I remember being 6 or 7 and being tall for my age. I was able to ride the bigger, scarier roller coasters sooner than many of the other kids my age. Add that to the fact that my parents were big roller coaster fans and we spent many a weekend at the amusement park, and you have a recipe for lifetime love with the coaster. Like any obsession there have been ebbs and flows in my excitement, but it has never died. Anyone else who is a roller coaster enthusiast knows that it is a serious matter, and not something that dies easily. There are entire organizations created for people who can’t get enough of the thrill, after all. So for those of you that are not sure if you are, or want to know how to spot one, I have some tell-tale signs to help you out.
1. You find it important to know all/most of the lingo related to coasters.
This includes the specifics on different aspects of track design and types of roller coasters. Can you tell what a downward double helix or boomerang inversion does? People like me can and they pride themselves on knowing these things. And if you didn’t know that there were hundreds of different types than you probably aren’t a fanatic. They are anything from the Inverted coaster, which has the entire car suspended below the track and your feet dangling below that, to a Hyper Twister coaster, which is all about large drops, high speeds, and comfortable seats and a twisting track layout. It isn’t enough to just enjoy riding them, we have to be educated on them.
2. You think about them or design them in your head when not at the amusement park.
This one reminds me of growing up. I would take such care of designing my own coasters that I built out of legos a vehicle that would pass as a car from the coaster train. I would then come up with a design in a place like the living room and run the car through the motions as if it was a legit ride. I didn’t miss a beat. I had the lift hill, the realistic physics of correct speed and later elements that weren’t high than the first. Now I’m not say every kid when is a roller coaster geek did this. But you must have some sort of thought of them outside the parks, and occasionally consider some unique designs of your own. (Even if you don’t tell anyone)
3. You have an ongoing list of the top roller coaster you’ve been or want to go on.
This can include a list of amusement parks too. The bottom line is you have the desire to take a road trip or tour of some of the best parks in the country. You think about it on a regular basis and it will factor into your plans before you die. You will feel like you haven’t lived fully until this succeed in this quest.
4. Your heart beats faster the moment you see or hear one running for the first time of the day.
I know I usually start getting excited the moment I can see them from the freeway. There is something within you that reminds you how much fun and thrill comes from the coaster. It may sound silly but they bring you so much joy that you can’t stand it and that gets your adrenaline pumping. Now as you get older or ride particular coasters you ridden hundreds of times, that excitement might be a little more muted, but its still there, and you can’t rid of it. No matter how hard you try. Once your eyes are opened to the awesomeness that is the coaster, it rarely ever leaves again.
5. When no one else is able to go to the amusement park, you seriously consider spending the day there by yourself.
I know I’m not the only one who’s done this. With my friends, family and I busy in our adult lives, its hard to coordinate times to do stuff together. And when there’s a craving for riding some coasters, its hard to quell it. You will finding yourself pacing the house, trying to decide if it is to farfetched to just go by yourself. Usually these are meant to be events to share with other people, but sometimes they just call to you. You don’t know why, but they do. I know I would have given in by now had the park I go to regularly been in town, but it is an hour drive from me.
So there you have it. If all five of these things sound like you: Congratulations! You are a roller coaster geek like me and I want to meet you.