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Experiencing the Top Spin at Astroland

The Top Spin is a creation of HUSS Maschinenfabrik, a company based in Bremen, Germany. It is a thrill ride and the term Top Spin developed into a generic name for similar rides manufactured by other companies using the same principles. The ride is part of Astroland, an amusement park in Coney Island that opened in 1962 and became very popular with visitors.

How it worked

A passenger platform hangs suspended between two counterweighted arms and, motors turn these arms. The platform usually has brakes that stop and start at several stages of the ride. The thrill during the Top Spin ride is when the main arm motors turn while the platform brakes stop and start, resulting in many diverse rotations. The minimum height of the rider is 54 inches and the maximum cannot exceed 80 inches due to the seat design and other restraints. The Top Spin is known as one of the most popular rides built in Astroland.

Experiencing the Top Spin

The ride has eight predetermined programs that park operators can use according to their need. A ride normally lasts around two minutes and is comprised of speed loops, flips and even the thrill of hanging upside down on the platform, called the gondola “hang time”. The thrilling experience sometimes ends with the riders getting soaked in water fountains that are unleashed on them at the end of the ride cycle. The ride cycle itself is designed in a manner that enabled customization and manual operator control. The repetitive flips are faster on some rides and a theme park in German currently holds a world record of 100 gondola flips during one ride.

The Top Spin is still considered one of the most popular rides in the now-defunct Astroland. The amusement park has since closed down in March 2008, much to the disappointment of regular visitors and those who really fancied experiencing the Top Spin ride.