Ripon High Rollercoaster Engineer: Darius Rubianes

You wish you had one of these!

Maria Soto, Assistant Editor

The breeze brushes against your face for a few seconds as you sit at the top. Maybe you close your eyes, maybe you scream, maybe you put your hands up in the air, or perhaps you do all of the above. Almost nothing else in a theme park can compare to the built-up anticipation of the big drop on your favorite roller coaster.

Darius Rubianes shows off his super-cool creation!

Did you know that we have our very own roller coaster enthusiast on our campus? Meet Darius Rubianes, creator, thrill-seeker, and an engineer from the class of 2020. He built a roller coaster.

“I have always wanted to build a roller coaster in my backyard because I saw other people [who have] done it,” Rubianes tells. “…but I never had the right tools or skills to do it until last summer.”

Rubianes was inspired for the design of his coaster by a unique feature called a vertical drop: the part of the roller coaster where you throw your hands in the air and scream. What makes a vertical drop different from other drops is the steepness, the rapid velocity, and the free-fall.

The top of Rubianes’s roller coaster provides for a fun drop!

You might be wondering where, exactly, Rubianes built his roller coaster. “[I built it] in my grandma’s backyard.” When further questioned about the location of it, he stated that it’s in a part of her property that “she doesn’t really care about”.



I learned how to woodwork my freshman year in AG Mechanics and how to weld my sophomore year in AG Welding”

— Darius Rubianes

Six hours a day, for forty-five days over the course of seven months. Working with sandbags, steel, wood, and a ladder, Rubianes built his first roller coaster. He learned how to build it through a mixture of research, youtube videos, and skills that he learned in his Agriculture classes here at Ripon High.

Rubianes assembled every part of the roller coaster himself, from the bolts to the blue tracks.

“I learned how to woodwork my freshman year in AG Mechanics and how to weld my sophomore year in AG Welding,” he explains.

The second half of his roller coaster has been tested and deemed as safe. As for the first half, it has yet to be checked thoroughly. When the roller coaster has been fully tested and is up and running, Rubianes plans on inviting people over to ride it.


This gif shows how his roller coaster works! The seat allows for the rider’s legs to be stretched out and the sandbags at the base of the ride provide extra support for the structure.

Rubianes is not sure if he will build another roller coaster in the future, but he said that he is very proud of his work. “It took forever and it was really hard to make, I’m proud of what I’ve done,” he shares. Although Rubianes is not sure of what he will create in the time to come, he does know that he wants to study mechanical engineering in college.

Chances are that we will see his name on another great project in the future. As for now, Rubianes will enter his senior year at Ripon High, join the ASB Leadership team as a technology commissioner, and will continue to have fun while sitting at the top of a roller coaster, waiting for the big drop to come.