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Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk adding spinning coaster in 2013

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Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk plans to replace a 20-year-old steel coaster with the $5.5 million Undertow spinning coaster in summer 2013.

> Photos: Undertow spinning coaster at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Undertow is being billed as Northern California's only spinning coaster after Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo removed Pandemonium, a short-lived 2008 Gerstlauer spinning coaster formerly known as Tony Hawk's Big Spin.

The 50-foot-tall Undertow will reach speeds of 40 mph along a 1,400-foot-long track. The family coaster aimed at the tween set will feature an 80-degree banked Immelmann turn, a 360-degree carousel spin and a slalom section with sharp turns. The rotation of the individual 4-passenger cars will vary depending on the weight and position of the outward-facing riders.

German ride maker Maurer Sohne has built similar spinning coasters at Pennsylvania's Waldameer Park (Steel Dragon), Utah's Lagoon Park (Spider) and the United Kingdom's Alton Towers (Sonic Spinball).

Undertow replaces the Hurricane steel coaster built by defunct Italian manufacturer SDC in 1992. Visitors can get their last ride on Hurricane on Sept. 3 before the coaster is dismantled and relocated to Western Playland amusement park in New Mexico.  

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