SheiKra vs. Griffon: Dive Coaster Showdown
Comparisons between America’s two dive coasters, Busch Gardens Africa’s SheiKra and Busch Gardens Europe’s Griffon are inevitable. From the time Busch announced Griffon’s details enthusiasts the debate began.
Busch did an excellent job integrating Griffon into New France. The station, landscaping, and shops of were all complete when I visited BGE not long after Griffon opened. I liked how Griffon had its own section in New France. The splash section was off to the side unlike at BGA where SheiKra’s splash spilled over to the main pathway through Stanleyville. They are both themed well and integrated into the parks well. But I give the slight edge to Griffon.
The drops on both of the coasters are insane. It’s a twenty-story drop at a staggering 90-degrees. Griffon’s is slightly taller at 205 feet versus SheiKra’s 200 feet. While the 5 foot difference in height is negligible, the bridge you pass under at the bottom of the Griffon’s drop gives a decent arm chopper effect. Edge: Griffon
Both roller coasters feature Immelmann loops. An Immelmann is a simultaneous loop and roll, the named after a World War I German flying ace who invented the maneuver. SheiKra offers one 165-foot tall Immelmann while Griffon’s has two Immelmanns, the largest of which is 146-feet tall. Believe it or not, you really can feel the difference between the loops. The highlight of SheiKra for me was its extreme Immelmann where the track goes straight up for what feels like a long time before inverting and finishing the maneuver. I prefer SheiKra’s extra-large loop, but Griffon has two loops. It’s a tough call.
To be fair I only rode SheiKra once and I got three rides on Griffon. I think the airtime on Griffon gives it the edge over SheiKra. The two loops and passing under the bridge further help Griffon’s case. But they’re both great coasters.
What’s Your Take?
Which dive coaster do you prefer SheiKra or Griffon. What do you think? Leave a comment below.