White Trash Carny Ride #7: Cobra

Cobra, made by Venture Rides, is one of my favorite WTCRs. Every Cobra I’ve been on looks like it’s stuck in a 70s timewarp but they all give wonderfully intense rides.

Cobra is comprised of a long boom tilted on an angle with two, six seat satellites on each end. The seats look like skeletons of Paratrooper cars with a tiny overhead bar to keep you from flying out. Seats are also equipped with a foot rest to kick back and relax, or something like that.

The ride utilizes tire drives for all forms of movement. This means that the ride performs horribly in rainy conditions with tires skidding and spurring as they attempt to turn the boom and satellites.

The ride is named after a cobra…but I fail to see the resemblance.

The Ride

Cobra loads one satellite at a time so while the lower one is loading, the upper one just sits up there and usually revolves if there is too much weight on one side. Once both of the satellites are loaded, the boom will start to rotate with the satellites kicking in soon after. Both spin in the same direction which means riders experience some substantial G forces.

Other Info

Cobra was my first big ride. I was maybe 5 or 6 years old when I first rode it. It’s a miracle that I liked the ride considering how intense it is.

One of my good friends and I have an inside joke about the Cobra involving what we call “carny water.” However, this could be seen as a cautionary tale as well…

The boom is basically a frame with metal covering the bottom and sides. When it rains the spaces on top of the boom will fill up with water and, since the metal covering isn’t exactly water tight, it’ll start to drip under the boom. Of course under the boom are where the 2 satellites are, so you’ll travel through a stream of disgusting oil and whatever filled “carny water,” especially if you’re just waiting up in the air while the other satellite is loading. Once, my friend and I were the only ones on the upper satellite and because of the previous rain storm the tires slipped and sent us through the carny water. The satellite spun through it, lost steam, and then started to rotate backwards sending us through it yet again! Unfortunately this continued until the ride started.

Wisdom re-made the Cobra  in 2008 with their version called ‘Viper.’ There’s a few differences between the two rides, however. One is that the frame can raise and lower to board everyone at once resulting in lower load time. Viper also uses shoulder harnesses to secure riders instead of a lapbar. The final difference is that Viper’s seats don’t swing out nearly as far as Cobra. A person who worked on the ride informed me that the couples that attach the seats wore out very quickly on the original Cobra, so the reduced swinging was more of a  safety measure than anything. Still, they should have just re-worked the couplings instead of hurting the ride experience.


Here’s a YouTube video of the Cobra by CoasterForce.

And here’s a video of Viper by Shawn Britt

10: Yo Yo | 9: Trabant | 8: Hustler | 7: Cobra | 6: Ring of Fire | 5: Paratrooper | 4: Scat | 3: Zipper | 2: Hi-Roller | 1: Sky Diver | WTCR Home


  • DallasMahaney says:

    This ride I personal don’t like it spins around really fast and you get whiplash like crash the first time you ride it you’ll not want to go on it anymore. But if you like REALLY fast rides you must go on this ride

  • Chris says:

    I absolutely love this ride. It looks so mild but boy does it pack in the G forces! That Viper ride looks awesome. I hope to see either one again at a carnival someday.

  • Cyclone411 says:

    This one tricked me good! I had never run into this ride until seeing it at Old Town in Kissimee. We thought it was a Paratrooper variant. It is NOT. Damn, this think develops some forces! As was said, it makes your legs go to sleep from the pressure on your thighs. Has that general Wisdom Rides feel of being a home-build concoction of spare parts.

  • james says:

    I have ridden so many rides growing up and this cobra ride is extremely dangerous..I know because it fractured 2 ribs from the g-force.After the many attempts to reach the manufacturer and they just blew me off n said “their ride” was safe and they have never heard of anyone fracturing ribs from the ride.STAY AWAY FROM THIS RIDE!!!

    • DoD3Brian says:

      Sorry to hear about your injury, but I think I have to side with the ride manufacturer on this one. If the ride was designed poorly, then injuries like this would be common, forcing shows to remove Cobra from their lineup.

    • Mike says:

      I call BS. I ran two Cobra’s, on Conklin Shows and West Coast Amusements. The ride has four 3hp Rueland Electric motors. 2 for the boom, and 1 for each end. Given 3hp divided over the six seats on your end on the ride you were under a half horsepower of force? Broken ribs? REALLY?

      Next time don’t stand on your tippy-toes beside the *you must be this tall to ride* sign. LOL

  • Mike says:

    As a carney I ran this ride from 1989 to 1997. We nicknamed it the “Vomitron”… vomit being the key syllables. One single hot and humid day in Peterburough Ontario my Cobra had 35 people barf from riding it.

    Most people are fine with the ride running forwards. Backwards really makes the weak stomached turn green. 😀

  • Don says:

    Can the viper load both satellites at the same time as the cobra can only load one

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