Wave (Drayton Manor)

Roller coaster in the United Kingdom
Watch the on-ride POV
Drayton Manor Resort
Location Drayton Bassett, Staffordshire, England, UK
Coordinates 52°36′45″N 1°42′58″W / 52.6125570°N 1.7160589°W / 52.6125570; -1.7160589
Park section Adventure Cove
Status Operating since 26 March 1994
Cost £4.2 million
Rider height 140 cm minimum
Manufacturer Intamin (Subcontracted to Giovanola)
Product Stand-Up Coaster
Designer / calculations Ing.-Büro Stengel GmbH
Type Steel
Propulsion Chain lift hill
Height 36.6 metres
Top speed 85.3 km/h
Length 500 metres
Inversions 4
Duration 1:36
G-Force 4
Rolling stock
Manufacturer ART Engineering (2024-present)
Riders per train 24

The Wave, previously known as Shockwave, is a steel roller coaster located at Drayton Manor Resort in Drayton Bassett, Staffordshire, England, UK. The ride first opened in March 1994 as a stand-up coaster. It was the only stand-up roller coaster in Europe until the opening of Freestyle in 2015, and the only one in the world with a zero-g roll. It was built around the same time as Splash Canyon Rapids, in which the station for it is located directly below The Wave's station, alongside the rides track being situated mostly above the rapids.

The roller coaster was one of three stand-up coasters designed by Intamin, and was the only one still operating before its conversion to a sit down coaster for 2024. It was also the only stand-up coaster built by Intamin to feature multiple inversions.


The second half of Shockwave. The double corkscrew is visible.

Shockwave was ordered during IAAPA 1992. In winter 1992, £1 million worth of concrete was laid for Shockwave and Splash Canyon Rapids, a ride also built by Intamin. After the ride was completed, during the pull through, it was discovered that the test-car could not maneuver the zero-g roll, so a replacement track segment was brought in.

Shockwave opened on 26 March 1994. It was the second of three major British roller coasters opened in 1994; the first being Nemesis at Alton Towers and the third Pepsi Max Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Because of this, 1994 has been named the "year of the roller coaster" for British enthusiasts.

After completion of the ride, local residents complained that the final bend was too close to the edge of the park. In fact, Shockwave had been built as planned, but the council had not considered the proximity of the ride to the edge of the park.

For the 2004 season, Shockwave was repainted. For the 2011 season, the trains were repainted. For 2021, the station building was refurbished and repainted.[1]

On 5 November 2023 the ride closed for a refurbishment.[2] In an interview published on 3 September 2023, managing director Victoria Lynn stated the ride would be remodeled for its 30th anniversary in 2024. The work will include installation of new sit-down trains to replace the stand-up rolling stock, thus deeming Intamin Stand Up coasters extinct and leaving no stand up coasters in the world with a zero G roll. As a result, the height restriction will also be reduced from 140 cm to 120 cm.[3][4] The new sit-down trains were manufactured by ART Engineering.[citation needed]

The Wave reopened on 26 April 2024.[5][6]



The station of the Wave is located directly above the loading area of River Rapids, in the Adventure Cove area. At 120 feet tall, The Wave was built as high as possible under the planning restrictions. The ride starts with the train entering the chain lift hill, reaching a height of 120 feet. the ride then drops at a left banked turn, reaching ground level and entering a vertical loop. The ride then continues into a Zero-g roll, then a double corkscrew and finally reentering the station building with a harsh stop. The ride was planned to have a helix at the end, however it was not possible with the velocity and space available.

Colour scheme

For the 2004 season, Shockwave was repainted light blue. Previously, it had silver track and brown supports.


A train on Shockwave before and after its repaint

2 trains with 6 cars per train. In each car, riders are arranged 4 across in a single row, for a total of 24 riders per train.

For the 2011 season, the trains were repainted; one dark blue and the other red. Previously, they were painted light brown.


The opening in 1994 of The Big One, Nemesis and Shockwave resulted in 1994 being celebrated by UK parks and fans as the "Year of the Roller Coaster".


  1. "Drayton Manor confirm big changes for 2021!". Theme Park Insanity. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  2. "After a wonderful ride on the final train, Shockwave has now closed". Facebook. Attraction Source. 2023-11-05. Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  3. "Stand-up positie op Shockwave in Drayton Manor verdwijnt".
  4. Sim, Natalie (2023-09-09). "SHOCKWAVE, UK's Iconic Stand Up Roller Coaster At Drayton Manor Will No Longer Be "Stand Up"!". Theme Park Tourist. Retrieved 2023-09-20.
  5. Parker, Hayley; Farrington, Dayna (2024-04-25). "Drayton Manor confirms opening date for new rollercoaster". Stoke on Trent Live (in English). Retrieved 2024-04-26.
  6. Riding Drayton Manors NEW Roller Coaster | The Wave (in British English), retrieved 2024-04-26

External links

  • Wave on the Roller Coaster DataBase.

Articles on Drayton Manor Resort