Frequently Asked Questions

What about heavy riders and riders of various sizes?

Most standards are based on “standard” adults weighing 170 pounds or children weighing 90 pounds (i.e., based on the ASTM standards). This is the required analysis for the forces on the rider’s body.

It may be appropriate to consider carrying out supplementary assessments based on vulnerable extremes. There is no reason why ride evaluations have to consider only the required tests. For example, the population seems to be expanding in terms of weight. It may not be difficult to intercept a child from riding when he is too short for the height limit, but hard for operators first to evaluate a rider’s weight and then to tell the rider he is too heavy. A ride may have been tested for 50 pounds per 2-person car (e.g., 170 pounds per person) and the operator has to look at a 220 pound guy and his 160 pound girlfriend and (a) figure that together they exceed 350 pounds and then (b) tell the 220 pound guy in front of his girlfriend that they are too heavy to ride together. That can be a difficult responsibility to carry out. 

The increased awareness of accessibility allows more people with medical conditions and disabilities to come to public places and participate fully in society, and it is often difficult to know what the individual effect of a ride might be in those cases. We don’t want to encourage discrimination just to prevent the unknown. While a person who “looks disabled” might have no particular problem on a given ride, another person might have an undiagnosed medical condition that could be life-threatening under the conditions of the ride.

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