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Which elements do you consider to be traditional?

Tradition. It’s a funny thing isn’t it? From portable flat rides at Alton Towers to cauliflower at Christmas; the line between what is and isn’t traditional exists in a weird space of subjective blurriness.

As the coaster community is already very aware (Seeing loads of posts about it even on LinkedIn of all places. You ravenous goons) Fårup Sommerland recently decided it was finally time to give Piraten a run for its money and announced their rather sexy looking new Vekoma, Fønix. Along with being the tallest, fastest and longest coaster in Denmark, they’re also proudly claiming a brand new, never before seen element, the stall loop.

As far as new, innovative elements go, I personally can’t see other manufacturers picking the stall loop up and thinking “Back to the drawing board guys, we’ve got our Immelmann’s all wrong”… at least not in the same way that some newer elements in the 2010’s have caused manufacturers like Intamin to consider a change in approach to their inversions (designs looking increasingly zero g stally these days) and classic overbanks *Pantheon bats eyelashes seductively*. Whilst there is nothing wrong with it being unique and unlikely to be adopted by other manufacturers, they’ve decided to go with the stall loop over more traditional elements that will effectively do the same, if not an arguably better job. Obviously this is all stally speculation until it’s actually been built and ridden, but worthy of a conversation in its current form I’d say.

This brings me to the main question of this topic. Which elements do you consider to be traditional?

I think it’s easy to say that most elements on woodies (not including Wildfire and a couple of Gravity Group coasters) can be considered traditional. Lift hills, first drops and non-aggressively-banked airtime hills have been featured on the vast majority of coasters since the dawn of (coaster)time. Classic inversions like vertical loops and corkscrews have also made appearances more times than outdated IP’s at Thorpe Park so I think that puts those elements firmly in that camp…

But what about launches? What about the curvaceous cobra roll or the sneaky twisted first drop? Where does tradition end and innovation start?

It’s all up for debate and I’d love to see what you guys think!


Mega Poster
I think to me it's the amount of times an element is "copy & pasted" into a coaster's design. Vertical loops, corkscrews and airtime hills have a been a long-time staple, but I see plenty of manufactures opting for more modern elements such as the zero-G stall and the off-axis airtime hill, I wouldn't call most of Intamin's, Vekoma's or even RMC's new coasters as truly innovative because most use these newer elements that have already been used repeatedly by themselves or other company's, as it stands I would say coasters such as Untamed, Fønix and even Stormrunner still seem innovative because their elements are still unique to that respective coaster. From my own logic, as bad as it is the "Butterfly" element is still unique and was innovate at the time, with some tweaking if they put it on a modern coaster I am sure it will turn heads.

Basically I would put it into three categories.

Vertical Loop
Airtime Hill
Zero-G Roll
Cobra Roll
Dive Loop
Dive Drop
Zero-G Stall
Roll Over

Banana Roll
Barrel Roll Downdrop
Inverted Top Hat
JoJo Roll
Norwegian Loop
Pretzel Loop
Sea Serpent
Step-Up Under Flip
Wave Turn

WTF is that?:
Double Inverting Stall


Staff member
Social Media Team
...as it stands I would say coasters such as Untamed, Fønix and even Stormrunner still seem innovative because their elements are still unique to that respective coaster.
I think this sort of hits on an interesting point. I think traditional is a bit... relative.

Vertical loop? Traditional steel coaster element. Very un-traditional for a woodie (yes, even now).
Zero-G stall? Old news, in many ways - steel or wood.

So I suppose, traditional in what sense?

I think the true traditional ones are, as @Hyde jokingly says but is annoyingly sort of hard to disagree with, the sort of things you used to get on RCT. Vertical loop, corkscrew, airtime hill, corners and lift hills and that's probably just about it. Even the variants of those inversions (any sort of half-loop or half-corkscrew combination, basically) are probably not really 'traditional', in that sense.


Mega Poster
Who has cauliflower at Christmas? Cauliflower?!

Despite my initial reaction, a quick Googling suggests this may actually be a thing. Jesus!

lulul Christmas fail-flower


Mega Poster
Cauliflower is traditional.

See? I assume that's the [cheese] sauce.

As for rides I was thinking whatever Arrow did counts. Before the 4d of course, the exception to the rule.

But I couldn't think of a zero g roll example they did. Although B&M have been churning them out for near 30 years so I'd include them.

Would anyone consider Ultratwisters with those heartlines traditional? They are older than the 1994 golden age in the UK.

And what about batwings, around for ages but sparsely used.

Brakemen were traditional, they add a special random element.