Hurricane bids adieu to Beach Boardwalk

Carnival enthusiasts and roller coaster buffs might want to run to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk one last time this summer.

That’s because the Hurricane — a staple on the Santa Cruz pier for two decades — will be shipped off shortly after Labor Day.

Team SFBay reported back in March that the Boardwalk’s second-fiddle roller coaster, which replaced the JetStar in 1992, had been posted for sale on the website of amusement park vendor Ital International. Ital — which is, from what we can tell, the Craigslist of the roller-coaster world — slapped a $500,000 price tag on the Hurricane.

Now, following the last hurrah of the summer party season, the Hurricane will be shipped off to New Mexico. It is not known what the final price was for the coaster.

Sure, the Boardwalk will be premiering a new spinning coaster called “Undertow” in 2013. But that hasn’t discouraged coaster-crazed fans from showing up the last couple weekends of summer to give the Hurricane a couple more go-rounds.

The Merc — who interviewed Boardwalk-goers over the weekend who came to “pay their last respects” — found people had gathered from all over the country to experience one final Hurricane corkscrew drop.

Heck, the 20-year-old thrill ride even attracted the attention of the American Coaster Enthusiasts, who held court at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk this past weekend.

Undertow, the replacement for the 80-second long Hurricane, will be a coaster-style ride where each car can rotate while it glides down its track. It is expected to open in the middle of the 2013 summer season.