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Does anyone else think airtime is overrated?

VF15

Roller Poster
First and foremost, I am not at all saying that I dislike airtime. I do like some good airtime, but I honestly don't see why most enthusiasts go absolutely crazy about it. From my point of view, it seems to be the thing that makes or breaks a coaster for at least half of enthusiasts. It is an interesting sensation to say the least, but I don't feel like I'm with the bandwagon of people that adore airtime. Everyone will probably hate me after this, but does anyone feel the same way about it?
 

Edward M

Strata Poster
Actually, yes. I've thought this for many years. I would take Millennium Force over El Toro any day because it is more enjoyable. Sure, the airtime isn't as good, but that doesn't make or break it for me. It is whether it is enjoyable or does something special.

However, if Magnum did 2 overbaked turns and ended, it wouldn't be nearly as good as the unbelievable airtime machine it is. I would take airtime over say loops though, but I prefer the sort of bliss or peaceful feeling to that out of control feeling.
 

therick311

Mega Poster
I love me some airtime, and I often find that rides are better with more airtime as opposed to less. But, I don't think a ride is bad just because it doesn't have airtime. I'm a big Raging Bull fan, despite the heavy trims.
 

rollermonkey

Strata Poster
It isn't the be-all, end-all that so many make it out to be. There are plenty of great coasters where airtime isn't the focus or purpose of the ride.
 

rtotheizzo17

Hyper Poster
Its a "purest" thing in the community. Some hold it to dear and yes, over rate it. Kind of like the no replay in baseball. Some people don't like change.

For me the most enjoyable part of a coaster is a nice pop of floating airtime. Its a blissful, and to me, a serene moment in an otherwise chaotic world. But I won't throw away a good ride on a looping coaster, which is usually designed with airtime last in mind, if it all.
 

Hyde

Matt SR
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
Airtime doesn't make a coaster, but it sure helps or hurts. Many of the world's greatest roller coasters do not depend on airtime, but definite feature a good variety of it.
 

Bottom_Feeder_13

Hyper Poster
Airtime is a key part of an amazing ride but does not need to be the sole focus. A ride can't be really amazing without at least a moderate amount of airtime. The reason I really love airtime is that it is simply thrilling, I don't really like most rides that are just inversion after inversion after inversion they aren't thrilling, but nauseating, airtime is better and can relieve some of the issues with excessive inversions. Now if more companies would put in loops with proper hangtime at the top like Full Throttle I would have to revise my statements.
 
If the coaster is built for the purpose of having airtime and it doesn't, then yes it makes or breaks it. You can't built something like Behemoth and expect it to get good reviews. Same goes for a coaster intended for inversions. If the inversions aren't executed well but that is what it was built for, then the coaster is not going to be top notch.

So basically, I take the coaster for what it's built for. If it's a coaster like Millennium Force, I don't rank it as low as some others just because it's lacking airtime. It's also built for the sheer size and first drop, which it does exceptionally well. Beast has no airtime and no inversions, yet it's still in my top ten or so coasters.

So in a nutshell, no, it doesn't make or break a coaster but they shouldn't dare proclaim an airtime machine that has no airtime.
 

BBH

Giga Poster
LiveForTheLaunch said:
If the coaster is built for the purpose of having airtime and it doesn't, then yes it makes or breaks it. You can't built something like Behemoth and expect it to get good reviews. Same goes for a coaster intended for inversions. If the inversions aren't executed well but that is what it was built for, then the coaster is not going to be top notch.

So basically, I take the coaster for what it's built for. If it's a coaster like Millennium Force, I don't rank it as low as some others just because it's lacking airtime. It's also built for the sheer size and first drop, which it does exceptionally well. Beast has no airtime and no inversions, yet it's still in my top ten or so coasters.

So in a nutshell, no, it doesn't make or break a coaster but they shouldn't dare proclaim an airtime machine that has no airtime.

My thoughts exactly.

It certainly helps a coaster's cause to have airtime, especially if it is built for it. But, I find that if there are other redeeming qualities, like intensity or well-executed inversions, then there's really no reason why the ride still can't be considered at least good. It doesn't have to be world-beating, but the ride can still be of quality even without airtime.
 

VooDoDe

Roller Poster
LiveForTheLaunch said:
So basically, I take the coaster for what it's built for.
I agree.

Some of my biggest complaints about of the rides out here in norcal is that there is lots of coasters that should have airtime but don't. I mean, I'm not going to complain about a ride like Medusa not having any airtime, because it is supposed to be a ride with lots of inversions and turns. A ride like Roar, on the other hand, is wooden and has lots of hills, so there is no excuse for the lack of airtime.

Anyway, I think airtime is fun, but not absolutely incredulously awesome have-it-or-die like some people make it out to be.
 

Snoo

The Legend
Staff member
Social Media Team
Nope. While I as well take rides for what they are for, airtime and the out of control feeling on some of these machines is what draws me in to many rides, which is evident in my top 10. Of course, you will see some that don't have that trait as again, it isn't everything, but it does help if it does have some great air.
 

gopats1479

Mega Poster
Snoo said:
Nope. While I as well take rides for what they are for, airtime and the out of control feeling on some of these machines is what draws me in to many rides, which is evident in my top 10. Of course, you will see some that don't have that trait as again, it isn't everything, but it does help if it does have some great air.

+1. This is exactly how I feel about all of the coasters I like. The Boss and GhostRider both are insanely out of control but still have some nice airtime. That out of control feeling is my favorite thing about coasters. Probably the reason why I love woodies so much.

I will also say that I used to think that inverts didn't need airtime. However, when I went to Knott's a week ago, I rode the front row on Silver Bullet. My restraint was just a hair too loose for my taste on an invert and could have gone down another notch. So glad I didn't try to force it down, as the airtime was incredible and enhanced the rest of the ride.
 

AirtimeFreak

Mega Poster
Definitely need a good balance of positive and negative G's. Like most people have said airtime isn't the most important thing on a ride, but when a ride gets it right it really can make it a whole lot better.

I didn't like The Smiler much, but that airtime hill after the 3rd inversion on the second half of the track, I could have re ridden all day just for that, so i really do think it depends on the coaster you're on, and how good the airtime really is.
 

killrnut

Roller Poster
Airtime is my favorite experience on a coaster. but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a coaster that doesn't have it.
 
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