In late 2005, the legend of Goliath was first kindled. Boasting impressive concept art, an extremely unique twister/conventional hybrid layout, and a killer-looking helix, I sat dumbfounded staring at my computer screen the day it was announced. I knew I had to ride it someday.
Unfortunately SFOG was over 8 hours away from my humble abode in Richmond, VA and the drive seemed all but insurmountable. I yearned more than anything to plant myself in the backrow of this monstrosity. As the rave reviews filtered in one by one as Goliath served its inaugural riders seemingly epic doses of airtime, my desire to get myself to SFOG only grew more. The thought of a B&M mega even more generous with its airtime than Apollo'..s Chariot was bewildering, and my expectations throbbed with anticipation.
Thanks to a bit of luck and hard work, I was able to purchase a car this past spring, and SFOG instantly became my primary target for the summer. I am extremely happy to report that my expectations were not only met, but surpassed. Goliath is a world-class hyper-coaster worthy of legendary status. It easily scorched past Apollo'..s Chariot as my favorite B&M mega to date and drove itself deep into my Top 10, sitting at #6 currently ( August 6th, 2008 ), beating out Superman Ride of Steel and Thunderbolt along the way. Boulder Dash clung to #5, however that might change as I mull over it a bit more.
Regardless, the thing I was impressed with the most about Goliath was the sheer force of airtime it delivers. Apollo'..s Chariot'..s floater air is graceful, placidly enjoyable, and generous yet timid. In stark contrast, Goliath has stiff floater/ejector airtime on each hill-crest. Even with the moderate stapling I endured, the airtime was startlingly good.
What'..s more, the downward helix is out of this world. Sure Nitro'..s helix is good and one of the best, but Goliath takes it one step further, IMO. What a rush. Even climbing the hill prior to the helix provides a nice jolt of air, which was very unexpected. The trims located as the train rounds out the helix are somewhat of a bummer, but they do little to take a way from the stupendous airtime hill and hammerhead turn that follow. I even enjoyed Goliath'..s intense and compact hammerhead turn more than Nitro'..s drawn-out, elegant one.
The final series of bunnyhills are also fantastic...Top notch floater airtime on each and every hill. The final turn and sudden jolt of airtime finish the ride off strong.
All in all, Goliath provides the intensity and forcefulness I crave in a hyper, while retaining the grace, aesthetic beauty, and re-rideability that B&M is so famous for. My only complaints were that the SFOG ride ops seemed intent on stapling, and the park itself was a painful disappointment. Operations were horrendous on pretty much every coaster save Goliath and Mind Bender. It made our day extremely aggravating and even stressful. It'..s sad that Goliath is at a park I'..ll be very unlikely to go out of my way to visit again without some very large incentive, such as a brand new plug-n-play Intamin woodie. As it stands, however, Goliath was easily the highlight of the trip and made the 8-hour journey home well-worth it.