Windjammer Surf Racers

Windjammer Surf Racers
roller coaster
Knott's Berry Farm
Location Buena Park, California, USA
Status Defunct
Operated March 26, 1997 to March 2, 2000
Cost $6,200,000 USD
Replaced by Xcelerator
Manufacturer TOGO
Type Steel - Twin
Riders per train 8

Windjammer Surf Racers was a TOGO twin roller coaster located at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, USA. The failure led to a lawsuit and TOGO's eventual demise. The ride closed on March 2, 2000. Xcelerator now occupies the spot that Windjammer formerly occupied.

Design[edit | edit source]


Windjammer Surf Racers was a dueling roller coaster. The ride's first drop led into a vertical loop. After the loop, the ride continued over multiple hills, including multiple brake runs.

Ride[edit | edit source]

Windjammer Surf Racers was a unique coaster; it involved small Wild Mouse-like trains running on a full size track. There were two independent tracks (red and yellow) that were constructed side-by-side, in which the purpose of the ride was to pit both tracks in a race against each other.

The station did not have an airgate system to keep queuing guests clear from advancing vehicles within the station. The ride quality was also known to be very poor with hard pads used on the over-the-shoulder restraints. Some guests complained of headaches due to the harsh ride.

The ride was dressed as a tribute to the fabled Southern California beach culture, complete with towering palms trees, beach sand, a miniature lagoon, a scaled-down lifeguard watch tower, and other beach-worthy props. The on-ride photograph sales booth was built into the side of a scaled-down replica of a yacht.

Lawsuit[edit | edit source]

Windjammer Surf Racers did not run frequently because it was plagued with mechanical problems. Just a few weeks into operation, several parts had to be replaced. Knott's Berry Farm spent about $2 million on repairs and inspections alone. Because of these problems, Knott's filed suit against TOGO seeking $17 million in damages, claiming that TOGO poorly designed and engineered the coaster which prevented successful operation during its three years. They reported problems such as misaligned tracks, defective safety restraints, and wrinkles in the main frame of the trains. The park also claimed that the ride's design flaws prevented operation during medium winds, sometimes stalling even during slight breezes, which Knott's called an "embarrassment."

The ride remained closed during the lawsuit as evidence. When Knott's was unable to complete a sale of the ride, it was dismantled in July 2001. In November 2003, the jury rejected Knott's lawsuit in favor of TOGO International.