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Super Loops - Amusement Ride Extravaganza

Super Loops

The Superloops premiered in the early 1970s, manufactured by Larson International who at this time had only produced tractors and other agricultural machinery from their establishment in 1965. Superloops was invented by Walter House (also Gravitron) and his prototype unit travelled North America with Century 21 Shows for many years before being sold to an Australian showmen.

The loop’s 20 person train shuttles back and forth around the inside of the loop, attached to an inertia ring - a circular 360° conveyor-belt locked into a track. This inertia ring is powered by the friction of hydraulic motors in the ride’s base, providing it with both clockwise and counter-clockwise movements at the discretion of the ride operator who sits in a steel frame immediately beside the track.

The Superloops is truly unique in its design, with no other ride coming close to its easily recognisable 23-metre (55 ft) steel ring construction. Perhaps the most intriguing element of this ride is the ingenious fold-up design that is not only capable of fitting onto a single trailer, but also self-assembling; via 2 large hydraulic rams at the loop’s base, each third of the loop folds out while the upper portions, in turn, hinge upward eventually connecting at the top-centre. (the fastening of the top of the ring is a very precarious process, as viewed below) Support cables are then anchored into place for lateral support to the free-standing steel ring. The ride can be set up with only two men in as little as 2-3 hours.

With great draw card value and dominant circular construction it easily catches attention of passers-by while also polluting the midway with its distinct loud clattering as the train rockets around the inside of the loop; further adding to its unique appeal.

Larson has gone on to produce 2 generations of House’s original Superloops design:

The Ring of Fire premiered in the late 1980s sporting computer programmed turbo lights around the ring, which now illuminated 360° under the base, with a re-designed inertia-ring to minimise noise and maintenance.

In 1998 Fireball premiered with a modernised train (over-the-shoulder restraints) and roofless passenger train.

To date there have been approximately 100 Superloop-type units constructed worldwide, a number in Europe manufactured by Vekoma and at least 1 unit manufactured in Australia by CAMAC both under license from Larson.

In recent times the Superloops and its later generations have become less common with the abundance of higher-capacity double vehicle Kamikazes which have proven easier to assemble and maintain also with single trailer portability and perhaps a more modern appeal to today’s generation of carnival goers. Nevertheless, the sight and sound of a 55 foot Superloops / Ring of Fire / Fireball on the horizon of any carnival is something that will always hold an excitement of its own.

67 Responses to “Super Loops”

  1. awsome reminds me of the ring of fire that i ride every year at the big butler fair. in butler pa

    jenn - June 3rd, 2009 at 12:40 pm

  2. Dear Sirs To my city come each year a super loop that looks to be made a lot of years ago. Is there any way to know if this machine should stop of operating? Level vibrations or non destructives probes? Many people will thank you. Yours, Jorge Mora Guayaquil - Ecuador

    Jorge Mora - June 29th, 2009 at 1:45 pm

  3. They look very cool I see one at my county fair it is a ring of fire ride with a paint scheme blue,yellow,orange,red and it looks nice I can send pics of it to you

    Raymond - July 7th, 2009 at 6:36 am

  4. I remember when Wittingslow Amusement’s Super Loop used to operate at Darling Harbour in Sydney. It used to sit next to the Huss Tristar and Galaxy Coaster and was by far the most popular ride in the place. Every weekend that side of Darling Harbour was full of families totally amazed and blown away by this amazing ride and I remember it was only $2.00 a pop then, those were the days!

    Ben - July 8th, 2009 at 3:45 pm

  5. how does this ride work??

    Hannah - July 22nd, 2009 at 1:42 am

  6. THE INVERTOR,WALTER HOUSE,WAS MY FATHER-IN-LAW FOR 7 WONDERFUL YEARS. HE WAS SUCH A VISIONARY, AND EXTREMELY TALENTED. A CREATIVE GENIUS. I LIVE IN NORTHERN CALIF NOW, AND STILL GET EXCITED TO SEE A “LOOPS OR GRAVITRON” AT THE STATE AND COUNTY SHOWS OUT HERE. I WAS PRIVILEDGED TO HAVE KNOWN MR HOUSE, AND TO HAVE HELPED OPERATE SOME OF HIS RIDES AT THE NEW MEXICO, AND TEXAS STATE FAIR, BACK IN THE EARLY 1970′S. GO RIDE ONE AND ENJOY IT..WHAT A HOOT.

