The Pros and Cons of Watching POVs


If you're into coasters and theme parks, chances are you've spent a good portion of your life watching coaster POVs on YouTube. For those who don't know, POV stands for 'Point of View' (duh) and in the coaster world refers to videos of coasters shot from a point of view perspective to give the illusion of what it's like to actually experience the ride. And honestly, I'm a little torn on them. Like the best of us, I've found myself down a bit of a YouTube rabbit hole watching coaster POVs, but then again I've done the same with obscure fan theories of 90s cartoon shows, so I don't think that's a real indicator of anything. But I do find myself too-ing and fro-ing as to whether I SHOULD watch them or not. So I decided to weigh up the pros and cons of watching coaster POVs and that's what I'm sharing with you today!

I know loads of people who, once they've booked a trip, spend pretty much every waking moment watchings POVs of all the upcoming coasters on the itinerary, carefully studying each one and making a mental not of when to expect the pops of airtime and forces. It's a great way to build excitement for a ride, you learn every twist and turn, every up and down, building up the awesomeness in your head until all that's left is to ride it for real!

That's the downside to the first point - you might ruin the ride for yourself. Watching POVs ruins any fun little surprises you might experience on the ride. Sure, POVs don't let on to EVERY pop of airtime, but in my experience the best airtime comes when it's least expected, and watching POVs has the potential to take this away from you. This also applies to any fun theming moments. Maybe there's a watersplash you didn't know about. Or a giant animatronic that comes out of nowhere. You take away the thrill of experiencing that for the first time as it was meant to be experienced: with the sensation of riding and whatever elements are incorporated to make the most out of the effect. Sure, by the time you've ridden it once this is no longer relevant, but still, you rob yourself of that first moment of joy.

As much as I'm an advocate for the 'work hard, save harder' approach when it comes to booking trips, the harsh reality is that for whatever reason, some people may find themselves in a situation where they'll never be able to travel to ride certain coasters. That's where POVs are quite fab - you don't miss out on the chance to at least sort of experience something weird and wonderful that you otherwise might not ever get the chance to!

I've had many an internet argument about coasters with people who haven't even ridden the coaster they're arguing about: they've just watched the POV and suddenly think that's the same thing as riding. And do you know what, most of the time they're blabbing on about 'X coaster is rubbish because there's no airtime' because they couldn't 'see' any in the POV they watched, when in reality the thing rides completely differently. And that's frustrating in loads of ways: not only does it give that person a bad mindset about a coaster they haven't even ridden yet, it also makes those of us who HAVE ridden it want to smack our heads against a wall. Just don't.

Whilst I generally won't watch a POV of a coaster I've not ridden yet, I do love rewatching them to help me relive the fun time I did have riding it once upon a time. It's also a great way to show others what you're talking about and to get them just as excited as you about riding!

Oh god, any coaster POV with a voiceover is the absolute worst. I don't mind just general 'coaster noises' like whooping and screaming, but when I've literally got some moron yelling 'LOOP-DE-LOOP' in my ear and narrating every inch of the track then we've got a problem. And it can easily lead to you creating a bad opinion of the ride too, you'll automatically associate that ride with feeling annoyed as hell and wanting to scratch your ears off.

At the end of the day, there's no right or wrong answer. If you enjoy watching POVs, have at it! If you'd rather steer clear and leave it all to be a surprise for when you ride, that's fine too!

Talk later xoxo,

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