Why Vekoma Are The Ones To Watch!

How Vekoma are leading the way where constantly innovating NEW rides & experiences is concerned!

If there is ONE ride manufacturer who seems to be leading the way where constant innovation is concerned it’s Vekoma!

Vekoma are a dutch ride and attractions manufacturer based in the Netherlands primarily known for creating such rides as Corkscrew at Alton Towers and the highly popular (or unpopular whichever way you look at it)  ‘boomerang coaster’.

In reality though Vekoma have so much more to offer than just roller coasters.

In truth, their constant innovation and will to ‘push the boundaries’ has (in recent times) lead to some truly outstanding new rides and attractions worldwide.

Vekoma’s will to be ‘different’ can also be seen by the recent reveal of their ‘super boomerang’ ride model which takes the traditional boomerang roller coaster concept and turns it on it’s head completely!

In reality though Vekoma haven’t always manufactured rides and attractions. Their humble origins are ones you wouldn’t ordinarily expect given who they have become today.

"Vekoma's will to be 'different' can also be seen by the recent reveal of their 'super boomerang' ride model"
So, Who ARE Vekoma?

As mentioned previously, Vekoma (or Veld Koning Machinefabriek as they were first known) originally established in 1925 as a manufacturer of farming equipment.

In the 1950’s however the company branched out to manufacturing coal mining equipment for the coal mining industry due to the shift in industry from farming equipment to steel construction.

Subsequently Veld Koning Machinefabriek was then shortened to Vekoma – the name the company has stayed known by ever since.

Following the closure or the dutch mines in 1965, the company then shifted their focus once more to the manufacture of steel piping for the petrol chemical industry instead.

In the 1970’s Vekoma finally emerged onto the ride and attractions scene as they partnered with U.S. ride and attractions creators Arrow Developments.

This saw the company agree to manufacture the steel structure for their many roller coasters in Europe.

As demand continued to increase Arrow instructed Vekoma in track building techniques which resulted in the companies coaster building technology being licensed.

In 1979 the company finally went solo opening 3 new roller coasters in Europe under the new identity Vekoma Rides Manufacturing B.V.

This ultimately lead to Vekoma being cemented in the industry as one of the ‘go to’ names for roller coaster technology and started them on their journey to becoming the company they are today.

The above image showcases one of the manufacturer's most popular ride types - The Vekoma Corkscrew Coaster at Nagashima Spa Land in Japan - *Image Credit Coasterforce.
What Makes Them Different?

Over the years Vekoma have constantly sought to reinvent, improve and adapt to an ever changing, ever growing industry centered around creating the next ‘big thrill’!

As a result, Vekoma have developed well over 30 different types of roller coasters alone since they first launched the Corkscrew coaster back in 1979.

Now it’s true that some roller coasters have proven far more popular than others, however the last 5 years have (in our opinion) been where Vekoma have really started to excel at what they do and come into their own as one of the current industries leading ride manufacturers.

Lech Coaster at Legendia in Poland set the precedent when it came to creating high intensity thrills in a compact and stylized setting.

The Bermuda Blitz model was a game changer for the manufacturer and really helped other parks to sit back up and take far more notice of what Vekoma had to offer.

In truth however, Vekoma has innovated and adapted with each and every new ride they have created (and they don’t just make roller coasters).

HEX: The Legend of the Towers at Alton Towers is a unique, compelling and mesmerising experience which (to this day) still managed to boggle the minds of most who experience it.

In truth, the ride concept is quite simple – the platform within rocks back and forth whilst the entire room (drum) revolves around you creating the illusion that you are upside down (when you’re not).

the launch of the Vekoma madhouse really set the scene for what the manufacturer could achieve & proved once and for all that they could produce far more than just your average roller coaster.

The Vekoma Madhouse is likely one of the companies most popular ride types outside of their roller coaster line up and has seen installation (in some form or other) worldwide in many different locations! - *Image Credit - Vekoma.
How Are They Leading The Way With Innovation?

