Breakdance, manufactured by Huss Rides, is probably the most wild non-inverting ride there is. It seriously comes down to the operator though. When run at a modest speed, Breakdance is nothing more than a family ride. If the speed is cranked up, then you’d better hold on for dear life.
Basically, Breakdance is a souped up Tea Cups ride. The ride consists of a large, downward pitched turntable holding four or six satellites, depending on the model. Each satellite holds four cars that are able to freely spin. The cars are mounted in such a way that they’re level when pointed outward but tilted when pointed inward.
According the the Huss Rides website, among other features of Breakdance such as “variable electric motors” and being “an impressively large, fast and attractive ride”, they also add in that this ride has “a high flirt factor due to gondola design and opportunity for interaction.” Well damn, those people at Huss just thought of everything, didn’t they?
Riders choose a car and flip down the overhead lapbar. The bar has a sliding lock on one side operated by a small handle. Some models of Breakdance have locks that can only be opened by an attendant, because you know, us riders can’t be trusted to not open the lock and be flung from the car. Once everyone is loaded, the turntable and satellites begin to revolve…and that’s basically it!
As I noted in the first paragraph, the ride experience all comes down to operation. Most amusement parks in the US will run their Breakdance rides at a moderate speed, turning it into a ride good for everyone. Other Breakdance rides, such as damn near every single one in Europe and Astroland’s old Breakdance, are thrill rides through and through.
The best Breakdance I have ever been on was at Astroland located in Coney Island, NY. The ride was run as fast as it could go and whipped riders around mercilessly throughout the cycle. It was only ride where I found myself clinging to the lapbar for fear of being launched through the backwall or over Cyclone or something equally insane.
One thing I always remember about the Astroland Breakdance was that the operators would always say the line “if you wish to get off this ride, simply raise your hand. We’ll set you free!” That basically said it all! Since Astroland has closed, the US pretty much has no good Breakdance rides left. It’s a shame I tell you!
While Astroland’s Breakdance was wild, videos of Breakdance rides in Europe seem even more intense, especially the massive six satellite models.
Breakdance comes in four flavors. Breakdance 1 is your standard four satellite model. Breakdance 2 is a six satellite model that has a larger turntable radius. Due to the larger radius, the satellites achieve a greater speed than standard models.
Breakdance 3 is a more portable offering the ride. This model has four satellites, contains no backdrop and has a modified turntable that is shaped sort of like a cone, as opposed to being flat. The Rodeo rides at Six Flags parks are themed Breakdance 3 models. Finally, there’s Breakdance 4. This model gets rid of the turntable and backdrop altogether. ‘Wipeout’ at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is an indoor Breakdance 4.
There’s also plenty of knock-off Breakdance rides made by various companies. The most well known is Fabbri’s Crazy Dance, which can be seen traveling around the US. Crazy Dance is more portable than the Huss counterpart but its top speed is far lower than Breakdance. Other companies that have cloned Breakdance include Sobema (Break Dance), Top Fun (Magic Dance), Nauta Bussink (Star Dancer), Safeco (Blade Runner), and Parkash (Break Dance).
In attempt to jazz up the ride a bit, the Fabbri Crazy Dance has an upgrade that adds lifting arms to the satellites to tilt them a little. As cool as that is, the Huss Breakdance still looks like it gives a wilder ride. I don’t beleive any Crazy Dance ride in the US has this upgrade.
Astroland’s Breakdance On-ride
Crazy Dance Off-ride
And here’s a video of Kinzler’s Breakdance No.1, a Breakdance 2 model. As an added bonus, the beginning of the video features how the boarding process works at European funfairs. Video thanks to Youtuber fandefete.
Header Image: Break Dance [HUSS] Meyer – Wiesenmarkt 2015 Eisleben by Gérard Cox