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earthduzt's avatar

Why do people like to sit in the front car or back car of a rollercoaster?

Asked by earthduzt (3231points) June 10th, 2010

So I just got back from 6 Flags with my daughter today. While I we were waiting in line for the next train on the roller coaster I got to wondering about why do people like to either ride in the very front of the train or the very end? Is there a speed difference? Does the front or back go slightly faster or give a more “jerky” ride? Does it make people feel as if they are piloting the craft if they sit in the front? Do they feel that they are just being pulled along and less in control if they sit in the end cart? There were no lines at all but the front and back of the train was always taken and the middle of the train had empty seats. Why are those two carts prime real eastate when it comes to coaster riding?

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10 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

The front obviously affords you an unobstructed view of all that is in store for you and offers a massive thrill and the back is widely perceived as the fastest part of the ride as it is pulled forward by the weight, energy and speed of all the other cars in front. Think whip speed!! WOO HOO!!

earthduzt's avatar

So the back is perceived as the fastest but not really, is it just an illusion? What about the front being pushed by all the other cars?

theichibun's avatar

In the front you get to experience everything first. In the back you get whipped around more. The middle is just kind of there.

laurenmaz's avatar

the back is being pulled by all the cars and gravity of course so it does feel like it goes faster but the fron is more or an adrenyoln russhhhhh i choose the back thoughh the middle is just kind of there if u dont want that intense of a ride sit directly in the middle haha


I agree with Cruiser. People like the thrill of being at the front, to see firsthand everything that awaits them, and the rush of the oncoming wind and open air. And people who like the back enjoy getting the “whip-end” of the ride, where it’s more wild and jerky.

What I don’t get is “Why do a lot of people like to hold up their arms in the air during the wild and fast ride??” Is it supposed to add to the thrill?? I think it’s just a waste of energy. Just sit and enjoy the ride. Lol.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

There’s a misty rollercoaster ride at a place called Enchanted Forest in Oregon. It shoots water out at you every so often and I found, oddly enough, that people got the most wet sitting in the middle. Maybe that’s why. Or maybe it has something to do with the school bus; cool people in the back and the nerds in the front.

I sat in the front, actually, so I should probably be quiet now. :)

SassyPink's avatar

For the front seats, I guess some people like to experience a little adventure and extremeness. I know some of my friends who prefer to ride the front seat of the roller coaster for those reasons.

As goes for the back seats, there are some people who liked to feel the intense and gravitational pull of the ride.

SassyPink's avatar

I personally preferred the middle row of the roller coaster seat (or at least the front-middle part of the seat) so I won’t have to be worrying about “seeing all the action” or “experiencing all the action” at the front row for dear life and to be tagging along the shaky back row without worrying what might happen behind me. The middle row is my safe zone. :)

Cruiser's avatar

Think of the total length of the cars and often is a good portion of the total drop on a ride. So imagine as the cars descend over the top of a slope the front car is still going fairly slow as the last car makes it over the top and then the entire group starts to pick up speed. So the front car is reaching full speed going up the next hill while the last car get the full whip speed coming down the hill… a much different feel and many enthusiasts prefer that experience me included!!

MrItty's avatar

Simple physics tells you that the front, middle, and back are all going at the same speed. Obviously if the front was going faster than the end, the train would pull itself part. If the back was going faster than the front, the train would crash into itself.

However, because the train is all moving at the same speed, the back is at its fastest during the “right” parts of the ride. If a train is going up a hill, it does not start the fast part – the “drop” – until the entire train is going downhill. That is, until the very last car is going down hill. Therefore, if you’re in the front, for a period of time equal to one train-length, you are going downhill, but still going at the slow speed of the uphill climb, rather than the fast speed of the downhill fall.

I personally find that very annoying. I want to go fast downhill and slow uphill. Therefore I tend to sit in the back whenever possible.

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