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Hellcat is one of those woodies you wouldn't plan a vacation around. It's not an El Toro or Cyclone, but by God if there's a wooden coaster in the sticks of South Jersey, it's worth a trip. The same guys who built this also built Wisconsin's supposedly awesome Avalanche coaster, so my expectations were quite high. And wouldn't you know it, it kicked my ass pretty hard. I love a rough ride as long as it's not PAINFULLY rough, and Hellcat gets the job done in its helices. Awesome ejector airtime on the first couple of hills, and combined with the insanely banked turns, it's an all-around winner. And on top of a lake, it's a terrific setting with the track inches above the water. For this reason, I personally think Tsunami would have been a more appropriate name, political correctness be damned. It's a wild hell cat, either way!
J2 was an amazing wooden coaster that is well worth a trip to Clementon. The first drop was pure insanity as it was very steep and provided some amazing ejector air, as did the second hill. After that was a fast and furious helix that mixed laterals and air time together. The helix was a bit rough though. Afterwards were a few air time producing bunny hills.
This was obviously once a great ride, but Clementon is not up to the task of maintaining such an extreme woodie. I took two back breaking cycles on this ride last Friday, and was greatly disappointed at the piss poor condition of J2. The arid heat wave conditions didnt help matters, but a 3-year-old woodie should not beat you up worse than picking a fight with Mike Tyson in 1986. Do they maintain this thing at all? I left this toilet of a park feeling thoroughly ripped off and wanting my $24 back. This came as an extreme disappointment to me because Avalanche is nearly my favorite woodie. I assumed, incorrectly, that I couldnt go wrong going a little bit out of my way to get on another S&S woodie. Clementon is also easily the worst park Ive been to. I say avoid it unless some serious track work is done post haste, and they either add more rides or lower the gate price. Also, promoting the "live bear show" isnt going to spruce up this dilapidated parks image any.
Edit: To support my very low rating for this often praised coaster, here is something from Screamscape today:
"Park News - (7/17/07) Sources tell us that J2 at Clementon Park has been closed indefinitely, though the park’s info line is saying it’s for scheduled maintenance. Our sources tell us that it will not reopen in July though there is a chance it may be fixed by August. Given how the park has been running this new coaster, only making one of the two trains available for use each season while the backup is overhauled in season rather than off-season, I’m not entirely surprised by this."
I really hope that they lower the admission price. Clementon was already a complete rip off with a semi-functional coaster.
I rode Tsunami more than two months ago, but never actually wrote my review. Im not sure why, seeing as I reviewed the other rides at the park that I did. Perhaps because I couldnt find it? Did the stupid name have something to do with it? Well, "J2" really hides well between the Falling Star and Turtle Whirl in my profiles ride tracker. The renaming of the ride may be the most rediculous thing I have ever heard called a product of political correctness. I mean, I could probably live with a decent name - but J2? Short for Jack Rabbit 2 - where did the "R" go, was it lost? Did the owner of the park know someone lost in the tragedy? Is he suggesting that the Coney Island Cyclone would be remained something stupid too? What about those cyclones that have hit Bangledesh and India - they have killed far more than the tsunami did. Oh, and Tsunami is such a cool name, and it was replaced with the lamest name EVER!!! Stupid Clementon Amusement Park!! All because of an event that occured after the ride was named... STUPID!! Oh yea.. this is a review of the ride. Ooops, sorry about that, heres the "good stuff".Tsunami is not a very large ride, but it packs more ferocity into it than pretty much any other coaster I have been on. The trains are short - its funny. They have the overflow dividers - its funny. The lift moves fast, but was not smooth when engaged - its funny, and a sign of things to come. The first drop is really, really good. Though short, it is steep and thrilling, giving riders some airtime. The second hill is humerous - it tracks as well as a skateboard on a cliff would. Riders are tossed in every direction imaginable - including out of the seat, so its not all bad. The ride then just flies, I mean it keeps movin. The helix is really, REALLY messed up. There are a few suprise airtime pops in the middle part of the ride, mostly nestled between violent laterals that are the result of crappy trackwork. The ride simply isnt designed right!! Eventually, after the intensely violent middle of the ride, riders are treated to some comprably-calm bunny hops that introduce some "polished" or "normal" airtime to the ride, all while keeping the rides relentless pacing up until the kiddie trains slam into the brakes. WOW!!! The ride will kick your ass, and it broke me down to a young boy on each of our three or four laps. However, with all of that restlesness and intensity and poorly-scripted insanity... I kinda liked it. I am glad I got to ride The Artist Forever Known as Tsunami, as it was a killer little woodie. Not my favorite, but I really probably should have hated it based upon my preceding description. By far the most messed up, intense, and wild ride I have done. Try to get your ass on this buking beast before it becomes a golf course.
