Boss - Six Flags St Louis - Entrance

Boss at Six Flags St. Louis

It was about time for me to head back to the airport and catch my flight home. I was lucky enough to ride all of the park’s roller coasters while experiencing some great weather. But first, I had to settle a burning question: Which was the real Boss? Was it the punishing brute that looked fun, but nearly rattled my fillings out? Or, was it a rough, but ride-able gem of a coaster that just needed a little taming? I told myself that I wasn’t going to leave until I had an answer…. I got my answer.

Anticipation & The Hike to the Station

As you approach Boss, you’re greeted by a cool entrance. I’m not sure what the ride’s overall theme is supposed to be, but the large stone sign reminded me of some kind of temple or something. Built in 2000, the Custom Coasters International woodie is described as a Terrain Twister. I’d heard very mixed reviews, but as I made my way down the lengthy path, my excitement was getting more and more ramped up.

Boss looks incredible. It lives in a mostly wooded corner towards the back of Six Flags St. Louis. You pass by its neat layout including its large 570 degree helix followed by a couple of small hills on your trek to the station. “Wow! This is quite a substantial monster of a coaster,” I thought to myself. At 5,051 feet long, Boss is the 8th longest wooden coaster in the World. Too bad there’s no record of the longest queues in the World. After walking over the go-kart track during the last part of one of the longest queues in memory, I had found the station. I was glad to see that it was a “hike-on” (instead of a “walk-on”).

Boss - Six Flags St Louis - Helix - Hill

Terrain Coaster Gem or Underachieving Bully?

As with most woodies I haven’t ridden, I approached with a bit of trepidation. I sat in the middle-back and embarked. Riding up the lift hill, to the 120′ foot peak, you’ve got a great view of part of Six Flags St. Louis to your left and nothing but the green of the forest surrounding the park to your right. Maybe it was the terrain, but you feel a good bit higher than the stat suggests. The train comes off of the lift, does a little dip and a turn around and then Boss has its way with you.

You fly down the 150′ foot drop and then through a straight section. The train passed through an opening in the ride’s huge support structure and then traverses some banking and dipping at 60+ miles per hour. This is the first of many ouches. Again and again, the train rises up to do a jerky (but at least slower) turn around high in the air and then it plummets you to the ground where it lays in a few good shots as it shakes and jostles you around. At about the mid-point, Boss mixes it up by sending you toward to the helix near the mile-long queue. This might have been really fun when it was smoother, but the roughness continues as the banking and dips just aren’t enjoyable.Boss - Six Flags St Louis - Train

By the time I had survived the first two-thirds of Boss, instead of being excited for that helix I had seen earlier, I was dreading it. There was no way to know that those riders I had seen earlier were being pummeled, but that’s what I experienced on two out of three of my rides on Boss. After the painful helix and the last few hills, my body was screaming for mercy. Thankfully, the station brakes gave me my wish.

Verdict: So Much Promise, So Much Pain

I got my answer alright. My first ride was pretty rough, but as a brave roller coaster journalist who was intrigued by Boss’ size, I did a quick u-turn (right by the station thankfully) and rode it a second time. On the second trip I braced like no other, but found Boss ride-able and almost fun. I had more coasters to conquer (like Screamin’ Eagle), so I left. Boss at Six Flags St Louis - Coaster Critic Tweet
My third lap right before I left the park sealed the deal for me. Boss is another aging woodie that’s gotten way too rough. The difference here is that this ride has so much potential. I realize why it was mentioned in: Pick the Next Coaster to Get the Texas Giant Treatment. Now that Six Flags Fiesta Texas’ Rattler will become Iron Rattler next year, maybe Boss could be next. While Boss is an adventure, it’s not one that I’d recommend for anyone other than a true coaster fan. One local at the park called it her favorite, but I can’t see how. Call me the girly-man name of your choice, but I was bracing throughout most of this ride and can’t imagine calling it a favorite.
Roller Coaster Reviews - Bad
The fact that Boss offers some good scenery and an interesting layout while it’s giving you a beat down saves it from a 1 (Demolish) rating. And from a coaster enthusiast’s standpoint, I can really appreciate what it was trying to do. I’ll have to go pretty low, but I’ve settled on a generous “3”. Final Rating – 3.0 (Bad)

Traditional Roller Coasters - Fun For AllBoss is rated ‘TR’ for Traditional. While it’s one of the largest of its kind, it’s still a 2 out of 5 on the Thrill Scale. If you’ve ridden a woodie before, you’ll generally know what to expect.


Do you agree with my rating? Have you ridden Boss? What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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. I305Evan

    The ride looks amazing! But I can really tell it’s aging. I loved the review also! Now quick question for Six Flags themselves… CAN YOU NOT THINK OF ANOTHER NAME OTHER THAN “BOSS?!?” Like really.

      • Trevor

        It most likely won't get an Iron Horse conversion, I talked to a guy at Six Flags and he said it would cost the park about $8 million to convert the Boss. But they are looking into options for it.

  2. Dylan Steichen

    I can understand your complaints of roughness the ride was like ghostrider it’s first couple years now it’s got it’s good years and then you have the year where your getting a real rough ride. On your comment of adding topper track it would almost certainly improve it like the Georgia cyclone tore down the old track and upper supports. However on the only ride ive been on with topper track cyclone at six flags new England (your nemesis) had it’s first drop turn swoop thing down and up a hill replaced with the topper track, the results were for me at least it was smooth and fast but it had this really funky vibration and didn’t fell right I can’t speak for the Georgia cyclone however.

  3. Paul Drabek

    The Boss is significantly smoother and faster this year than it has ever been. Honestly it has been getting better with age especially the helix as it doesn't shuffle nearly as much as it used to. The Boss used to be a ride in the spring and fall when it was wet but mid summer when it's hot and dry it was about as smooth as son of Beast. Now you can ride it all season long. Some might not like it but I'm one for an aggressive ride and the Boss' condition is one of the few things I'm happy with Six Flags St. Louis about.

  4. Alex

    Rather than give it Iron Horse treatment, I'd like to see it partially retracked by GCI and given PTC's instead of those godawful Gerstlauer trains. Though I'd say I'd like to see Millennium Fliers put on it, I don't think GCI put Millennium Flyers on any coasters other than their own.

    • 1570626

      They should put timberliners on the boss. Also Coaster Critic, when will you do the X flight vs. Wild Eagle coaster showdown? I would really like to see which ride you think is better.

  5. Coaster Conner

    Sfsl is my home park so I have obviously ridden the boss. My first ride I greatly enjoyed it! It was very rough but not tortuous. I personally enjoy this coaster, although I would not call it my favorite. I definitely agree that it needs something, however. As much as I would love to have an epic rmc like the one that the boss could create at my home park, I highly doubt it will happen. Six flags doesn’t care enough about it’s MO park to spend that knid of money. I think that there are two options for the boss: Gci/ghostrider treatment, or at the very least, some refurbishing for it.
    I would give it a 6.5 or 7 personally


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