    JERRY - July 22nd, 2009 at 10:07 am

  7. i run this ride at work. its a manual left right rotation design powered my a electric motor spinning 4 or 5 tires than contact the inner ring of the ride. the operation is up to you in how many rotations you do. i do 3 if its light and 4 if its heavy. makes it easier to get the momentum to get it to stop at the top so i can go the other direction

    Joey - August 7th, 2009 at 8:42 pm

  8. at my fair this ride is called ring of fire

    Melissa - August 20th, 2009 at 4:15 am

  9. I love this thing! It’s so freaky to hang at the top like you’re stuck for a few seconds, then suddenly fall down backwards! I also love that it’s so unpredictable. The carnie who operates the FireBall at the CNE once hung it upside down for what felt like two minutes, then made it suddenly fall forward into three loops at high speed! Let’s see a Kamikaze do that!

    Arcturus - August 27th, 2009 at 2:28 am

  10. buen dia, sabra de alguien que tenga un aparato de estos a la venta? gracias!!

    francisco - September 8th, 2009 at 10:58 am

  11. Ring of Fire, Mega Loop, Fire Ball. The fun about these rides are the foremen who operated them. I witnessed a 27-second hanging session upside down on a Ring of Fire at a Detroit carnival, on a video… I get very excited when I can experience a ride like this! I have rode the ringlike rides 150 times in 2009.

    Aaron J. Wilburn, Jr. - September 22nd, 2009 at 3:23 pm

  12. Can anyone tell me if Larson have a new Ring of Fire or Fireball? What’s there price?

    Prince06 - October 19th, 2009 at 12:17 pm

  13. In Brazil, a park called TupĆ£ has one of that, called Mega Loop. I never saw one next and I`d like to have the oportunity to ride one. I love amusement machinesa and it looks been a great one.

    TATY “EVOLUTION” - BRAZIL.

    Taty "Evolution" - February 1st, 2010 at 10:14 am

  14. Did it happened some accident with this ride???

    Taty "Evolution" - February 1st, 2010 at 10:15 am

  15. Yes sum1 did fall frm a ride exactly like this, in the 1980s at the hoppings funfair a young girl either partly or totaly fell, resulting in the loss of both her lower legs.

    Angie - February 4th, 2010 at 3:23 am

  16. err is there any in Australia

    Joe - February 20th, 2010 at 11:17 am

  17. In the Sarasota county Fair here in Florida,we have the late 1980’s Ring of Fire ride and about 2 years ago in 2008 they set up the ride and the train or cart was upsidedown just sitting there with parts dismanteled. They said it was under construction and the last day of the fair it was open and with little problems but it was still a good ride!!

    Cristian - February 21st, 2010 at 3:02 am

  18. i really need helpm from you guys is there going to be a super loops,ring of fire.or fireball ride the larson kind please if anybody has an answer please say it will be there or please say no and i remember the ring of fire weas awsome it has a tight lap bar that is tight and a huge like stick u hold ur safe but anyone give me information of every ride thats going to be trehre thx

    dean - March 1st, 2010 at 7:30 am

  19. if theres going to be any of those rides please can people say there is going to be one in the hamtramck michigan polish festival name all the rides thank you guys

    dean - March 1st, 2010 at 7:31 am

  20. My grandfather, my father’s father, is Walter House (now deceased). As I was estranged from him as a child, I can still remember watching him work, and seeing his drawings. Finding this information brings back those memories, and allows me to pass on information to my children. Thank You!

    Tonya Sundbye - April 28th, 2010 at 2:51 am

  21. i rode this at kentucky state fair it was ao cool!!

    cman101 - June 21st, 2010 at 9:14 am

  22. so cool!!

    cman101 - June 21st, 2010 at 9:14 am

  23. I saw this ride go up in 1972 and it was a sight to see..

    nancy lee pearce - June 27th, 2010 at 10:11 am

  24. heyy my name is nicole and and i went on this 59 times this year it comes to illinois its awesome!

    nicole - July 4th, 2010 at 10:34 am

  25. Kentucky fair 2009 funnest frikin ride there!!(maybe)

    Dylan - July 7th, 2010 at 4:41 am

  26. Clementon Park got 1 in 2010

    mb - July 30th, 2010 at 5:08 am

  27. Did someone loose a leg on the ride at Great Yarmouth pleasure beach Norfolk in 1980’s????

    James - August 19th, 2010 at 6:05 am

  28. best ride ever so much fun

    Chris - August 26th, 2010 at 3:33 pm

  29. I always know this one as what Josh wanted to ride but was short in the movie Big.

    Kelli Barron - September 6th, 2010 at 3:09 pm

  30. Can anyone explain me how this ride should be assembled quickly and safe? (some pics would be a great help) email: amusementrides@telfort.nl

    Tom - September 15th, 2010 at 5:12 am

  31. Heh - Heh - the one that visited San Antonio in the 70s during Fiesta Week had sound effects (tires screeching, car horns that went “honk honk”) and I swear the wheels looked like skateboard wheels! My favorite ride at the time, next to the Holiday Bounce!