This coaster delivers a wild, but not rough, quick, airtime filled ride. The trains are comfortable. The ride feels a little short, but it is certainly memorable. The crown jewel for a neighborhood park like this. Definitely a back seat coaster. Good ride ops, too!
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<
a very nice little coaster. it is still running fast and wild. Although expect a much faster ride with a full train. I prefered the last car over the front/middle cars. Much more intense in the back. FYI - minimum height requirement for the ride is 50", but 54" for the last car.
Good floater air on the first drop and ejector air at the apex of the second hill. The clockwise helix is fast and furious with heavily overbanked turns. There is a great transition out of the helix with and overbanked right leaning turn the smoothly whips you into a left overbanked turn.
Although fast it never felt completely out of control. It tosses you around but in a not so painful way. Another example of a woodie that you further appreciate the more you ride it.
The trains on the ride are beautiful. One is a dark blue, the other is blood red, and both feature classic gold leaf outlining on them. I wish I took a close-up shot of them to show them. They were, of coarse, nice and comfy PTCs, with a new feature. The seat divider is no longer a solid piece, but instead is more of an L-shaped arm rest that creates a big hole in it, perfect for my fat butt.
They were very big on safety here, creating slow dispatches, but that is OK. Every safety belt was checked, and then double checked, as were the lapbars. No loose rides here, belts were tightened and lapbars pushed all the way down. There was some stapling, but it was rare, they were pretty good about it.
So, finally, you are off. A small dip under the brake run leads to a fairly quick lift hill. Once you reach the top, the insanity begins. The first drop is masterful, steep and filled with airtime, particualy from the back of the train. Pure heaven, then all heck breaks loose.
A quick valley, tilted slightly to the left, bring you up to the second hill, which is one wild ride. As you crest this hill, you are bucked back and forth, left and right, as you float out of your seat. It is like riding a bucking bronco, rough, intense, and completely unlike anything else. Before you know it, you are headed back down, and much of the rest of the ride runs low and fast.
You rise a bit, flatten out, and go though a tight, highly banked turnaround. The transition looks weird and feels weird, and is over in a heart beat.
Them you drop into the helix. It is very tight, very highly backed, and very fast. It also is not tracked quite right, and the train shimies a bit back a forth, making it a bit rough.
Twice around, and you are back up into what is just a neat element, a bunny hop that jumps over the helix, and then dives to the left and away. Neat combination of airtime and laterals.
One bunny hop, then a nice banked hop, then another bunny hop, and finally you hop into the brake run.
The whole ride is very fast, and very intense. It maintains incredible speed the entire time. Is it a winner? I dont know. It may be too much for the locals, who were used to the gentle Jack Rabbit. Certainly not a kiddie ride, and many may find it too rough and tumble. I found the wheel seats to be a bit much for me, prefering the forward seats, with my favorite being 4-1. I also worry about maintance. It feels like it is going to tear itself apart, it runs just so fast though all the twists and turns. One thing it is, it is the signature ride the park wanted, and it will put the little old park on the map.
What a wild coaster. It has a bit of an identity crisis... it cant make up its mind if it is an out and back or a twister. Great air on the first (steep) drop followed by great are on the second hill... and since it is on a curve there is some wicked lateral Gs pulling on you too. The turn around that follows is a blur that throws you into a very intense helix. Just when you think it has turned into a twister, it is onto the run back to the station with some very wild out and back style air. The fact that it is a little on the short side is made up by the fact that there is not a single wasted inch of track after the crest of the lift hill. This is a fast coaster with a very "intense ride" that some will say is "too rough". I say it is more "agressive" than rough. If Clementon does not keep up with maintenance, this could eventually becoem a rough coaster, but for now it is just "agressive."
While it is sad to see the old Jack Rabbit in its SBNO status, the bright side is that Clementon took the time and spent the money to build a great coaster in Tsunami. They could have easily taken the quick and easy way of putting in a small coaster (like a wild mouse or crazy mouse) to replace the old Jack Rabbit, but instead they made an investment that should serve the little park wisely over the next few seasons.
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