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Trims on I-305

Kings Dominion: In an attempt to reduce equipment wear and intense forces on riders, trim brakes have been added to the 300-foot first drop.

From Russell Meyer
Posted June 3, 2010 at 6:29 AM
I'm not sure if anyone out there has experienced I-305 pre and post trims, but the difference is substantial. While the second half of the ride (after the first airtime hill) is significantly better with less whipping and head-banging, the immense first drop is rendered useless with trims that slow the train a good 5-10 MPH. The problem is that even though the train is significantly slowed down entering the first intense right turn (still haven't figured out why a NASCAR-themed coaster's most menacing element is a RIGHT turn), there's still a good chance of "greying" out before coming out of the turn into the airtime hill.


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Scott Sanders
Posted June 3, 2010 at 6:54 AM
I'm done with this ride. Rode it twice on opening day and didn't enjoy greying out and getting knocked around at the end of the ride.

Between this and the lameness of Europe in the Air, this season has been a disappointment.

From steve lee
Posted June 3, 2010 at 7:16 AM
rcdb states that the new top speed with the trims is 79.5 mph. So essentially they've got a gigacoaster that doesn't go any faster than a hypercoaster (Diamondback's top speed is 80mph).

Between this and the Shoot the Rapids fiasco, it's not a great year for the Intamin folks.

From Nick Markham
Posted June 3, 2010 at 9:24 AM
Oh its not that big of a deal. Who cares if the first drop isnt as great. It sounds like now riders can enjoy the airtime of the first hill rather than the roughness of it! Besides, anyone who says 79.5 mph is not fast enough has been riding Top Thrill Dragster (or Kingda Ka for that matter) too many times! :D

From steve lee
Posted June 3, 2010 at 10:06 AM
When you spend $25 million on something and it doesn't do what it's supposed to do, that's a VERY big deal. And if greying out is still an issue, they're not done "fixing" it yet. It may not be of much concern to you, but I can guarantee it's a huge concern for the lawyers.

From Nick Markham
Posted June 3, 2010 at 11:09 AM
There are millions of coasters that put trims on, are still great, grey some riders out, and still don't into legal trouble. Really, it is not all that uncommon.

From Adam Nodjomian
Posted June 3, 2010 at 12:39 PM
I rode I-305 on monday for the first time and thought it was an awesome ride. Rode front row first and was fine, no grey-out and limited knocking around. Second time though, rode in fourth row greyed-out by the end of the first turn and as we ascended the second hill, but again less whipping. Only one good airtime moment was the hill right after the second high-speed turn. On the way down I was able to notice the obvious fins, but since I didn't ride it before these were installed, I can't say how they have affected the ride. I-305 currently holds spot 3 on my top 10 list.

From Derek Potter
Posted June 3, 2010 at 1:04 PM
I saw this coming. I took one look at the layout and the rendering and figured that the turn after the first hill would be too much. It's too compact and too close to the first drop. If they would have made the turn taller or more stretched out to absorb some of the 90 mph speed, it would have been fine, but to put a low height, high banked turn just after a 300 foot drop is going to make some riders very uncomfortable. There's just too much speed and it creates too many G forces. The trim brakes are pretty much the only way to remedy, because it's a problem with the overall design.

Intamin isn't doing very well by Cedar Fair lately. They had to redesign a portion of Maverick a couple of years ago during the construction phase because it was deemed too intense. Shoot the Rapids is delayed indefinitely because the boats they built are too big and they have to do them over. Now there are problems with Intimidator. It seems the only new Intamin ride at a Cedar Fair park that works like it should is the 27 year old relocated Demon Drop.

From James Rao
Posted June 3, 2010 at 3:27 PM
Adding trims to I305's featured descent is like adding strobes to a stationary Yeti. ** CHOKE **

I will be visiting KD in July, and I am not pleased with the news. No, not pleased at all.

From Russell Meyer
Posted June 3, 2010 at 5:12 PM
Actually, I noticed that the airtime on the first airtime hill is almost non-existent compared to what it was pre-trimmed. However, the second airtime hill is actually a little better since the trims that were used on the first drop were removed from the second airtime hill.

I'm not sure how rcdb got that speed number, but I doubt it's accurate. I would say the coaster probably tops out at between 85-90 MPH with the new trims. On media day, Kings Dominion was clocking loaded trains at 96+ MPH with a radar gun.

From steve lee
Posted June 3, 2010 at 6:51 PM
Duane generally doesn't post unsubstantiated info. The same number shows up on the Wiki page, but it's unclear what the actual source is. That said, isn't Cedar Fair engaging in false advertising stating that the fastest speed is in excess of 90 mph?

Nick, please don't misinterpret my comments as an attack on the actual coaster. I'm sure the ride is fine. But a trimmed out ride that causes grey outs is NOT what Cedar Fair contracted from Intamin. And as Derek very succinctly pointed out, Intamin hasn't had a great track record lately when it comes to providing what the customer ordered.


From Nick Markham
Posted June 3, 2010 at 8:58 PM
^Oh, I never thought it was an attack and never meant to sound like so. Sorry, sometimes my comments come out competitive, and in situations like these they come out a bit protective as well! :)

Trims are never good, but I just feel there is no use complaining about something we have no control over.

