A Review of Mind Eraser & Its Many Clones
The concept of Vekoma’s Suspended Looping Coaster (SLC) is a great one. It’s a compact inverted roller coaster(even though the model name has ‘suspended’ in it) with riders fixed below a tangle of twisted track. They are popular additions at theme parks with about 30 clones or slight variations around the globe. I’ve ridden the Mind Erasers at Six Flags America and Darien Lake, Great Nor’Easter at Morey’s Piers, T2 at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, and most recently Hangman at Wild Adventures. There’s very little difference between any of them. When I’m tight on time, I’ll skip them because it seems as if you’ve ridden one, you’ve likely ridden them all.
Vekoma SLCs Should Be Sponsored by Advil
The seemingly winning formula of a compact looper unfortunately fails greatly on the execution. These roller coasters are plagued with bad to horrible head banging as riders heads bounce of the head restraints like pinballs. The ear boxing can result in headaches and disdain from victims in the exit ramp.
The experience starts 0ff well enough. Riders board the two across trains that seem much smaller than the B&M inverted coaster trains. The train is lifted nearly eleven stories (109′) only to be dropped into a fast, swooping dive. The speed of these rides feels much faster than it looks from off the ride. Immediately following the drop, the train navigates its way through its first element; a rollover with two back-to-back loops. There’s typically a little headbanging here, but it’s about to get a whole lot worse.
Mind Eraser’s Rough Twisted Course
The train traverses back down, and then back up, and then dives next to the station’s exit ramp. This is a great spot for photos by the way. Then, the train rises up into a sidewinder loop with some more head banging. There’s a really good leg chopper moment that used to really get me. I remember on my first ride on Mind Eraser at Six Flags America I pulled my legs up thinking that they’d be knocked off by the track. Then, the ride finishes with the biggest OUCH, the tight double corkscrew. By now, there’s a good chance that riders minds are actually erased or at least in a bit of pain. On some SLC’s even the non-looping areas are rough and bumpy causing your back to bounce off the the seats.
It’s unfortunate that these coasters fail to live up to their potential. The layout is pretty ingenious. It’s an action-packed little course that doesn’t take up much space. I just wish they were better maintained and had better restraints. These rides only need a few things to become strong performers in your home park’s lineup. Vekoma’s new open restraints like those seen on Carowinds’ new Carolina Cobra. And probably a fresh set of wheels. Final Rating – 4.0 to 6.0 (Below Average to Above Average)
Mind Eraser and its clones are rated ‘TH’ for Thrilling. It’s a 3 out of 5 on my Thrill Scale.
What’s Your Take?
Have been victim to, I mean ridden a Vekoma SLC like the Mind Erasers or one of its clones? What was your experience like? Leave a comment below.
Other Vekoma SLCs:
Aside from the four that I’ve ridden, other Vekoma SLC’s in the U.S. are: Gauntlet at Magic Springs, Thunderhawk at Michigan’s Adventure, Kong at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and the Mind Erasers at Elitch Gardens and Six Flags New England.