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Ride it. Count it. Forget it.

Have you ever come off a rollercoaster and felt like you've been violently abused for two minutes? For some people every coaster might feel like this, but I'm talking about rides that will hurt you, shake you and give you headaches. Uncomfortable restraints, horrible seats and awful running tracks.

When I say Vekoma SLC, many enthusiasts will shudder and respond with a "Hell no!". Very few people actually like these types of rollercoasters. They are painful, headache inducing and shaky. But there is one Vekoma SLC in particular that is the absolute worst, Condor at Walibi Holland (Formerly known as El Condor). Opened in 1994, Condor was the first ever Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster (SLC). It is actually a prototype model, but after this one Vekoma sold around 42 SLCs all over the world. The trains featured bulky over the shoulder restraints.

I remember riding Condor when I was a young girl, who just got her earrings pierced a few weeks before. This was the first time I rode Condor, I didn't know about the reputation back then. But I can assure you this ride traumatized me! Being a short girl those big over the shoulder restraints made it even worse. My head banged against the restraints the whole ride and I came off with a headache and red ears..

In 2021 Condor received new Vekoma trains, to improve comfort on the ride. These trains feature the new vest restraints, which are actually quite comfortable. With my previous experience in the back of my head, I gave Condor a second chance in August 2023. And although the trains and restraints are indeed way more comfortable, the ride was still the absolute worst. Maybe a little less headbanging, but it just doesn't feel good. I have sworn to never ride Condor again, it's a 'once for the credit' ride.

Due to Condor's reputation, I was a bit hesitant to ride Rollercoaster Mayan at Energylandia. As this is the exact same Vekoma model, with the new trains and restraints. Except that this one openend in 2015 and Vekoma probably (hopefully?) learned from their Condor mistakes. But Mayan is surprisingly comfortable for a SLC! To the point I even did some rerides and actually enjoyed it!

Not only SLCs are painful rides, one of my recent most painful experiences was on Xpress: Platform 13 (also at Walibi Holland unfortunately). This ride started as Superman The Ride, then got renamed to Xpress and is currently operating as Xpress: Platform 13. The ride opened back in 2000 and is a Vekoma LSM Launch coaster. This ride was really cool in my memory and not painful at all, at least.. Not that I can remember? But my last ride on Xpress was one of the worst ever. The train seats are extremely hard and it felt like something was piercing my lower back the whole ride. And ofcourse, it has the hard over the shoulder restraints. The launch itself was fine, but the rest of the layout was horrible. I can't remember how many times I hit my head on the restraints, all I could do was think "When is this over?!".

Vekoma is my favorite ride manufacturer, so I'm not blaming them at all. It's just my own experience and I can't enjoy these rides anymore. More recent Vekoma coasters are one of the best I have ridden (for example: Abyssus at Energylandia). It's not just Vekoma with painful rides though, there is one more ride that I never want to experience ever again.. And that is Viking at Energylandia. Viking is a SBF Visa spinning coaster, basically a wild mouse. Except... with over the shoulder restrains... Yes, you read that right. There is nothing I have to say about this ride, there is nothing fun about this thing. Ride it, count it, forget it. Or just don't ride it if you don't care about the credits. I'd be happy if Energylandia got rid of this thing, it doesn't even deserve the name 'rollercoaster'. It's more of a.. torture device?

Rollercoasters should be fun and enjoyable, but once I've experienced a ride that didn't feel good.. I'm not doing it again. I'll live by the motto Ride it. Count it. Forget it. Although forgetting it might be impossible with some rides.. As they leave you with bruises or headaches.

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