As much as Vekoma is known for creating far more than just coasters, it’s their roller coasters that sets the scene where their constant innovative approach is concerned.

A mixture of perfect profiling, a sleek new track design and the use of LSM launches as opposed to cable launches are good examples of Vekoma moving with the times.

Redesigning and adapting their approach is key to creating new and exciting ride experiences, however when it comes to the ability to improve on an already efficient ride type, well, that’s where their genius really becomes clear.

After years of construction Phantasialand in Germany finally welcomed F.L.Y and the world of Rookburgh to their line up in 2020.

What makes F.L.Y significant though? – The technology they created especially for it and the improved efficiency it has helped create.

F.L.Y is a completely re-imagined generation of the manufacturer’s Flying Dutchman model in which riders are transferred from a seated to flying position in one quick maneuver.

A mixture of track rotation and a swiveling seating mechanism helps to transfer riders back and forth from one position to the other in a far smoother and more comfortable way.

Now, it’s no secret that when it comes to the ‘flying coaster’ concept, Swiss ride manufacturer Bolliger and Mabillard (B&M for short) seemed to have got it down to an art, however Vekoma’s NEW Flying Dutchman concept definitely proved otherwise.

"F.L.Y is a completely re-imagined generation of the manufacturer's Flying Dutchman model in which riders are transferred from a seated to flying position in one quick maneuver." - *Image Credit - Vekoma.
A Rise in Demand!

Aside from it’s constant innovative approach Vekoma is also known for it’s quality and lasting legacy!

To this day most of us can remember growing up riding some form of Vekoma manufactured ride or roller coaster, whether it be Corkscrew at Alton Towers or The Haunting at Drayton Manor theme park near Tamworth.

In truth, their rides not only manage to capture the hearts and minds of all who ride them, however they constantly persist in proving to be the perfect family friendly ride experience too.

Many parks worldwide regularly appear to sign a deal for more than just one ride when they introduce new Vekoma products to their park,

A great example of this is Paultons Park near Romsey.

In 2016 Paultons Park introduced Lost Kingdom –  a brand new immersively themed dinosaur area featuring a shiny new Suspended Family Coaster (launched by Vekoma in 2001) & a Family boomerang coaster (first launched in 2010).

The two new rides proved an instant hit and seemed to set the trend where adding two new roller coasters was concerned as opposed to just one.

In recent times Erlebnispark Tripsdrill in Germany have also added the brand new Suspended Thrill Coaster (a re-imagined version of the highly controversial SLC first launched in 2020) and a Family Boomerang.

Other parks such as Tayto Park in the Republic of Ireland also have plans to do the same and this just goes to show the kind of reputation Vekoma dictate.

As a result demand for Vekoma’s rides and attractions remains just as high today as it did all those years ago and with their constant approach of improving and innovating everything they create demand for their rides can only go one way – UP!!

Lost Kingdom at Paultons Park features two of Vekoma's most popular roller coaster types and has managed to prove a big hit since the park first launched their new area in 2016.
How Will Innovation Shape Their Future?

In recent times Vekoma have continued to innovate and improve on their existing back catalogue of rides.

This was yet again proven by their latest reveal at the IAAPA Expo in Orlando this year at which Vekoma showcased their new generation Tilt Coaster (a unique and thrill ride featuring a giant tilting track mechanism).

The new design will debut next year for the very first time at Circuits of the Americas (aka. COTAland) in Texas and a second new generation Tilt Coaster is already reportedly on the cards for Engerylandia in Poland too.

The new design again not only proves that Vekoma are constantly adapting their approach, however it also proves that they are able to create new and exhilarating experiences not yet managed by other manufacturers.

In truth, Vekoma will always shine bright when it comes to being different and their recent product reveals prove that they will always think forwards as opposed to backwards.

Innovation appears to be in their blood and as long as this stays the case they will almost certainly excel where others haven’t, especially when it comes to being original and exciting.

So how will Innovation shape their future? It will continue to shape their path within the current industry and grow demand for their products in an ever upwards fashion.

Thank you very much for reading!