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Son of Beast, Kings Island - Review

Son of Beast - Review

Kings Island

Ride Facts and Info

Son of Beast opened in 2000 as the world's tallest, fastest, and only looping wooden coaster. Shortly after opening, the ride was closed down due to complaints of roughness. After some work on behalf of PKI, the ride reopened and was reported to be running smoother. The ride operates 2 Premier trains, each with 6 cars containing 2 rows of 2 seats. Restraints consist of individual racheting laps bars.

Ride Layout

The station is just over 50 feet above the ground, so when the train leaves the station it descends a 51 foot left-hand twisting drop that leads into a straight section of track, before a bank left-hand turnaround to the lift hill. The on-ride photo is at the bottom of the lift, which climbs 218 feet above the ground.

At the top of the lift, the track features a small dip and a left-hand turn, before the huge 214 foot drop, at 55.7 degrees. The train then climbs back up about 165 feet, making a gradual right-hand turn at the top. The second drop, which is the second highest drop on a wooden roller coaster, leads into a huge left-hand double helix, which climbs back up about 150 feet.

After the helix, there is a flat section of track complete with some block brakes that lead into the third drop. At the bottom of the third drop is a large loop with wooden track and steel structure standing 118 feet high. Another helix follows the loop, this time it turns towards the right.

A drop leads out of the second helix and a into hill, which leads into another drop that features a banked right-hand turnaround towards the bottom of the drop and on the climb back up. The train then makes one final drop, before climbing back up and pulling up onto the loading block brakes. A final left-hand turnaround brings the train back to the station.

Ride Evaluation

My first ever ride on Son Of Beast was in May 2001, and after two consecutive rides in the front seat, and one in the back, it rated as the roughest ride I had ever ridden, it even gave me two bruises. Halfway down the first drop the train started to shake, and threw me side to side all the way to the top of the second hill and then again during the first helix. The third hill was okay, and the loop was very good, and is easily the best part of the ride. However, after the loop the ride is pretty boring (and still rough), and the tops of the second helix are very slow.

On my visit in 2002, I decided to avoid sitting above the wheels, and to my surprise the ride was a lot smoother, and actually quite good. The ride in the 2nd seat was very smooth, and the only rough part was at the top of the hill before the helix, and even this only involved a bit of shaking. It was a little bit bumpy further back in the train, but still a considerable improvement from the previous year. I almost concluded that the ride had become smoother, but after riding again in the front seat in 2003, this was a mistake.

In addition to the roughness, the trains are extremely uncomfortable, in fact it is probably the trains that further the bouncing and shaking experienced during the ride. The lapbars are uncomfortable, and you can easily bang your legs on them during the ride.

If you like or don't mind rough woodies, then SOB is for you. If you don't like rough rides then make sure you don't sit above the wheels. Sitting in even numbered rows, such as row 2, provides are far smoother ride, one that allows you to enjoy the intensity of the ride, without being bashed all over the place.

Related Links
  • Son of Beast - Stats / Pictures
  • Kings Island - Park Info
  • Kings Island - Pictures
  • Kings Island - Review

    Ride Experience:  7/10
    Theming:  6/10
    Landscaping:  7/10
    Queuing Area:  5/10
    Station:  6/10



    Times Ridden:  7
    Best Seat:  1:2
    Best Part of the Ride:  Loop
    Popularity:  100%
    Satisfaction:  74%
    On-ride Photo:  N/A

    Riding Sensations
    Airtime:  Low
    Lateral G's:  High
    Positive G's:  Medium-High
    Out of Control:  Medium
    Intensity:  High
    Discomfort:  Medium-High

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