One family's 'horrifyingly awesome' backyard roller coaster

A crafty Ohio couple has saved themselves countless visits to amusement parks — and scared some YouTube viewers to death

Samual Cain looks utterly delighted as he takes a 12-foot plunge on the roller coaster his parents built for him and his sister in their backyard.
(Image credit: YouTube)

The video: Jon and Natasha Cain of Lancaster, Ohio, are vying for the title of Best Parents in America, thanks to a little something they built in their backyard for daughter Olyvia and son Samual: A roller coaster. Spending three weeks and almost $700 on PVC pipe, concrete, and wood, the crafty Cains put together a 12-second thriller featuring an initial 12-foot drop. They built the roller coaster in 2009, but their video of Samual taking a ride this year just recently went viral. (Watch below.) Neither Jon nor Natasha has an engineering background — they run a car dealership — but they aren't afraid of the DIY ethos: Their next project is a new log-cabin-style home. "We did talk about doing a Ferris wheel at the new house," says Natasha, "not like a ginormous one, just one that you could manually do."

The reaction: "Every kid dreams of having a roller coaster in the backyard," so kudos to the Cains for making at least one dream come true, says Amy Graff in the San Francisco Chronicle. "Would it pass a security inspection? Probably not," but it sure looks fun — and scary. "Put your hands in the air! Wheee!" I can only describe this contraption as "horrifyingly awesome," says Carolyn Castiglia at Babble. "The overly cautious, neurotic urban-dweller in me" wants to call child-protective services, but the kid in me, who rode in the back of pickups growing up, is cheering. Besides, the Cain coaster doesn't look any less safe than Coney Island's Cyclone. Would you ride this roller coaster?

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us