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# Roller Surfer

Propel the rider by moving the track.
 (+5) [vote for, against]

This amusement ride is like surfing. You’re flying forward and down the steep slope, and the hill of water just keeps rising under you. Achieving this effect by vertically shifting a supported, linear track would be unfeasible, but a simpler solution exists:

Envision an upturned pot lid with a knob handle, rolling in a circle on a table so that the knob and an edge always touch the surface. Place a marble in the curved rim. As the lid spins around, the marble rolls down an endless roller coaster hill. If the knob (axle) were higher the slope would be steeper and the lid (track superstructure) would have to rotate faster to keep the marble (car) from reaching the bottom.

This giant, turning track would not need to be circular but could be oval or have an irregular shape with slight dips and bumps to give screaming variety. By lengthening its axle, the incline and speed of the ride would increase. The car(s) could roll on wheels or float on water that is also rushing down the slope.

 — FarmerJohn, Nov 01 2002

Road surfing, I guess. [DrCurry, Oct 04 2004]

lemme see if I've got this; Your proposing a sort of rollercoaster where the track moves in a rotary motion and the cars stay largly in the same place. Would the riders actually feel motion?
 — Zircon, Nov 01 2002

 [FJ] I'm fascinated again how you annotate directly from REM. I envy this. Are you wet wired?

At first I imagined the surfer riding jets of water that rise and fall in series thereby propelling the rider forward without a rotating track. A passenger car on a rotating mechanical track of sorts would be slightly different?
 — hollajam, Nov 01 2002

[Zirc] - you ever been to a multimax cinema screen. I went to the Grand Canyon flight one in Bradford, and had severe vertigo, despite the fact I was sitting down in a chair bolted to the floor and wasn't moving at all. Your eyes do strange things and can inflict a sense that you are moving when your ears are telling you that you aren't. Brain gets confused and ends up needing to be rebooted.
 — PeterSilly, Nov 01 2002

Yeah, I've enjoyed the delights of 180 cinemas and imax screens in several locations, but as far as I can tell, the farmers idea does not include optical jiggery-pokery. You'd be able to look out of the car at the fairground around you, and seeing that it was static relative to you, the illusion of motion would be lost and you'd just be a guy sitting still surrounding by wirring machinery. Now if the track was an enclosed tube, with lights on the inside; this maybe would work in the way you suggest.
 — Zircon, Nov 01 2002

 Zircon, hollajam & PeterSilly: If the axis didn't move, only rotated, then the rider would be still with the track rushing past. In this case the axis wobbles, and the rim is rolling along the ground causing the rider to follow on a circular path on the downhill slope. What is missing is the actual movement downward except when caused by changes in the rpm or tilt.

You obviously didn't have a saucepan lid and ball nearby. With water it could be compared to an endless water slide.
 — FarmerJohn, Nov 01 2002

I admit I don't quite understand it as yet, but I shall experimentalise at home tonight with a sauspan lid (taking care to avoid my girlfriend's glass ones) and a sphere of some kind. I still like the idea though, I think the problems with my listening rather than your telling. (+)
 — Zircon, Nov 01 2002

I swear I saw an article about a plan to build a gigantic indoor ski slope that was somewhat similar to this. Essentially the slope was a tremendous tilted turntable (like a quarter mile in diameter), and you would ski "down" the continously rotating slope. (The opposite side, which is naturally going the "wrong" way to ski on, would be passing under the machinery that replenishes the surface). I'll keep googling for it.
 — krelnik, Nov 01 2002

Someone did something like this, but for roads.
 — DrCurry, Nov 01 2002

The "bottom" is always changing physical location, tracing a circle on the ground, and gravity causes the car to try and follow it, but friction against the track, air and centrifugal force keep it from catching up.
 — FarmerJohn, Nov 01 2002

[waugs] I think we are 'seeing' it with the angled rotating disk spinning always tipped towards a certain azimuth. What I now realise FJ is getting at is that, like a coin dropped on a desk, the azimuth of tilt is rotating (rather than the disk spinning about its centre whilst tilted).
 — Zircon, Nov 01 2002

Krelnik, that ski-slope idea is in the latest Popular Science.
 — RayfordSteele, Nov 01 2002

The skiing thing has also been done using rollers, with a varying degree of tilt.
 — 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Nov 02 2002

Hey farmboy, give it up. The thrill of roller coasters and other such rides comes from speed and g-forces. Your ride does not promote either in any large way. The cars will stay in a relatively stable possition. For a roller coaster it's a bust. However, in a few places such as Texas and Finland, devices that minimally resembles your idea do exist. They are refered to as standing waves. Basically its a gigantic slip-n-slide (wide and long) that runs up a half pipe. Hundreds of gallons of water ruch out of a large raised tank down the slip-n-slide and into the half pipe creating a layer of water to "surf" on. The riders, who use boards without fins or skegs, are pushed back and up the half pipe until the force of gravity equals the friction from the water and the rider remains in a given position on the wave. The rider can then adjust friction by heading down the wave or pulling back up it creating a surfable standing wave.
 — donkeybomber, Feb 14 2003

We *know* about those inland wave-machines, ass-nuke.
 — thumbwax, Feb 14 2003

I missed this before. Wheee!
 — snarfyguy, Feb 14 2003

[this amusement ride is like surfing]. I assume you've never tried surfing then? Cos belive me, this is NOTHING like surfing.
 — briandamage, Feb 18 2003

Well, I have tried it as a Waikiki tourist and of course found it quite difficult. I wouldn't presume to equate it in thrills or danger with an amusement ride, but meant by //You’re flying forward and down the steep slope, and the hill of water just keeps rising under you.// that there are similarities.
 — FarmerJohn, Feb 19 2003

 Prefer a plastic grass platter and some kind of snowboard.

 In case you missed it; "This amusement ride is like surfing."

 You could put bumps and valleys on the platter for fun, but it should have some foam padding underneath it and a handheld accelleration controller.

A 'wipeout' would result in tumbling just like a clothes dryer which is *extremely* similar to the actual surfing experience. As a matter of fact, it is likely that most surfers have spent more time tumbling than actually surfing.
 — subflower, Oct 14 2005

/Now if the track was an enclosed tube/ kind of like Rockin Roller Coaster in disney world, just perpetual. and no water.
 — krigre55, Dec 04 2007

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