Stan Checketts has been the inventor, catalyst and creator of countless thrills around the globe.

Each one of Stan’s inventions began with an idea so big that those around him would either utter out loud or surely think to themselves some combination of “that can’t be done” or “this man is crazy.” Yet, time and time again, and hundreds of rides later, Stan continues to prove that although he may be a little crazy, it CAN BE DONE!

For decades Stan has taken riders into his beloved Utah mountains for thrills on a snowmobile or hiking trail, always pleased to take someone into pure wilderness to experience the adrenaline of riding a snow machine off a steep and high mountain side, getting the thrill of a reverse g-force which most people will never experience in their lifetimes. But in the mid-nineties he made this love of giving others a thrill his career and began a series of record-breaking, jaw-dropping feats, breaking into a well-established amusement industry and quickly becoming an icon. Here are just a few of the achievements Stan has had in the amusement industry with thrills he has brought to life over the years.

A SHORTLIST OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Built the first structure in the world made for the purpose of bungee jumping and took this previously inaccessible sport to the mainstream, installing thousands of towers worldwide before selling this business.
  • Built the first trampoline with bungee towers incorporated for thrills for young ones and gymnastics training alive, creating what has become a staple of street fairs and amusement parks worldwide.
  • Invented the use of pneumatic-power for vertical thrill rides that can launch riders without the slow momentum of a hill, creating a new breed of launch or drop rides that are now a staple in almost any amusement park anywhere in the world. Installed hundreds of these rides worldwide.
  • Transferred his innovative pneumatic launch power to roller coasters, introducing a new breed of roller coaster to the industry that launches riders from the starting platform without the need for a click, click, click of the initial chain-powered hill to create momentum. The first one built, called Thrust Air, propelled riders from zero to more than 100 mph in under 2 seconds. Yet again, this invention has now become a mainstay staple in the amusement industry.
  • Created a first of its kind zip line concept that easily brought riders back to the starting platform, making zip lines not only more accessible, but more profitable with quicker cycles and more accessible rides.
  • Broke a world-record for tallest ride, at Cedar Point in Sandusky Ohio, only to have his record broken weeks later by another one of his rides at Knotts Berry Farm in California!
  • Created unique, one of a kind thrills custom built to take advantage of unique locations around the world, like the Stratosphere in Las Vegas, Nevada and Pterodactyl at Cave of the Winds in Colorado.
  • Continues to invent jaw-dropping thrill experiences world-wide.

THRILL RIDE PURIST

“Fast and high doesn’t do it. You fly in an airplane and you’re doing 600 miles an hour, at 30 miles high, but it doesn’t bother you. Now, if you were strapped to the wing, you’d have a whole different outlook on the ride. It’s the exposure that makes the adrenaline.” –Stan

Perhaps one of Stan’s greatest attributes is his strikingly positive attitude and his desire to press on despite any obstacles or barriers. He consistently accomplishes what others believe cannot be done and never tires of seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they watch people on his rides. At any ride opening, you can find Stan in the crowd, bending his knees in anticipation as though he is actually feeling the g-force of the riders he is watching, and laughing with glee as he sees people screaming in excitement on one of his rides. His passion is contagious and is the reason so many are inspired to work with and for him to accomplish great feats.

HIGHLIGHTS

Safely thrilled millions of people worldwide

Installed hundreds of bungee towers worldwide

Installed nearly 100 roller coasters and vertical tower rides worldwide

Installed more than 70 zip lines worldwide

Installed Pterodactyl at Cave of the Winds, a thrilling drop ride atop the Stratosphere in Las Vegas and many other signature thrill rides worldwide

Built and stood atop multiple tower rides, including the 299-foot Power Tower at Cedar Point and the tower on the Stratosphere, rising to a total of 1,149 feet in the air

Take a Ride on the Terror Dactyl Canyon Swing - Travel Channel

Throwing Axes & Upside Down Pull Ups w/Stan Checketts: Coaster Vlog #188

Stan Checketts - Grandpa, Amusement Ride Inventor, Mormon

The brain behind the big machine -- whose maniac, risk-taking personality has already made him a legend among thrill seekers.

WIRED MAGAZINE

Steepest first drop steel roller coaster, ‘Mumbo Jumbo”, Guiness Book of World Records in 2003

Fastest full-credit roller coaster, “Dodonpa” Guiness Book of World Records” in 2003

Featured ride, “The Big Shot” recognized by Forbes magazine in 2001 as the “best adrenaline rush on the planet”

Named National Entrepreneur of the Year in 1997 by USA Today

Featured in Wired Magazine, March 2001

Featured in Forbes, 2001 as the “best adrenaline rush on the planet”

Dozens of new coasters debut every year, but Checketts' baby is one of the most anticipated new designs in a decade among members of the world's largest thrill-ride fan club, the American Coaster Enthusiasts. "The blast is so fast and powerful," says David Escalante, an ACE executive who previewed the Thrust Air last fall, "I'm surprised Stan hasn't toned it down for the general public. This is really on the cutting edge of what's ... I don't want to say 'tolerable,' but that's what I mean. S&S has shown that anything is possible."

WIRED MAGAZINE

BACK TO TOP