People-powered Windstarz ride debuts at Coney Island

Don Thomas was one of the first patrons to ride Windstarz.
Photo by Vinette K. Pryce

Brooklyn has another reason to boast the most alluring attractions in New York City.

Along with the Barclay Center, the borough is home to the first and only people-powered adventure-filled thrill ride in the world.

Now a feature at Coney Island’s Luna Park, Windstarz, launched an innovative attraction that allows riders to control the excitement level of riders of every individual who take the upward leap onto the merry-go-round that distinguishes the new attraction.

Making its debut last week at the oceanfront, amusement center, engineers, innovators and fun-seekers experienced the world’s first and only people-powered wind propelled ride.

Inside the Luna Park fun themed sector, a 25-foot high engineering marvel allows riders “to steer and propel themselves up and down, side to side at eight revolutions per minute, creating the experience of flying a hang glider.”

The wind from the Atlantic Ocean just feet away also enables riders to experience an exhilarating feeling while they navigate the ride which uses a hydraulic system to move the counterweights and maintain traction and balance.

The breezier the day, guaranteed added fun for a feeling of gliding, sailing and flying.

“Everyone is in for fun and adventure” with the introduction of Windstarz, Fernando Velaquez operations manager said.

After a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the public tested the newest attraction to the boardwalk.

As captains of their own experience, they exercised the 12 arms which seats two chairs, for a two-minute ride some were flying and sailing simultaneously.

Although it was a rainy day with intermittent periods of sunshine, groups of school children, day campers and tourists flocked the boardwalk to join the lines of patrons waiting anxiously to try the unique ride.

Located next to Coney’s Cones, the only ice cream parlor along the boardwalk, it seemed as if guests went directly from the ride to the location acclaimed for selling authentic Italian gelato.

Added attractions to Coney Island this summer are an art exhibition, a smorgasborg of food and to cool off, the beach.

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