other case, roughness is bad.

*I like to think of it as a normal distribution - there's a peak amount of juddering that adds the most to the ride experience. Go beyond that, and it adds less / takes away from the ride.
 

Hyde

I Lied About My Age!
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
Like @Hixee said, there is a utopian "classic wooden coaster feel" that adds quality to a ride. But "roughness" in it's pure form has never added to a ride. Outside of Villain; that thing was just hilarious on how massively rough it was.
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
I don't think it's as black and white as rough = bad.
It shouldn't make something better, but it can for comedy's sake at least.
If it's tolerable, you're in good company, it's not supposed/expected to be a good ride anyway it can add a bit of character. As a one off though. Hurts re-rideability obviously.
 
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