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Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure

Six Flags Great Adventure, New Jersey-- Hypercoaster Ride Review

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating
User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)

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Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure

Nitro's massive track.

©Arthur Levine, 2006. Licensed to About.com.
Hypercoasters are all about extreme height, speed, and airtime, and Nitro delivers on all three fronts. Incredibly smooth and exhilarating, it is a must-ride at Six Flags Great Adventure.

Nitro Up-Front Info

  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 8.5
    Wild speed, height, and G-forces, but no inversions
  • Coaster type: Hypercoaster, Out-and-back
  • Top speed: 80 mph
  • Height restriction to ride: 54 inches
  • Height of lift hill: 230 feet
  • First drop: 215 feet
  • Ride time: 2 minutes, 20 seconds
  • Note that unlike most coasters, the front of the train, rather than the back, seems to deliver more airtime and a more intense ride.
  • Nitro and other Six Flags Great Adventure Rides Photo Gallery

Bone-rattling speed

Nitro sits at the back of Six Flags Great Adventure. Its massive yellow and purple track snakes through the woods outside the park's gates. The ride retains a bit of mystery since passengers can't get a good sense of its layout until they're onboard and racing at hyper-speed.

The unique and impressive design of the huge 36-passenger trains is evident as they pull into the loading station. The cars' low-slung-sides and raised seats leave riders exposed. Since there are no inversions, there are no over-the-shoulder harnesses. A single, unobtrusive T lap bar ratchets Nitro's passengers into place and contributes to their sense of vulnerability.

There are no jogs at the apex of the lift hill. Nitro proceeds straight into a 215-foot drop and accelerates to a bone-rattling 80 mph. It immediately shoots up a second hill for some delirious airtime. From there it takes a left turn into the wilds of New Jersey.

The sweet release of floating airtime

The coaster then navigates a series of hills that alternately deliver rib-crushing positive G-forces followed by the sweet release of floating airtime. After the horseshoe-style turnaround, Nitro enters into a double helix for some intense positive G-forces--a little too intense for me. I'm not a fan of spiraling helixes, particularly on hypercoasters. I think they serve to sap a coaster's pent-up energy that could be better used for more hills and airtime. The double-helix element interrupts the airtime-a-thon and brings an otherwise near-perfect coaster down a notch from a five-star rating.

Nitro is similar to another hypercoaster, Apollo's Chariot at Busch Gardens in Virginia. Both rides share the same manufacturer, Bolliger & Mabillard of Switzerland. Apollo's Chariot gives a slightly smoother ride (although both hypercoasters are remarkably hyper-smooth), and foregoes the double helix for non-stop hills and drops.

Ironically, the only other coaster among Great Adventure's large arsenal to rival Nitro for a glass-smooth ride and wild airtime is El Toro, a wood coaster. (Although, its unique hybrid track distinguishes it from typical rough-and-tumble wood coasters.) Both coasters deliver a heckuva one-two punch for thrill machine fans.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
NITRO BLAST, Member Bjorn006

A longtime aficionado of wooden roller coasters, I had never ridden a steel coaster Ė avoided them like the plague - and finally, in August of 2011, decided to conquer my fear. The staff at Six Flags said ďIf you can handle El Toro, you can handle Nitro.Ē I wasnít so sure about that, as the restraints (lap bar, no seat belt) on Nitro are minimal compared with those on El Toro and 215 feet is a long way down, baby. There also isnít a lot to hold onto, so to prepare for Nitro I rode El Toro 8 times with my hands in the air to convince myself that I really donít need to hold onto anything. Anyway, my fears proved to be groundless. Talk about a smooth ride! I didnít fall off the ride Ė obviously, or I wouldnít be writing this Ė and didnít feel as if I would die of fright. The first drop of 215 feet wasnít nearly as bad as I expected; in fact it was jolly good, AWESOME, and not appreciably scarier than the 176-foot drop on El Toro. The hammerhead turn was somewhat scarier because that puts the rider in a pretty precarious position. (Being way up in the air with no guard rails or other visible means of support is a novel experience for someone accustomed to riding woodies.) At one point I literally could not see where we were going or what would happen next, but that only added to the fun and excitement. One thing which I found disconcerting was having my feet dangling for the duration of the ride -by the end of the ride they were getting numb - but that didnít stop me from staying on for a second ride. This ride is a real blast; Six Flags classifies it as ďhigh thrillĒ and it certainly is that. I guess itís not fair to compare steel coasters with wooden ones, as thatís like comparing apples and oranges, but I still think that El Toro is the better of the two rides. That being said, I look forward to riding Nitro again. (I tried to photograph it but itís notoriously difficult to photograph, being mostly hidden by trees, so the photograph Iím submitting with this review is of such poor quality that it may not be published; if it is, anyone viewing it can get an idea of the first drop by following the line straight down from where the lights are at the top.) And one thing which Nitro definitely has over El Toro is the speed of dispatching the train. (The safety checks conducted on El Toro prior to dispatch make getting out of the station a big production.)

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