    Al - September 15th, 2010 at 11:18 am

  32. i work this ride on my job

    dakota - November 12th, 2010 at 9:47 am

  33. looks like the ring of fire at my county fair!!!

    Angel - December 21st, 2010 at 6:28 am

  34. Being the operator of the Ring of fire for Belle City Amusements I would like to say that this is one of the few rides left that the operator has to “drive” and not just push a button and let the computer do the work. It takes a great deal of talent to give the custumer a great ride. HOPE YOU PUKE!!!!!

    Melinko - December 30th, 2010 at 3:18 am

  35. having also have been a Super Loop ride operator for Davis Amusements Cascadia i also agree that this is one of the few rides left that actually takes a talent to operate i ran this ride http://www.davisamusement.com/images/spectacular_ride_image/ring_of_fire.jpg for over a year and it was an absolute dream to run most fun i have ever had (fyi) the ride in the link picture i have posted is the exact ride i ran

    Chase Schnackel - January 11th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

  36. hey there - looking for some ride operator sound F/X for my band’s upcoming album . got any ????

    thanks - hawk

    tomahawk - June 20th, 2011 at 11:01 am

  37. Regarding accidents on the Super Loops - someone mentioned a girl losing both of her legs. I don’t know if it’s the same incident but I remember very well a girl fell from the top of the loop at the Hoppings funfair in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, in the mid 80’s. Apparently her harness failed. The father of a classmate of mine was a surgeon and he was the one who operated on her after the accident - from that day onwards, he was forbidden to attend fairgrounds.

    Jason - August 21st, 2011 at 8:31 am

  38. i rode a fireball this looks like it really fun

    andrew croad - September 21st, 2011 at 5:03 am

  39. round and round in circles like a teddy bear 1 step 2 step tickle you under there!!!!

    oliver - December 4th, 2011 at 1:42 pm

  40. for 15 yrs ,Ihad the privelegde to move a superloops,a ring of fire and fireball,but didn`t make it to the big time ,the texas state fair. because Iwas born with only one kidneyand it went . how Imiss those days!!

    shawn - February 20th, 2012 at 6:01 am

  41. someone must have forgotten the keyring,the third mechanism neededto lock the seat.

    shawn - February 20th, 2012 at 6:03 am

  42. you can set one up by yourself,needing 1 extra for 20 minutes.

    shawn - February 20th, 2012 at 6:06 am

  43. I’m interested in this machine is its price as

    adriano - February 25th, 2012 at 10:20 am

  44. I remember this back when i was younger. one of the Ring of Fire modles. no matter where you was in the park you can hear that thing going. was little worried about going on it the first time looking at the thing, but it was a vary nice ride and was made to last. What is good since if the ring fell apart i would of been flying into the middle of a intersection in on coming traffic. .

    James - July 25th, 2012 at 6:52 am

  45. I need help from all you out there….I remember back in the 1980’s at the ky state fair there was a super loop but it was called the texas revolver..this ride featured two giant six shooters as part of it;s sign. Now my question is did larson ever make a super loop with this sign…Or was this a owner or show modification, The last thing I know is that this was one year only deal as far as this loop comming to the fair so it was probably a late booking….does anybody remember this loop and what show it was on…thanks des…..

    david - August 16th, 2012 at 9:07 am

  46. I love the Ring of fire! I rode it yesterday at the state fair in illinois! it was so much fun. it was pretty entence though, but fun.

    Ron - August 16th, 2012 at 12:44 pm

  47. I rode one of these rides at the CNE here in Toronto this summer. I enjoyed the ride very much but was disturbed to find that the only thing keeping me in the seat was a single seatbelt that ran between my legs to the large harness that comes down over your shoulders. Is the harness not supposed to lock in place on it’s own? Honestly as far as I can tell I could have just undone it in the middle of the ride if I wanted to.

    Mike - August 28th, 2012 at 9:59 am

  48. I wish I could find a WAV file of this ride in action. There are videos on YouTube but none seem to have the unique ominous “swoooosh” sound like the one we had in Rochester, NH in the early 80’s. You could hear it all the way across town.

    Paul Gibbons - September 18th, 2012 at 10:59 am

  49. I hate this ride! I was crying so much!! I was also falling out of my seat!

    Kelsey - October 19th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

  50. During that momentary pause while upside down as the train changes directions, my friend said to me, “I just joined the Army! I leave next week! I’m going to be an MP!” And then the train began moving again, but not before I decided that I, too, would escape my cornfield town of 300 and do the same. Thank you, Super Loop!

    Tamara - March 8th, 2013 at 3:38 pm

  51. I love that ride called the wring of fire, it’s alot of fun! I will be going on it again, at the illinois state fair again this year! the only scarry part is when you are upside down but it’s alot of fun though.

