A heartline roll, also referred to as a barrel roll is a manoeuvre commonly used in roller coasters and other thrill rides. During the Heartline Roll, the rider’s body moves in an essentially straight line, while rotating around the heartline.
A Thrilling Manoeuvre
The heartline roll is an exciting manoeuvre that is sure to thrill any roller coaster enthusiast. It was first introduced in 1985 on the Ultra Twister a Pipeline coaster at Tokyo Dome City. Since then, many roller coasters have been built featuring heartline rolls, including the popular Nemesis at Alton Towers Resort and ICON at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Sik at Flamingo Land
Why is it Called a Heartline Roll?
The heartline roll gets its name from the fact that the rider’s heart remains in the same position throughout the entire manoeuvre. This is because the rider’s body rotates around a fixed point that is located at the same height as the rider’s heart. As a result, the rider experiences a feeling of weightlessness as they rotate, similar to the feeling of being in zero gravity.
A Challenging Manoeuvre
The heartline roll is a challenging manoeuvre for roller coaster designers to execute, as it requires precise calculations of speed, force, and trajectory. The roller coaster track must be carefully designed to create the necessary momentum and force while keeping the rider safe and secure throughout the ride.
Maverick at Cedar Point
Once a roller coaster finishes construction it needs to undergo a series of tests before it can be opened to the general public. Cedar Point in Texas USA is home to some of the biggest and best roller coasters in the world including the former ‘Top Thrill Dragster’. In 2007 the American Theme Park added a new roller coaster named Maverick which featured a heartline roll. When the ride was tested with the heartline roll the results indicated that acceptable G force was exceeded so the element had to be removed and replaced with the s curve before the ride opened to the general public. This gives an indication of how hard it is to get the engineering of this ride element right.
UK Roller Coasters with Heartline Rolls
There are a number of roller coasters here in the UK that feature a heartline roll.
Colossus at Thorpe Park
Hero at Flamingo Land Resort
Hero is a Zamperla Volare flying coaster located at Flamingo Land Resort in North Yorkshire. The £8m thrill ride which replaced the Wild Mouse roller coaster that was sold to Pleasurewood Hills in Lowestoft features two heartline rolls.
Rage at Adventure Island
With its pink and yellow paintwork, Rage can be seen from miles around, acting as a beacon pointing the way to Adventure Island. The entrance to the ride slices between the 90-degree lift hill and the beyond vertical drop. The ride was a major addition for Adventure Island when it was installed in 2007, at the time punching way above its weight. Rage is a very similar ride to Speed at Oakwood and Saw The Ride at Thorpe Park.
Sik at Flamingo Land Resort
Located at Flamingo Land Resort, Sik is an Intamin Multi-Inversion Coaster. These rides are designed and built with care and attention to emphasize on quality and safety. By carefully selecting the sequence and style of inversions with an emphasis on smooth transitions, this coaster is less stressful than many coasters with fewer inversions.
The Smiler at Alton Towers Resort
The Smiler is located at Alton Towers Resort in the beautiful Staffordshire countryside. The Smiler is the world’s first and only 14-loop roller coaster. When viewed from off the ride, The Smiler’s batwing element resembles the Smiler logo. The roller coaster’s twisting track combines the world-beating 14 inversions with a speed of 85kph.
Speed at Oakwood Theme Park
Speed is the tallest, fastest and steepest roller coaster in Wales. The ride is the UK’s original beyond-vertical-drop rollercoaster, and it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted. The thrilling roller coaster features a 90-degree vertical chain lift hill and a 97-degree beyond vertical first drop.
The heartline roll is a popular manoeuvre among roller coaster enthusiasts, as it combines the thrill of high speed with the excitement of a complete 360-degree rotation. Many riders describe the feeling of weightlessness and disorientation as the coaster rotates as one of the most exhilarating experiences of their lives.