La Ronde

Ride beside the St Lawrence River ... standing up!

Theme ParkLa Ronde
ModelStand-Up Coaster
Height87 ft
Length2575 ft
Max Speed48 mph
Duration1½ minutes
Cobra's vertical loop inversion

Cobra's vertical loop inversion

Cobra was La Ronde's Stand Up rollercoaster, which operated at the Montréal park from 1995 to 2016.

As might be implied from the description, riders stood up during their journey rather than sitting on a more traditional seat within the coaster cars. Sadly this didn't always make for a particularly comfortable ride: as well as the restraints being awkward and confusing to climb into (which could lead to considerable delays between dispatches), the "bicycle seat" that poked out between riders' legs could lead to some ball-squashing for gentleman travellers.

Layout-wise Cobra featured a single vertical loop inversion, together with an overbanked diving turnaround hill and a helix intersecting through the loop. There was a mid-course brake run, after which the layout seemed to run out of steam with the train slowing down and a track (aside from the helix) that mainly seemed to just be there to get the train back to the station.

Unfortunately the ride was pretty rough too, which combined with the stand up riding position made it a little unpleasant. The train tended to bump its way around the track, leading to riders heads banging against the hard overhead restraints.

Cobra was one of a rare breed of Stand-Up coasters manufactured by Intamin: only three were ever built, including Shockwave at Drayton Manor in the UK which is the last remaining in operation. It came to La Ronde second hand, having originally run at Sweden's Skara Sommarland between 1988 and 1994 as "Stand Up".

No stand up coaster built so far has been particularly fantastic, which is probably why there are relatively few around. While it wasn't the worst rollercoaster in the world, Cobra was far from the best with its unintuitive restraint system, rough ride and uninspiring second half.

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