Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
WEATHER: Comfortable, mid-70s nighttime visit.
ABOUT ME: Male, age 37. Coaster rider since 1977 and fanatic since 1986. I have more than 330 adult coasters on my "track record". I generally prefer wooden coasters to steel because airtime is one of my big criteria. Also, I don't mind a little headbanging on coasters.
RATING SYSTEM: I subscribe to the ubiquitous Griswold scale, which rates coasters and parks on a scale from -3 to +5. Zero indicates a mildly positive rating.
Giant Dipper (1924 Looff figure 8) +2
You may recognize this coaster and the park itself as the one featured in the 1987 film, "The Lost Boys." It has gentle pops of air and tight S-curves with strong laterals. The coaster, itself a national historical landmark, is beautifully maintained. Giant Dipper has a great station layout where riders in the queue line can slap hands with the trainload of folks returning from their ride. The loading platform is sharply twisted to the left and riders immediately enter a long, twisting tunnel on their way to the lift hill.
Hurricane (1978 SDC steel twister) +1
Not much substance to this carni-type steel coaster. Two good steep twisting banked dive turns are about all that distinguish it whatsoever.
THE PARK: +2
Fun, fun, fun. Beautiful setting for the last boardwalk seaside amusement park on the West Coast. Two decent coasters, classic early ï80s arcade games, beach, good selection of flat rides, great food and a wide variety of selections, and a kitschy dark ride. SCBB was a good evening's worth of entertainment, though there is plenty to do to make a full day out of the park. I was at the park from 7-11 p.m. and still did not make it to the back of the park, where I understand there are several new attractions worth visiting. Oh well, there's always next time. I had one of the park's hot dogs, which were pretty good. The crowd was a good mix of families, teenagers and adults.