The Top Five are Very Closely Bunched, Superman Again #1 in 2008
Note: Scroll to the bottom for links to the results for all 400+ steel roller coasters in the poll.
Six Flags New England's Superman: Ride of Steel is #1 again, but barely. Eagle's Fortress, the sixteen year old Korean
suspended Arrow Dynamics ride that barely had enough riders to be allowed to place #3 in 2007 (with an asterisk to indicate
how few riders) actually tied the mutual-rider comparison with Superman, but lost a narrow mutual-rider decision to a new
Asian ride, Tobu Zoo's Kawasemi (which finished 4th). An additional mutual-rider tie with #3 Expedition GeForce was Eagle's
Fortress's only other blemish whereas Superman's only blemish was the aforementioned tie with Eagle's Fortress.
As if the top four were not close enough, new for 2008 steel coaster Piraten of Djurs Sommerland in Denmark took its
mutual-rider comparison with Expedition GeForce 11-7 and placed at #5 while causing Expedition GeForce to fall out of the
top two for the first time in eight years.
Piraten is an interesting placement as it had 50% more riders take the poll than did Eagle's Fortress, however they were
not nearly as well travelled, causing Piraten to have far fewer valid mutual-rider comparisons than did Eagle's Fortress.
Hopefully, Piraten's high placement will encourage more enthusiasts to ride it and rate it in the poll next year.
Perennial favorite Nemesis is #6, just ahead of Behemoth of Canada's Wonderland. Behemoth is the third newly installed
coaster in this year's top seven. Also of note is the large gap between the top five and #6 as #'s 3-5 had only two mutual-rider
losses each while Nemesis had seven.
Holland's Goliath is #8 again this year, with Katun and Dragon Khan rounding out this year's top ten. Note that Dragon Khan
was placed ahead of Pyrenees due to a 4-3 mutual-rider comparison and Pyrenees lack of a valid mutual-rider comparison to
Piraten. Similarly, Pyrenees was placed ahead of #12 Millennium Force due to a 7-3 mutual-rider preference.
This year's top ten is the least American in the nine year history of the steel poll. Only Superman and Behemoth represent
North America, whereas there are six European rides and two Asian rides in the 2008 top ten.
"Favorite Wood Coaster" has very interesting results this year. It would have finished 6th, losing only comparisons to some
European and Australian Steel Coasters in countries where most of the local wood coasters are not as highly regarded.
However, the most interesting result is that "Favorite Wood Coaster" beat each of the top two steel coasters by 70/30 ratios
among mutual-riders. The opposite is true in the wood poll as "Favorite Steel" lost by healthy margins to two of the top three
Also interesting and unprecedented is that one park had coasters so high in both polls. Everland's T Express won the wood
poll and their Eagle's Fortress came within one voter of #1 in the steel poll. Might T Express be presumed to be the "Favorite
Wood" in many of the ballots in the 7-3 mutual-rider win over Eagle's Fortress in the steel poll and might Eagle's Fortress be
presumed to be the "Favorite Steel" in many of the ballots in the 3-6 mutual-rider loss to T Express in the wood poll?
In other wood v. steel news, this was the first year that the steel poll had more voters than the wood poll (albeit by a very
slim 631 - 629 margin).
Goudurix was again unmatched at the other end of this year's steel poll.
Participation was up this year to a record 631 ballots, compared to 592 in 2007.
The following chart shows the mutual rider comparisons for the top steel roller coasters.
Preferences are listed for the people who rode each pair of coasters. The chart should
be read from left to right along the line for each of the top coasters listed at the left. For instance, it can
be seen that #1 Superman won the comparison with #3 Expedition GeForce by an 18 to 14 margin.
NOTE: the order they are listed in the spreadsheet is not the official order of finish.
Note: Scroll to the bottom for links to the mutual rider comparisons for all 400+ steel roller coasters in the poll.
Note that any links below that are not yet active will become active as I have time to complete them.