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Why not Wood and Steel top 10s?

Edward M

Well-Known Member
One of my favorite things about Coasterforce is how (practically) everyone combines their top 10s. It just makes sense to me, especially since wooden coasters are becoming more and more like steel coasters, but it's something that is pretty rare in the enthusiast community. I prefer to think we're right, and everyone else is wrong. However, there is probably some reason we're the only major enthusiast group that foregoes separating them?

I'm sure for many of you it's similar to me in that a top 10 is a top 10, why differentiate? However, I'd also like to just hear about everyone's opinions on top coaster lists as a whole, their purpose.


Active Member
Maybe separating wood/steel makes it easier for the person to rank/compare them within their own category. That being said though, that argument doesn't really work considering it's much harder to compare a B&M invert to an Intamin mega, than an RMC steel hybrid to an RMC woodie. So why bother separating when you're going to have hard comparisons anyway?

Maybe people separate just for the sake of it. Yeah it's fun to make lists, we do it all the time (the "Polls" topics easily shows that).

A combined list just feels right. When you put together a Top 10 (or Top 30 for my case), your showing what rides you've enjoyed the most, or what rides you prefer to ride over others (and that's obvious for us enthusiasts). Why discriminate? Judge them based on what they provide, not by what they're categorized by (getting political here aren't I :p).

Yeah, separate them for ****s and giggles I guess, but having two for your "official" rankings? Nah. Also wasn't aware that other enthusiasts groups tend to separate them.

Matt N

Well-Known Member
Great topic idea @Edward M!

I agree with ranking my top 10 combined as opposed to wood and steel separately. I think this because I personally agree with your point about wooden coasters becoming more akin to steel coasters; companies like RMC are making the lines between the two more blurred with each day that goes by! I'd also say that the recent rise of hybrid coasters causes a slight grey area for some; some people will be unsure whether to rank them as wood or steel, and there aren't really enough of them to separate them into their own category yet, in my opinion. I'd personally class them based on their track material, but some enthusiasts think differently.

Also, they're all coasters in my mind, so I don't see the logic in separating them, personally. But each to their own, I suppose!


I don't generally have a "top 10", the great coasters are all great and separating them into a list removes them from the context of the park they're in. Plus it's super hard to be objective in some cases, if you rode one ride on a busy, grey, drizzly day and another on a boiling, bright summer's day with no queues; would you be ranking the ride or the experience as a whole? I think Mitch Hawker's poll helped smooth that out though with the large sample size.

I think a classic woodie top 10 would be more useful than just a woodie one. "Top 10 woodies built before 1990" or something. Like you say, modern woodies are comparable to steel rides now, but there's so much variation in the old ones that a list would help sort the wheat from the chaff!


Active Member
I'm of the belief that a top ten overall should always be your go-to reference point, I don't see the point in only going as far as 2 split lists and then not one step further, refusing to compare the 2.

My spreadsheet does have a separate for each and I find that splitting first helps to create the combined list - any more direct or categorical comparisons you can come up with along the way makes it easier in the end.
My list for wood is managing to stay individually ranked thus far, but the steel list is lumped into groups beyond a certain point.
I personally find woodies a lot easier to compare to each other - there's a lot less of them and they're all generally competing to offer the same type of experience, whereas a lot of steels (perhaps not the best ones these days) can be attempting to emphasise certain types of experiences and there's a much more massive variation in this.


I don't see the need to, plus there are generally more top-of-the-line steel coasters out there than wooden coasters. Perhaps if RMC, GCI and Gravity Group innovate to a point where we will see wooden coasters dominating enthusiasts' favorites lists (Voyage is the only wooden coaster I've ever ridden that has climbed to #1 in my rankings), then a need will arise, but for now I think it's up to a matter of preference.
Frankly with all the new “hybrid” types cropping up, the steel and woodie divide is becoming more and more blurry and pointless. The divide existed because woodies were such a different animal- shallower drops, couldn’t invert, were shorter, can’t launch, etc- that they couldn’t really be compared. But, since the rise of Gravity Group being able to invert their woodies, prefabs, and RMC, they’re now much more comparable.


I started doing it in 2018. Part is I admit, a cop out: Now that I've finally ridden more high quality woodies (before last year I don't think I had enough stand out enough to even fill 10) it was getting harder to make my top 10 lol and I felt kind of bad some great woodies were out simply because so many steel ones dominate. Though also, I do look for different experiences. With a wooden coaster I expect, and like, some roughness. For me personally it does add, like if ya had a steel coaster that felt like Beast with its layout, I'd say it's worthless crap. So kind of hard to compare the two for me.

I used to always say, great as El Toro is, it's almost not a woodie lol I haven't ridden in 6 years now maybe it's changed, but at that time it was so smooth...well didn't feel like wood. Which hey the ride is the ride, the experience matters, but it just didn't feel like wood. True, with RMC the line is becoming more blurred.