    Ron - April 13th, 2013 at 9:47 am

  52. I operated the SuperLoop in Australia during the early 90’s, it belonged to L&L Osbourne (Showtime) Ltd. We travelled it with a Ghost Train, Ninja Turtle Rocket and various joints (side stalls) the “Bottle Up” being most memorable. The ride never failed to draw a huge crowd and would be busy all day, I used to stop at the top and rock it side to side slightly. I remember feeling like the nuts when stood on the platform looking at the throng on people waiting to ride!!!!

    Brett - April 16th, 2013 at 6:59 pm

  53. Tonya, I read your post. Walter was my grandfather as well. My mothers name is Patricia. Apparently you and I are half brotherand sister. I have a sister also your half sister. Wow!! We have the same father different mothers. Your mom must be Linda I’m guessing. We

    David A House - May 30th, 2013 at 6:59 am

  54. To keep the history straight, walter house may have created the idea, but louie wallace engineered the ride. He was the true guinness,not to mention the numerous agricultural designs marketed by larson industries. He also invented the first mechanized bun slicer for baldridge bakery in lubbock tx. Walter cheated louie put of his stock options, and left himhim jobless. It was a great ride through.

    Jeff cohlmia - July 9th, 2013 at 11:14 am

  55. Royal American Shows carried the prototype of this ride for years. They were the biggest and best, so many manufacturers tried to sell to them first.

    Robert Blomberg - September 8th, 2013 at 10:55 pm

  56. I rode it again this year. I love it, not to menchin I am totally blind, and love it, it’s really freeky when you hang upside down you like hang their but it’s cool though. to the person who wanted a wave file of it, I don’t actually have a wave, but I do have a mp3 of it, warning, I do alot of cussing, lol. I actually recorded myself on it this year I do have a edited version of the file if that person is interested email at leolizzard85@hotmail.com and I will send the file, all, have a great day.talk soon.

    Ron - September 10th, 2013 at 11:04 pm

  57. forgot to menchin I can convert it to a wave, if anyone wants.

    Ron - September 10th, 2013 at 11:05 pm

  58. Isn’t this ride supposed to use shoulder harnesses? My kid was put in the front car with only a lap bar that did not even reach his lap. He and his buddy had to wedge themselves into the frame and cling onto the car edge to keep from tumbling out. WTF?

    Wolf - September 17th, 2013 at 12:47 pm

  59. I knew Mr. and Mrs. Walter House and Debbie and Mark personally.I grew up across the street in Cliffside, Northwest of Amarillo Texas where Mr. House constructed his rides. Mark and I used to be the guinea pigs that first rode the rides literally not more than human sandbags ha ha. The man was ahead of his time. What fun precious memories. They had the most beautiful home in all of Bishop Hills and Mrs. House was one fine classy lady. What wonderful memories it brings back! Debbie used to hang out at our house with my older brother and sister and go on family vacations with us.

    James York - October 5th, 2013 at 1:41 pm

  60. I think its time for a stand up ring of fire/fire ball its 2013 it can be done.

    Woody - November 15th, 2013 at 4:09 pm

  61. I agree with Woody on that one. Actually I thought about that a few years ago while riding the one at the CNE in Toronto. I guess the restraint would be a large over the shoulder restraint like the one on Bolliger and Mabillard stand-up coasters. That would be fun except for the hang time that is produced during the gaining momentum process, your shoulders would be killing.:)

    John Brooks - December 11th, 2013 at 1:39 am

  62. This ride is a crazy son of a gun and I should know because I have rode it before and believe me I wish I had not. If I was going to ride it again I would prefer to ride the newer version with the shoulder harness because the lap bar don’t cut it.

    Erron Bennett - January 20th, 2014 at 3:33 am

  63. I crashed on a super loop at the Champaign IL County fair July 1981. At full speed the train came to an abrubt dead stop at the bottom. I would never get on one of those things again!

    Wm Fryer - March 17th, 2014 at 3:56 am

  64. Looks fun

    Jo - May 26th, 2014 at 8:47 am

  65. I went on this at the fair very fun the only difference was that they called it the ring of fire I think it’s the same thing very very fun

    john - June 20th, 2014 at 12:55 am

  66. i remember Tom and Des snr Wittingslow running Super Loops at Adelaide show back in the 80’s, fatal accident, i believe at the time it was all hushed up, but the maori guys i knew that worked the rides told me, the bolts became loose from the journey down from central Aus, the dirt roads, i knew Tommy and Des, and Des Jnr, and Michael

    Adelaid Show Days - July 11th, 2014 at 4:15 pm

  67. I’ve only seen the Fire-Ball and the Ring Of Fire. Never seen a super loops ride. But, i’ve seen a 75 foot one called the flare, and another 75′ one called the brain drain.

    Green Ninja - September 28th, 2014 at 10:57 am

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