What a ride


Photo Contributed

Parestich stands in front of “Steel Vengeance,” a roller coaster at Cedar Point amusement park.

Finn Nowacki, Website Editor

In 2013, junior Aleks Parsetich traveled to Northern Ohio to compete in a triathlon. After said event was canceled, Parsetich found himself with an extra day in the area. With this extra time he found himself at Cedar Point and after a small bribe from his aunt he would step foot on a roller coaster he had not planned to ride and by complete accident, would stumble upon the passion of his life.

That first ride was a little under ten years ago, and ever since Parsetich has found himself infatuated with everything about roller coasters.

“The first time I got really into roller coasters, and became enthusiastic about them, was when I went to Cedar Point in 2013. It wasn’t the first time I had actually ridden a roller coaster. I had been to Holiday World before,” Parsetich said. “When I went to Cedar Point in 2013, it was my first time on those bigger coasters, those over two hundred foot ones that are just great.”

The technology behind the coasters and the thrills riders get from them are two of the reasons why Parsetich enjoys coasters, but his favorite part is getting to do them with friends. 

“I like riding them with my friends. I think that’s what makes them really fun. They are fun by themselves because they are intense. They have g-force and all that, which is a major part of why I like it, but it’s fun riding with your friends,” Parsetich said.

Parsetich does have a group of people he usually goes with, but he does make an effort to bring new people into the roller coaster fandom.

“I’ve got a few friends that I go with. We have a nice little group. It’s usually the same people every time but I try to bring at least one new person along,” Parsetich said. “I try to ride with people who haven’t ridden coasters before and I try to get their reactions because it’s typically pretty funny.”

While Parsetich likes most theme parks, that does not mean he doesn’t have his favorites.

“Cedar Point is amazing. It’s in Sandusky, Ohio, and they have the highest quality collection of coasters I would say. Most of the rides are about two hundred foot. Most parks don’t even have one and they’ve got like five over there, so Cedar Point’s great,” Parsetich said. “Kings Island is great. It’s a clean park with a good atmosphere, and I love Holiday World because I’ve been there the most and it feels like a second home.”

Parsetich’s love of Holiday World is not limited to just the rides. One of his favorite events takes place annually at the park.

“There’s this event at Holiday World every year called ‘Hollywood Nights.’ What they do is they run the rides at night and no one else is in the park,” Parsetich said. “That was the most fun experience. Everyone feels the same way about the rides there. Everyone loves roller coasters so the energy is amazing. We are all kind of weird, but it felt like I belonged there, so it was a good experience. I’ve gone every year since 2018.”

While he understands a lot of people like roller coasters, Parsetich believes his knowledge and his desire to work in roller coasters sets him apart.

“I’ve ridden a lot of them, over one hundred. I’m really interested in the way they work. I’m trying to learn as much about them as I can because that’s what I want to do when I’m older,” Parsetich said. “I want to design and build roller coasters, get an engineering degree and start that. What sets me apart I think is just because I feel like I have more of an interest because that’s what I want to do.

Parsetich already has a plan in motion to pursue the career in coasters that he wants. 

“I’m trying to get an internship with one of the nearby manufacturers there are a few in Southern Indiana and Ohio, Kentucky places around here so I’m going to try to get an internship at one of them sending out emails. Then I’m just taking all my engineering classes now and I’m looking into good engineering schools,” Parsetich said.

Beyond the experiences at parks, the history he has with coasters and the future he sees with them, in the end, Parsetich just enjoys how coasters make him feel.

“The sensations you get when you ride a roller coaster are made to scare you. They are made to make you feel like you’re going to die, even though they are perfectly safe. When you ride a roller coaster you have different sensations. You have your downforce, which makes you feel heavier, your airtime which pulls you up out of your seat and there can also be inversions, which I think are the best part of a ride because that’s where you really feel the fear,” Parsetich said. “When you get past the point of thinking you are going to die it makes you feel euphoric, it’s great.”