In unveiling the trains for its new-for-2023 roller coaster Pipeline, SeaWorld Orlando made one point repeatedly: This shouldn’t be called be a stand-up coaster.
While riders on Pipeline: The Surf Coaster will not be seated, the restraints will move vertically to some degree to recreate the sensation of rolling over waves.
“This is not a stand-up roller coaster, it is a surfing coaster,” Jonathan Smith, SeaWorld’s vice president of rides and engineering, said at the IAAPA Expo in Orlando. “So there’s a lot of differences between the two. There is some movement on the restraint system, so you’re going to experience wave jumping motions as you’re maneuvering these elements. If you think about surfing, you never stand erect, or straight up, you always kind of bend your knees and control your center of gravity, and that’s what you’re going to be able to do here on Pipeline.”
The ride is being built by Swiss coaster firm Bolliger & Mabillard, the same manufacturer behind Kraken, Mako and Manta at SeaWorld Orlando. The company also built stand-up coasters in the 1990s, but the model fell out of favor largely due to to rider discomfort. Several former stand-up coasters from B&M, such as Mantis at Cedar Point, have since been converted into the company’s seated floorless coaster model while using the same track.
Pipeline will feature a 60 miles per hour launch right after the loading station. The 110-foot-tall coaster will have one inversion, called a “wave curl” and five airtime moments along its 2,950 feet of track. The “wave curl” is designed to simulate a surfing maneuver called a “cork alley oop,” according to Smith.
SeaWorld did not offer any update on the ride’s opening date. Smith said the launch section and first two elements have been completed and installation of the “wave curl” track has begun. Pipeline will be the seventh coaster at SeaWorld Orlando and one of three being added across the SeaWorld chain in 2023, along with Arctic Rescue at SeaWorld San Diego and DarKoaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.