I first rode Boulder Dash in 2001 and could not understand what all the fuss was about! Sure the layout was good and the terrain was excellent, and the ride was also smooth and fast, but where was all the airtime I had heard about? I got absolutely none! So I was very disappointed with the ride and only gave it a 7/10 rating.
At this point in time, I think it is important to note that my first ride was in the front seat on the very first ride of the day at 11am. I rode again straight after in the back seat and was still far from impressed, so maybe the ride did not deliver because it had yet to warm up? The ride was also spoiled by a train load of high-pitched screaming kids, which were that loud I actually had to block my ears. I was that disappointed that I left the park shortly after.
Five years later I decided to give Boulder Dash another chance at proving to me why it was so highly rated, so this time I made sure I would ride late afternoon and in the early evening, thus giving the ride a chance to warm up, since I know many wooden roller coasters run better later in the day. In fact, conditions couldn't have been better for my final two rides, almost complete darkness and after a thunder storm.
The afternoon rides were fantastic, in the front Boulder Dash was fast and furious, smooth, and delivered copious amounts of airtime and lateral forces. However, at night Boulder Dash was absolutely insane, racing through the wooded hillside in almost complete darkness, not knowing which way you are going next, being forced out of your seat as a result of strong negative g's, and rocking from side-to-side as the train makes sudden changes in direction. The return stretch was more lit due to the lights from the park, but the speed and airtime just seemed to be increasing right until the final brake-run. Boulder Dash was simply awesome, and delivered everything that a good wooden roller coaster should, and much more beyond.
The back seat rides are even more out of control than the front, but I didn't feel the sensation of speed as much, and it is a little rough, but not rough enough to spoil the ride. Incidentally this roughness must have appeared over time, since the ride was crystal smooth in the back when I first rode it in 2001.
So Boulder Dash had not only redeemed itself, but had far exceeded all my expectations. I think the night-time front seat ride was a perfect 10/10 for me, and amongst the top five best ever rides on any wooden roller coaster, but based on my previous experiences, I can only give the ride 9/10 since it doesn't seem to run as exceptional as this all the time, well at least not in my experience.