Can you cut it? A question that might just cross your mind as you spin 360 degrees, swinging wildly over Forbidden Valley. And perhaps once again as you descend ever closer to the water fountains before you swing away and the process begins all over again.
In its time Ripsaw was one of the icons of Forbidden Valley and was themed as a piece of discarded machinery, no doubt from the excavation of the pit of Nemesis. A firm favourite with riders, its stunning visuals meant the ride was as fun for spectators, who could watch their friends and family squirm, as they received a soaking from the fountains.
Since 2002, the ride also served to highlight the contrast between the two halves of Forbidden Valley, when the gleaming glass façade of the Air Shop was built metres from the faux rusted machinery of Ripsaw.
The Life and Times
Ripsaw was added to the park in 1997 alongside The Blade as a replacement for Thunder Looper. Whilst The Blade was installed directly into the pit that had once contained the coaster, Ripsaw was added towards the edge of the area against a treelined backdrop.
The ride arrived at the park during the golden age of the 90s and thus a lot of care was taken to perfect the attraction's backstory during development. Earlier iterations focused more on nuclear fallout and it was not until very late on in the planning process the ride gained the name Ripsaw, replacing its original name of "The Screw".
When it first opened Ripsaw had an on-ride photo to capture the moment guests received their detox, which could be purchased from the neighbouring shop, Ripsaw Relics. However this setup only lasted a few years before the ride's camera was repurposed elsewhere in the park and Ripsaw Relics became first an arcade and later a café.
What Happened Next...
Ripsaw's time in the park was very much a tale of two halves and in the early years the ride was the darling of the park and its visitors alike. And indeed its popularity with guests remained strong right up to the day it was removed. However at around ten years old the ride started to seem like it might need a detox of its own, with increasing amounts of downtime often afflicting the ride.
In later years the number of programmes Ripsaw was able to run was dramatically reduced and it was not unusual to have periods where the fountains did not interact with the ride and sometimes they would not run at all. As a side effect of its regular maintenance, Ripsaw also saw a number of minor changes to its appearance over the years, which included the removal of much of the on-ride theming such as the large blue coil-type screws on the ride's structure and the circular-saw theming from the tops of the gondola arms.
But seemingly this was to no avail and the ride continued to have costly periods of maintenance during both closed and open seasons. And so it was almost inevitable that Ripsaw was one of the five rides slated for closure when the park were looking to make savings at the end of the 2015 season. Over the course of the closed season the ride and its queueline bridge was dismantled and temporarily found a new home piled in the coach park awaiting its fate.
But the story didn't end there... though for much or the ride the next stop was the scrapyard, the gondola and various other ride parts made a rather more exciting trip; eventually ending up in Germany as spare parts for Heide Park's Top Spin.
Inside the park, Ripsaw is not quite forgotten either and some remnants of the ride's scenery remains, though these days it is the backdrop for the rather less impressive pay-per-play game Forbidden Sweep.