KMG Crazy Surf
In October 2019, Peter Theunisz, KMG’s Global Sales Manager along with Wade Muller, President of OA Finance, visited the Texas State Fair in Dallas where Otterbacher’s much anticipated new KMG Crazy Surf made its debut.
Despite a “less-than-ideal” location on the fairgrounds, Peter was pleased to note the Crazy Surf was busy with riders. As designed by KMG, the ride was particularly popular with the younger generation who rode it multiple times along with their moms and dads, proving it to be the ultimate in family rides. The rides popularity only increased in the evening hours as the innovative LED lighting package proved to be a beacon on the midway.
Those who missed the Texas debut of the KMG Crazy Surf can see it in operation in the outdoor space at the Orange County Convention Center at the 2019 IAAPA Expo in Orlando, Florida, November 19-22.
Peter Theunisz also used his time at the Texas State Fair to introduce another exciting new KMG ride, the X-Drive. A mix of a Speed and an Experience, the X-Drive is already sparking the interest of showmen at the Texas State Fair and throughout the United States.
On the X-Drive riders will experience three different motions. Rotations on the X- and Y-axis are driven by a motor while the third “seat flipping” motion is completely free spinning. Set up of the X-Drive takes just four hours with three people, while disassembly only takes approximately 1.5 hours, all without the use of a crane.
The state-of-the-art LED lighting package on the X-Drive is controlled by a Madrix system which makes the LED (RGB) lights function like a LED screen, divided over different parts of the ride. The Madrix system allows the operator to change the lighting patterns in real-time.
Transport is on one triple-axle semi-trailer, and the axle settings can be modified according to state requirements.
The X-Drive footprint is 44.4’ x 54.1’ and its height is 59’ with a weight of 78,000 lbs.
KMG developed the X-Drive to meet an ongoing demand for thrill rides built on one semi-trailer, and they are one of very few manufacturers who’ve introduced three completely new ride concepts to their extensive portfolio of rides in the last four years. “The X-Drive ride has received a tremendous response from both mobile ride operators and fixed site amusement parks,” Peter shares.
The first X-Drive was delivered to a showman in the Netherlands in September 2019 and it proved an instant success. “The X-Drive has exceeded our expectations and KMG has received a great many inquiries from all over the world for the X-Drive. A deal for the second X-Drive is closed with a German showman, and we currently have two pending deals from American showmen,” he adds.
Leaving Dallas, Peter and Wade traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina to visit the North Carolina State Fair where a wide and well-balanced variety of rides, game concessions and other entertainment was spread out over more than two and a half miles of midways. “This is one of the cleanest and prettiest fairs I’ve visited in years.” Peter exclaims. “First class rides are well positioned to draw people to every corner of the fairgrounds. Most of the rides are provided by Wade Shows and Powers Great American Midways. And it shows!”
Rides included two Lamberink wheels (46 and 33 meter), KMG rides like the Freak Out, Speed and Inversion, a Technical Park Street Fighter 360, a Zipper, Sizzler, Tilt-a-Whirl and many other top-of-the-line rides. According to Peter, “People loved riding them. There was even a long queue-line for the ice cream stand which I had never seen in my life!”
Spending time with both Corky Powers (PGAM) and Frank Zaitshik (Wade Shows), Peter and Wade were updated on future plans for both carnivals.
Powers Great American Midways has been providing rides for the North Carolina State Fair for some time and improves the ride line-up each year adding new, high quality equipment. “It would be an honor for KMG to have an organization like Powers Great American Midway taking the X-Drive to Raleigh next year,” Peter says. “It would be a great showcase for both of us.”
KMG Service and After-Sales Experience
Another purpose for Peter Theunisz’s visit to the United States was to promote KMG’s recent realignment of its management structure to insure a better after-sale and service experience for their American customers. “Due to an increasing number of KMG customers and rides in the United States,” he explains, “it was necessary to review the lines of communication and responsibilities within the KMG organization. We have made those lines shorter and more direct with better clarity so customers can get in contact the right person immediately.”
Customers can also contact Peter directly in case they are not sure who to contact or if they have any questions regarding sales, service or repair. “We wanted to go back to a more personal approach and better contact with the customer like we had five or six years ago,” he shares. “More recently, we’ve lost some customers simply because KMG was growing faster than expected, and customers felt they were not being heard. As former showmen ourselves we know a direct contact is important.”
Peter continues, “We recognize that the tragedy in Ohio involving the Fire Ball has negatively impacted our customers’ businesses all over the world. We have learned from that experience, and we do not only want to stand behind our customers but also next to them. We want to help our customers prevent serious problems in the future by offering better technical service and maintenance support.”
One of the actions KMG has taken is the expansion of its service and maintenance team by adding another factory-authorized technician based in the Chicago area. Jonn Schroeder of Semcor Manufacturing has joined Robert Tucker of RideLynx as an additional resource for North American service and support of KMG rides. In the months to come, KMG will explore and evaluate the need for an additional technician to service customers in the Western United States. RideLynx, Robby Tucker, and Showmen Supplies will remain the primary technical representatives. KMG has also hired an additional mechanic who is primarily focused on ride service and repair in the European market. “With these additions there is less pressure on our team,” Peter adds. “We’ll relieve some pressure of the engineers and after-sales staff and a more robust service can be provided.”
“In the last 2 years KMG has worked productively with the OABA, individual OABA board members, ride inspectors and many individual ride and show owners to solve a wide variety of issues that impact the operation of our rides in the United States and Canada. At this time, it seems that most of these have been resolved.
On behalf of KMG, I want to extend our sincere gratitude to all of you who’ve helped and supported us and the KMG ride owners in these efforts. Now it is our responsibility to keep that spirit of collaboration going!”
“We hope to meet you all in our booth (#5431) at the IAAPA Expo 2019 in Orlando, Florida to show you the new X-Drive or at the outdoor location where we’ll have Jim Otterbacher’s Crazy Surf on display. Please drop by and say hello. See you all in Orlando!”
KMG International BV