Shockwave - Kings Dominion - Coaster ReviewsEver wonder why there aren’t more stand-up roller coasters?
Shockwave probably should’ve been scrapped long ago. It’s got a decent first half, but I don’t think park-goers would shed any tears if it was removed. After the death of a rider in 1999, the ride was repainted, but not removed. Apparently, the rider freed himself of the restraints while he was aboard and fell to his death. So it was rider error, not a malfunction or defect of Shockwave or negligence by Kings Dominion.

Loading always goes pretty slow, so it’s not unusual to see the line spilling out onto the walkway. You might want to do yourself a favor and come back when the line’s shorter. Shockwave is not worth a long wait. The restraints are stiff and uncomfortable. Riders should make sure that they’re in a good position before the ride ops lock you in. The climb and the view of the park are nice. You can easily look more than 90 feet down at the ground below. The drop and the vertical loop combination has got to be the highlight of the ride. Right after the loop you enter a downward helix. It’s pretty fun if you like strong g-forces.

From there on the ride is terrible. Those bunny hills are jerky and mechanical. Someone should give Togo a lesson on shaping hills. The uncomfortable restraints don’t help as your thrown into them on those hills. I don’t even know why they’re there. Does bunny hills on a ride whereRoller Coaster Reviews - Bad you’re in a standing position really make much sense? I almost gave Shockwave a 4, because the first half is kind of fun, but the load time, uncomfortable restraints, and horrendous finale bring it down a notch. It’s also short making you feel like your long wait wasn’t worth it. Final Rating – 3.5 (Bad Approaching Below Average)

What’s Your Take?
What do you think of Shockwave at Kings Dominion? Should Kings Dominion scrap it or sell it like Hypersonic? Leave a comment below. Photo courtesy of

About The Author

Founder of My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

9 Responses

  1. Melissa Boyd

    Out of curiosity…is this the same Shockwave that made its debut at Six Flags Great Adventure in the early 90's?

  2. The Coaster Critic

    Melissa, good question, but that Shockwave stand up coaster has lived several lives. First it was at Magic Mountain, then Great Adventure, then AstroWorld, and now its in sitting in a field at the now de-flagged Darien Lake near Buffalo, NY. Here's the RCDB listing.Thanks for reading.

  3. Derek

    I work for Kings Dominion as a Shockwave Operator.I think the Shockwave is an execelent coaster! However it needs some retrofitting. I think new Cars and Redesigned seats would fix some problems. And one reason many find the ride unconfortable is because they do not stand up correctly.They think they shoud sit.but it's a stand-up coaster.

  4. Amanda

    Shockwave is one of my favorite coasters at Kings Dominion and has been ever since I could get on it in the early 90's. I would hate to see it go and judging by the long lines- while coaster enthusiasts like yourself may not enjoy it too much- the people who come to KD go back again and again. Maybe it's because a stand-up coaster is not something people are used to seeing and riding on? I agree with Derek- if they retrofitted the seats or did an upgrade or two to the ride it would be well worth the effort

    • The Coaster Critic

      I think part of the reason that the line is long is because it takes about a year and half for riders to board, adjust their 'seats', and be dispatched. I'm pretty sure that those little bunny hills at the end would be painful if not impossible in a standard seated train car. Back in the day, a few coasters did switch from seated trains to stand up trains or vice-versa, but I'd say it's highly unlikely for it to happen to Shockwave.

      I'm glad you enjoy it though. Different strokes….

  5. Mark

    I thought Iron Wolf – the first and worst B&M stand up – was better than Shockwave at Kings Dominion.

  6. Christian

    I love shockwave! I didn't think it was that jerky. As the other person was saying, I think it is jerky for the ones who want to sit on the small supporting seats instead of standing up all the way. I don't think Shockwave is going anywhere anytime soon!

  7. Kent

    I think they need to remove this and put in a new family ride. The park has a lot of good coasters for older kids and young kids but not much for inbetween. This ride is too short and too uncomfortable to be worth keeping.


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