|Ride Type:||Steel looping coaster|
|Top Speed:||60 mph|
|Flash Pass Enabled:||No|
Shock Wave is a classic looping steel coaster introduced to the Tower section of the park in 1978. The tallest continuous-circuit coaster in the world when first opened, Shock Wave is one of the few looping roller coasters that remains to have lap bars (as opposed to over-the-shoulder restraints). Not only does the ride feature two consecutive vertical loops (whose circular shape causes forces up to 6 Gs), but it also features hills that create powerful ejector airtime (negative Gs).
The ride is built alongside Interstate 30 and, when it first opened, was reportedly responsible for several wrecks from distracted drivers.
The Shock Wave has thrilled guests at Six Flags over Texas for over 30 years, but the ride has essentially outlived its operational expectancy. In order to ensure the ride can continue to thrill guests and safely operate, the park performs yearly rehabilitation on the track. Often this means having to remove entire sections of track to refurbish them against the effects of metal fatigue.
Sometimes this rehabilitation cannot be completed within the short 2-month off season the park has and work must continue into the beginning of the season. Shock Wave's rehabilitation explains why the ride is occasionally closed and missing track pieces, especially near the beginning of the season.
- The Mindbender at Six Flags over Georgia opened the same year as Shock Wave (1978) with the same track style, train, and feature of 2 vertical loops. As a result, Mindbender and Shock Wave are often called "sister" coasters.
- Shock Wave was actually designed by Werner Stengel, a prolific engineer/designer that has worked on virtually every major modern roller coaster. Schwarzkopf handled the manufacturing and technical details of the ride.
- Shock Wave's track utilizes a rigid four-sided lattice system that minimizes the number of supports needed for the track. Given the ride's location over Johnson Creek, this was likely a welcome improvement.
- Shock Wave's supports feature an innovative ball-and-socket connection design. The supports taper down to a sphere-shaped end near their base and interlock with a socket in each footer. Instead of creating a rigid connection between the support and footer, some relative motion is allowed which reduces stress. The track also sways more which can add an additional element of apparent danger.
- Shock Wave has had a number of color schemes over the years. The coaster opened with white track and white supports. In 1980 it was painted dark blue, which faded and was re-painted a lighter blue. Silver track and dark blue supports gave the ride a Dallas Cowboys-inspired theme in the 80s. The park again changed Shock Wave's color scheme in 1992 to have white track, pink loops, and yellow supports (widely considered its most ugly color scheme). In 1996 the track was painted dark blue and the supports were painted red. Shock Wave was painted its current green and blue colors in 2001.
Shock Wave Comments
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