From David White
Posted June 3, 2010 at 9:17 PM
^Unless we are someone "high up" in the industry, we don't have control over anything when it comes to coasters. Does that mean that we can't complain about a ride being rough, slow, airless, trimmed, etc.?

From Nick Markham
Posted June 4, 2010 at 9:21 AM
^What's the use?

From David White
Posted June 4, 2010 at 4:25 PM
^Uh... When I'm ranking/rating/discussing coasters, I like to give my honest opinion... Not just the positives. I'm not going to leave out the negatives because it isn't "under my control".

So, in this case, if I rode i305 and thought the trims were disappointing and ruined the ride, I'd say so.

(Although, from the looks of it, it does still looks like a good coaster, like you said.)

From jack nester
Posted June 8, 2010 at 11:20 AM
I rode Intimidator before and after the brakes were added, and I must say it was a better ride with the brakes on, not as much whipping around and an all together smoother ride.

From Christian Bull
Posted June 8, 2010 at 4:21 PM
I have been on 305 pre and post trim and personally i think the trims did nothing cept ruin a good ride. They don't help the "graying out" thing. But don't get me wrong, Intimidator 305 is still and always was a great ride. Also i did hear that Kings Dominion were going to remove the trims. Hopefully

From Nick Markham
Posted June 9, 2010 at 8:10 AM
In the end, you can not blame Cedar Fair or the park for this. You can blame the riders. Apparently, many riders complained about blacking out on the drop, and so Kings Dominion had to do something before they got sued. Ultimately it is because of those tourists we hate so that incredible coasters and rides like Intimidator 305 are ruined.

Just think about another example: Cat in the Hat ride at IOA. A family was riding and there "smart" kid decided to try to climb out of the car mid-ride and ended up falling out during a spin. Now when they got out, the parents blamed Universal for forcing their kid to fall out of the car when the kid had decided to climb out altogether. So now, the ride has no spinning at all in fear of getting sued.

Americans these days...

From steve lee
Posted June 9, 2010 at 10:26 AM
I blame Cedar Fair for continuing to use an unreliable manufacturer or roller coasters (does Intamin not have computers?). And the "tourist" card just doesn't play here - I don't listen to tourists, I listen to enthusiasts. And if enthusiasts consistently grey out on a coaster, there is a very severe issue.

From bryan shepard
Posted June 9, 2010 at 5:25 PM
Nick you can't blame people complaining for the ride situation... If people are having problems after riding this very intense coaster then something had to be done... Im sorry but the feeling of passing out isn't fun... and you can't compare someone's kid for trying to get out the seat with this situation... its apples and oranges... like the other post said... dont they use computers, or have eng look at these models before they build such rides... come on... 94 mph into a huge ground banked turn immedetely after 300 foot drop is asking for issues... hopefully KD and Cedar Fair can get this fixed, its ashame that KD has had now 2 major eggs laid lately... this one 25 million, and hypersonic 15 million....

From steve lee
Posted June 9, 2010 at 7:03 PM
(hey, I LOVED Hypersonic the one and only time I rode it)

From bryan shepard
Posted June 10, 2010 at 12:14 AM
me too, it was a great ride, its just sitting behind the rebel yell now... they should have kept it going but who knows...

From Charles Reichley
Posted June 11, 2010 at 3:44 PM
I rode the ride 3 times before they added the trim. I greyed out when I wanted to; the first time I rode, I pushed up with my legs, which keeps blood from pooling down, and I didn't grey out at all. (That's how I often ride coasters to keep unexpected shocks from hurting my back).

I didn't think there was a lot of air time on the coaster -- seemed like such a waste getting us going so fast and then not building in a set of little hills to lets us float over.

Also seemed a waste not to have us go back up a hill a bit before the curve, which would have slowed things down a bit without needing trims.

Pre-trim, the front of the ride was a real kicker. I'll have to see if I like it when I go back, probably on Father's day.

I don't remember the end being all that rough either, and while I didn't ride the very back, I did ride near the back and in the middle.

From Eli Katzman
Posted June 12, 2010 at 11:52 AM
I went monday- I loved the ride (expect a full tr in the next week or so), but yes, I noticed the trim breaks. I didn't expect it to stay at the same speed for so long, but you really only see it coming if you're in the front. I was the only one out of my friends that saw the "black out" coming, even though it felt more like yellow was mixing with black before we bent out of the curve. Without the trim breaks, I'm sure it would have been worse-- although I didn't feel enough g's to match with the black out, the first turn was still insanely intense.

From Charles Reichley
Posted June 20, 2010 at 9:01 PM
OK, I got to ride it with the trims. Near the front, the trims are noticable, and really ruin the first drop. Nothing kills the feeling of falling out of control like feeling someone hitting the breaks. IT's like how I ski, and it's not for thrill-seekers.

I didn't grey out, and I didn't feel like it was any less rough. I know they can't change the track, but I'd rather they kept the speed and fixed the transitions so you didn't feel your neck would break if you aren't paying attention.

On the other hand, when I rode the back car, I could hardly feel the brakes, I guess they hit before we were over the top. So it seemed maybe riding in the back was actually more fun with the trims on.

I still hope they can get those trims off the ride. If they were going to trim, I'd rather they do it on the curve itself, after you get the feeling of free fall.

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