In defense of the Vekoma SLC

The Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster, usually shortened to just SLC, is one of the most common Coaster Models out there, it is usually really popular with Park guests and in the Coaster Community it get’s a lot of hate and is often regarded as one of the worst Coaster Models to ever exist. But just how is it possible that Vekoma was able to sell this model 42 times, with 35 installations having pretty much the same Layout with only minor variations at best, when it has such a bad reputation? My best guess is that it comes down to 3 major factors: It packs a lot of thrills into a much smaller footprint and a cheaper price tag than the B&M Inverted Coaster Model it is competing against.

And really, even if you don’t like SLC’s, you have to admit that the standard layout is great. It packs 5 Inversions in just under 700m of track contained in 110x47m footprint. It is clearly focused on Inversions, and anything in the layout that isn’t one is just there to set you up for the next one. I would argue that this quick succession of Inversions combined with the Inverted setup of the model makes them so popular with the crowds, and at least I can’t blame them since they really do look like a wild ride when you look at them.

Most of the hate, at least from what I hear, doesn’t come from the cloned nature of these rides or the layout being considered bad, the critique comes mainly with 2 points being made: They are rough and you constantly bang your head on the restraints. I am going to say something here that some might find controversial: You don’t hate SLC’s, you only hate their trains!

Yeah, some of the transitions aren’t really smooth, I won’t argue with that, but once you remove the hard, bulky restraints that are on the older and most common SLC trains it becomes much harder to notice the janky nature of those transitions. One of the 6 SLC’s I have ridden is Mayan at Energylandia, it has a newer style of trains that feature vest restraints. They feel much more open, remove any potential for headbanging and they are the reason why I can appreciate the SLC now. I really do hope that Parks will begin to replace their current trains with the new ones, and if one near you happens to do that, give it a try, maybe you end up enjoying it as much as I do.

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