Anything but subtle and stealthy ...
|Theme Park||Six Flags St Louis|
|Park Area||Studio Backlot|
|Opened||8 April 1989|
|Max Speed||55 mph|
Some rollercoasters are silky smooth and a pleasure to ride ... and then there's Six Flags St Louis' Ninja.
Ninja is a rough and rather painful example of a Vekoma MK-1200 coaster, and has been at the theme park since 1989. It was originally built for Expo '86 in Vancouver, and was sold to Six Flags and moved across the border at the end of the event. The ride was originally designed by Arrow, but after they went bankrupt it was taken on and finished by Vekoma.
It features four inversions - all adding to the headbanging and general roughness: a vertical loop, sidewinder and double corkscrew.
In an effort to improve the popularity of Ninja, Six Flags added a Virtual Reality option for the 2016 season. This utilised the New Revolution: Virtual Reality Coaster experience originally designed for Six Flags Magic Mountain, with riders finding themselves sitting inside a fighter jet flying through a city and fighting an alien invasion.
Unfortunately the Samsung Gear VR headsets were not a good match for the hot Missouri summer and frequently overheated, causing delays as riders' headsets were swapped out and refitted prior to dispatching the train.
Ninja is rough, smashes its riders' heads seemingly at every opportunity, and can't be recommended. The VR version is even worse, with riders not even able to brace themselves in preparation for each painful element.
Putting on the VR headsets
Front of the train
End of the VR experience
A cupboard full of chargers
Checking the Samsung Gear VR headsets