The Swarm and The Swarm Backwards, Thorpe Park, UK
Surprise factor 2/5 (4/5 Backwards)
Fear factor 4/5
Vertigo factor 4/5
The Swarm is really cool because the first drop is an inverted drop – that means it twists round at the top to go upside-down and plummet at the same time. It felt really strange. The ride is famous for its ‘near misses’ (sometimes it’s supposed to look as if you’re going to crash into a plane wing, a billboard saying ‘Don’t Lose Your Head’, etc) but I didn’t think they felt very close – but that might have been because I was riding it at night-time (and because it was hailing as well!).
Riding it backwards was very weird because you didn’t know when it was going to drop or even where you were at all. I think I liked it forwards the best because you could tell what the ride was really like, but you should absolutely try both for different kinds of thrills.
Launched 15 March 2012; Backwards 16 March 2013
Cost £20 million
Duration 1 min 25 secs
Maximum speed 59mph (95kph)
Maximum height 39 metres
Maximum drop 39 metres
G force 4.5