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 Review of Hellcat (Tsunami/J2) @ Clementon Amusement Park
3 Rating Posted by: Hercules on 8/27/2005 8:22:00 PM
Luckily, this ride does not live up (or down, depending on how you look at it) to its horrible name. J2 as it is now called (the name was changed from Tsunami after the horrible event of the tsunami in Asia last year) is short for Jackrabbit 2 (Jackrabbit is the old Philadelphia Toboggan coaster that has not been open for a couple of years). All I have to say is, what a dumb name. However, whats in a name when a ride is so great. In this instance, the name is worthless. The ride does not look like a masterpiece with its ugly steel support structure, with the wood shabbily slapped on top. So, the ride has two bad things going for it right out of the gate - horrible name and sloppy appearance. To some those two factors would straight into their heads and the ride would not matter that much. That is not the case with me. I had to give it a shot, and believe me, it delivered. To start, the trains are very nice. I didnt like them at first based on their appearance, but they grew on me. They have that classic look to them - one is a dark blue and the other is a very dark red color, each having eloquent and elaborate gold lining. Also, they were most comfortable and you will see that throughout this review. The ride ops were very casual, but very good at their job. Their uniforms were just that, very casual (tee shirt, shorts/jeans, sneakers, sandals, one girl had short shorts on) and they were not afraid to joke around and crack a smile once in a while. However, their emphasis was clearly on safety as they would double and triple check the train before every dispatch, pulling the belts as tight as they could. Also, riders not only have to be at least 54 inches tall to ride in the back car, but it is also a requirement to be 21 years of age. Upon dispatch there is a dip under the brake run that leads to the lift hill. I was surprised by how quickly the train climbed the lift. Then, a few seconds later you are hurtling down 105 feet, the entire way pushed completely out of the seat. The airtime on that drop is sensational. Then, you are "slammed" back into the seat in the lull between the first and second hill. I say "slammed" because you are slammed, but the seats are just so comfy that it does not bother you in the least bit. A slight turn out of the first drop takes the train into the second hill, where a little bit of joss ling occurring. Actually, it is more of a slam to the right and a back and forth to the left and right. No wonder there were signs and announcements all over the place about how "severely aggressive" this coaster is. Then the ride went into turns with severe banking and a tight, long helix, also with very heavy overbanks. I did not realize how intense the helix was until the train came out of it. It was not that bad, but then exiting felt like feeling the after effects of getting drilled with a Mike Tyson right cross - the helix itself was just like the set up jab. Then came a couple of hills on the homestretch and then the brakes. Altogether, it was one wild ride. It had me saying "This is my kind of coaster," at the end. Man was I excited. The ride was a little on the short side and had me begging for a little more, but what was thrown into that short amount of track was something special. Although I wanted a little more, it was definitely a complete ride. Normally shorter rides arent complete, but this one has it. Just a little warning however, it is extremely aggressive as advertised. It wont kill you or knock you out, but it is rough and tumble and wild. It will shack you up. Its kind of like one of those coasters that will rattle your mouth and knock loose a filling or cap or two. If I had either one, Im sure I would have been pulling them out of my throat. Just remember, not rough, just a little crazy. This is the kind of coaster that I wouldnt mind blowing 4 million dollars to set up this up in my backyard. Of course the problem is that I dont have 4 million dollars and a couple spare acres, but<

Review Comments

fergusonat on 8/27/2005 10:50:48 PM said:
Awesome review, man...that ride really looks to be an amazing woodie. Lets just hope the park doesnt close.
Timberman on 8/28/2005 11:55:10 AM said:
Nice one, Herc. Im dying to ride this thing. By all accounts, S&S Power has delivered three strong wooden coasters with J2, Timberhawk, & Avalanche. Ive only been on Avalanche so far, but it really blew me away and made me wonder if S&S is the next great hope for wooden coaster diehards.
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