A longtime aficionado of wooden roller coasters, I had never ridden a steel coaster – avoided them like the plague – and finally, in August of 2011, decided to take the plunge. The staff at Six Flags said “If you can handle El Toro, you can handle Nitro.”  I wasn’t so sure about that, as the restraints (lap bar, no seat belt) on Nitro are minimal compared with those on El Toro and 215 feet is a long way down, baby.  There also isn’t a lot to hold onto, so to prepare for Nitro I rode El Toro 8 times with my hands in the air to convince myself that I really don’t need to hold onto anything.  Anyway, my fears proved to be groundless.   Talk about a smooth ride!   The first drop of 215 feet wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected; in fact it was super good, AWESOME, and not appreciably scarier than the 176-foot drop on El Toro although I must say that it was pretty intense.   The hammerhead turn was somewhat scarier because that puts the rider in a pretty precarious position.  (Being way up in the air with no guard rails or other visible means of support is a novel experience for someone accustomed to riding woodies.)

There are several good drops after the first one and two banked turns, both to the left, so that the best seat for airtime - and the scariest seat - is the one on the far right of any row because this puts the rider at a slightly higher elevation.  When riding this coaster at night – the track is not illuminated at all except on the lift hill – I literally could not see where we were going or what would happen next, but that only added to the fun and excitement. This ride is a real blast; it’s great no matter where on the train you sit – by now I’ve sat in a number of different places – but in the first row it’s AMAZING just for the view and there’s something special about being the first one to go over the initial drop.   A ride in the  front row is worth the wait, which isn’t long anyway because the train seats 4 across so that getting into the front takes half the time that it takes on a two-seater.   That being said, I should point out that the G-forces are better in the back.   The helix is beyond cool and the best time to ride  is definitely at night. After more than 50 rides on Nitro, I am of the opinion that it's slightly superior to Apollo's Chariot, Diamondback and other coasters of similar calibre. It's easily on a par with the amazing Bizarro at Six Flags New England.  5 out of 5 stars.  For more information about rides at Six Flags Great Adventure,visit  http://www.sixflags.com/greatAdventure/index.aspx