Twisted Timbers at Kings Dominion in Doswell, VA is the reincarnation of The Hurler, a lumbering wooden coaster well past its prime.  It’s the latest RMC (Rocky Mountain Construction) makeover to open – to critical acclaim.  Featuring RMC’s signature I-Box track – 3,351 feet of it – it’s taller, longer, faster and smoother than its predecessor.  It’s also a lot more exciting.  Talk about a new twist!

Photo by Bobbie Butterfield

Layout, Theme and Setting

Located at the edge of the Candy Apple Grove section of the park, Twisted Timbers has a triple out and back layout.  It’s nicely themed after an orchard, from the graphics on the train to the signage in the loading station to the rusty pickup truck outside the station.   Operating with two trains (one blue and one green) containing six cars seating two across in two rows, it has a total capacity of 24 riders.  The restraint consists of a seat belt and lap bar with shin guards.  Whereas it’s customary for riders to pull down their restraints, that’s strictly against protocol for this coaster.  As soon as the air gates open, riders are told “Please do not pull down on the orange lap bars.”  That’s a task relegated to the ride ops. As to the lap bars themselves, this is the first RMC coaster I’ve ridden that includes hold handles on the restraints.  However, the positioning is such that it might be a strain to actually hold on.  Twisted Timbers reaches a maximum speed of 54 mph.

Photo by Bobbie Butterfield

Photo by Bobbie Butterfield


This coaster features a 111-foot chain lift hill, 109-foot barrel roll drop, several overbanked turns, cutback and zero-g roll, plus a number of airtime hills.  The fact that the initial drop incorporates a barrel roll makes it unique in my experience although it is not in fact unique – as Storm Chaser at Kentucky Kingdom (another RMC coaster) contains a similar drop.  The Hurler rode close to the ground and RMC’s ride designer Alan Schilke chose to keep it that way in converting it to Twisted Timbers.  I thought that it would be interesting to compare before and after photos.

The Hurler – Photo by Bobbie Butterfield

Twisted Timbers – Photo by Bobbie Butterfield

Ride Experience

A ride on Twisted Timbers begins with a slight right turn out of the loading station followed by an ascent of the lift hill.  I found the journey up the lift hill to be slow and rather jerky; clickety-clack.  One of the people with whom I rode clearly had the same perception, exclaiming “I hate slow roller coasters!”  Having ridden it several times, I was tempted to tell her that things were about to kick into a higher gear but decided to let her find that out for herself.  Once at the top, the train makes a small dip and navigates a right-banked turn, during which it picks up speed, before hurling the riders through the barrel roll drop.   And I must say that the drop is pretty awesome.

After the initial drop the train traverses a small airtime hill and goes up into an overbanked right turn before negotiating the first of several trick track elements.  This is followed by three consecutive airtime hills and we are talking serious ejector airtime.  A short trick track section leads into another right-banked turn and cutback.  Upon exiting the cutback the train goes over more airtime hills, reaching a trick track double up.  Then several twists and turns take the train into a very cool zero-g roll.  Spiralling down through a zero-g roll like this was a lot more fun than rolling through one during which the elevation of the track changes only slightly.  After the zero-g the train veers sharply to the right.  Another twist and a couple more airtime hills bring the ride to a conclusion.

Photo by Bobbie Butterfield

Final Thoughts

I quite frankly was not at all excited about Twisted Timbers when it was first announced but after watching POV videos I decided that it was well worth a trip to Virginia.  This coaster offers novelty, airtime and thrills.  The pacing is close to perfect and except for the lift hill the ride is exquisitely smooth.  As to the thrills, I would place Twisted Timbers in the high thrill rather than extreme thrill category but it’s certainly thrilling enough.  A night ride on this coaster is nothing short of amazing.

Final Rating – 9.0 out of 10 (Excellent)

What’s your take?  Have you ridden Twisted Timbers and if so, how would you rate it?

(Video courtesy of Kings Dominion)

About The Author

Hi! I took up roller coasters late in life, 8 years ago at the age of 59 and am trying to make up for lost time. Most of my favorite coasters were made by Intamin and lately, Rocky Mountain Construction. I love Hersheypark not only because it's the sweetest place on earth but because the three major coasters are Intamins. In real life I work in the legal profession.

6 Responses

  1. Eric

    Great synopsis! Twisted Timbers looks like a solid RMC. How would you compare it to the others you’ve ridden (Iron Ratter, Goliath, Wicked Cyclone, Lightning Rod, etc)? I’m curious to hear how it stacks up to other hybrids.

  2. Bobbie

    Yes, Twisted Timbers is very solid. Compared with the other RMC hybrids I’ve ridden, I would have to rate it below Iron Rattler – my favorite – b/c although Timbers has more airtime, IR has a higher thrill factor. It’s pretty much on a par with Wicked Cyclone; WC is certainly the most similar to Timbers. I gave WC the win in a showdown with New Texas Giant for the airtime but think that overall NTG is a little more exciting. As to the new RMC builds I’ve ridden, I’d put Timbers slightly below Outlaw Run and a full notch below Lightning Rod. On Goliath I’m neutral; for some reason that’s the only RMC that didn’t blow me away. Re Lightning Rod vs. Twisted Timbers, if I were going to do a coaster marathon I’d choose the latter b/c it’s much more easily re-rideable. No jostling or being thrown around.

  3. Brian MacDonald

    I haven’t ridden Twisted Timbers yet (maybe this fall), but I’m glad that King’s Dominion opened a month before Cedar Point and Steel Vengeance, to give Twisted Timbers some spotlight time. A lot of people were underwhelmed with the design when it was revealed last year, especially with Steel Vengeance revealed around the same time, and I’ve seen quite a few people change their minds after riding Twisted Timbers. Maybe with this much positive response, Cedar Fair will consider giving Carowinds’ Hurler the RMC treatment.

  4. Guy Bartels

    Twisted Timber is sure one awesome coaster. I just love all the air time that you have.

  5. Steve

    Rode Twisted Timbers a few hours ago and I’m still in a lot of pain. Those lap bars are the worst design I’ve ever experienced. The point of contact is very high on the thigh with no give at all (as per how the operator closed it on me). The air time is pretty violent, but instead of getting lifted out of my seat, it just created intense pressure across my femurs. I really thought there was a possibility of cracking them. And no, i’m not a “big” person… 6’1”, 220lbs.
    Am I the only one who’s experienced this? I’m seeing that this ride seems to have an unusually high number of “walks of shame”… saw one myself actually… so there must be something different about this… whatever it is, it’s not for me.

    • Bobbie

      Sorry you had such a bad experience. I found the lap bars comfortable even at moments of extreme ejector air so based on what you say am inclined to think that the height of the rider figures into the equation. At 6’1″ you undoubtedly have much longer legs than I do and this could certainly make a difference in how the restraints fit. No-one had to do the walk of shame while I was there but we’re talking about only a short period. The restraints on RMC coasters are not always the most forgiving but they’re certainly a lot more forgiving than those on some Intamin coasters.


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