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Top 5 Coaster Manufacturers

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We've had top 10 coaster counts, we've had park counts, but what about your top 10 roller coaster manufacturers?

 

I'll start with my current list, bearing in mind I haven’t yet visited many non-UK parks and am yet to ride an RMC (hence me not being able to judge them);

 

5. Intamin - They've produced some shockers and I'm not generally a huge fan of the UK collection we have, but they've also brought us some incredible rides such as Taron, and I'm sure with various ventures this year I'll get to ride some of their better rides.

 

4. Mack Rides - Their rich family values and innovative technology make them a special company, who have produced some of the most globally-recognised and comfortable coasters of modern times.  They've started new design trends, but (from my experience) their coasters are a little to "polite" for my personal taste.

 

3. B&M - Some of their coasters are incredible, some I find fairly dull, but in terms of quality and durability they're second-to-none.

 

2. Great Coasters International – Just amazing.  They've taken the classic concept of a wooden coaster and completely reinvented it with modern technology, from the insane fast turns of Troy to frantic bunny-hops on Joris, they push the capabilities of a wooden coaster to its absolute limits and it’s fantastic.

 

1. Arrow Dynamics - Just an absolutely incredible company with a fascinating history.  Sure, they had their shortfalls; plenty of them.  But this is the company that invented the modern steel coaster - the company that started log flumes, hyper coasters and so many other coaster/ride types that we now take for granted.  I sometimes wonder where the industry would be today if Arrow hadn't existed.  Considering the huge amount of concepts they introduced, and the fact that many employees from Arrow went on to work in other, or in some cases, started their own company, they truly left a huge legacy behind.  I love the quirkiness and awkwardness of some of their coasters, which is probably quite telling of why I hold The Big One in such high regard, and the work Arrow did set the stage for the future of the industry in so many ways.

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5. GCI. I think they're a great company, although a little one-note. Wodan is the best example of their rides IMO.

 

4. Vekoma. Yeah, Yeah. But, these guys really are your go to for a lot of parks for being able to add affordable rides for parks getting off the ground or are able to innovate to meet whatever the customer needs. I personally really like some of their loopers despite their reputation and some of their Disney work is out of this world.

 

3. Gerstlauer. Weird one this. I have a real soft spot for them because of The Smiler, Karnen and their bobsleds. They push the boundaries in ways that I really like.

 

2. Mack. Blue Fire, Helix, Icon, Alpina Blitz. Not to mention when I worked at Chessington it was Runaway Train and Safari Skyway that were my favourites to work on. The ride industry would be a sorry place without these passionate and dedicated ride manufacturers.

 

1. B&M. Majority of my favourite rides are from these guys. Smooth, efficient, reliable rides that are massive crowd pleasers and when I was a young lad, their track was my favourite look.

 

I haven't ridden enough RMC's to really rate them fairly and I think Intamin hide behind their bigger hits as they have some absolute duds which are some of the worst things I have ever ridden.

 

 

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Of my Top 20 coasters, 5 are Intamin, 4 are Mack, 4 are B&M, 2 are GCI, 2 are Vekoma, 2 are Gerstlauer and 1 is Schwarzkopf. So that would at least suggest some order. But going more with a gut feeling...

 

1=) Mack. Yet to make a bad ride arguably. All their stuff looks interesting and fun, and they like to push boundaries and innovate.

1=) Intamin. Close one this to Mack, but I think maybe Mack just pips it for now. All their new stuff looks amazing, but for all their new stuff, they've got a lot of garbage old stuff. Their future stuff looks fantastic though, and again they like to push boundaries and innovate.

3) B&M. B&M are slowly slipping down the list for me. Their rides just captivate me less. Yes, they're guaranteed to make good rides, but there's no ride they've made in the past 3 years where I've thought 'Wow, this is something I simply must do' (unless the theming elevates the ride). I'm still happy in the safe knowledge I'll get a good ride, but it just doesn't captivate me like any others in this list do.

4) GCI. I wasn't sure between this and Vekoma for 4th. But ultimately I think, for now, GCI pips them. Again, like B&M, always make good rides, but some of their newer stuff has intrigued me more. I simply just haven't ridden enough of them.

5) Vekoma. New Vekoma looks incredible, and once a few more of their newer bits are done, and I've had the chance to go on them, I can really see them climbing up the list.

 

 

Still have yet to do an RMC, and I'm still 50/50 whether what they make are my type of rides, so I look forward to trying some out. But realistically, that's the only manufacturer I could see breaking into the Top 5 any time soon.

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1. Mack: I adore Blue Fire and can't wait to ride the even more amazing looking recent projects from Mack.

Overall I think the restraints on their bigger coasters are very comfortable but allow for a lot of freedom for airtime and inversions (that heartline roll on BF ?)

 

2. RMC: Only ridden New Texas Giant but overall I remember it being a glossy smooth ride full of airtime and fun banking.

New Texas Giant was the first RMC and probably the least innovative out of all the RMC's, I can't imagine what the other ones are like!

New Texas Giant was pretty flawless in itself, Steel Vengeance must be insane!

I think RMC will be dominating the industry for years to come, they currently seem to be the hottest manufacturer in the US right now so once they start building more over here and in Asia I think they will be perhaps even better than Mack. RMC is the future. In ten years time I wouldn't be surprised if every park had to have a RMC in their lineup.

 

3. B&M: Solid and stable, though anything that isn't a Giga or Shambhala I think are just kinda eh at this point in the industry.

I think they need to really introduce a new model soon or something new, I think after RMC got big innovation has became the key, B&M besides their Gigas haven't really done anything different to

their designs or approach in the past five years.

 

4. GCI: I have only rode Wodan but if the other GCI's are anything like Wodan then wow.

I absolutely love Wodan's fast pace and how it never seems to lose speed, Troy looks even more epic, can't wait to ride more of these.

 

5. Intamin: I haven't really rode many good intamins. Furius Baco is probably the best Intamin I have rode if I'm being honest..

I have put them on the list as they do innovate quite a lot, but recently that innovation has really just became becoming a counterfeit RMC..

 

 

 

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