How to Be Brave with Koaster Kid Logan Joiner
When he was three years old, Logan Joiner was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He couldn’t talk, was terrified of loud noises, and was traumatized by storms, strangers, crowds, and most any other kind of stimulus. Logan was afraid of people: he wouldn’t look them in the eye, didn’t want to touch them, didn’t want to talk to them either. He was facing fear every day.
That is until he developed an interest in roller coasters, learned how to be brave, and conquered his fear by riding roller coasters all over the world. This “Roller Coaster Therapy” helped Logan get over his fears. And now he is paying it forward by using his website and YouTube channel to help other kids conquer their fears too.
Learn more about Logan’s remarkable story by watching the video below, then keep scrolling for tips on how to be brave from the Koaster Kid himself.
We recently had the opportunity to catch-up with Logan and his dad, Jeff, to ask a few questions about Koaster Kids and How to Be Brave. Thanks to Logan for taking time to answer our questions.
C101: Why do you think you became fascinated with roller coasters? What is it about them that keeps you riding over and over again?
Logan: At first, I was just fascinated by the precision and predictability of coasters. When I started riding, I loved how coasters make you feel when you ride. I also love how proud I feel when I ride one that intimidates me a little bit.
C101: What made you decide to start a YouTube channel?
Logan: I had watched a lot of coaster YouTube channels like Coaster Studios, Theme Park Review, Coasterforce, and Sharp Productions. I thought all of those were pretty cool and wanted to have my own channel.
Jeff: I think Logan’s channel is very unique. There are LOTS of channels about theme parks and roller coasters, but Logan’s is about more than that. Logan is doing something very unique by focusing on helping other people be brave. He features his fans and their opinions as much as he does his own. He’s putting the “You” back in YouTube.
C101: How does the Logan Scream Score (LSS) work? What coasters scored the lowest or highest?
Logan: I rate the coasters I ride from 0-5 on the L.S.S. It’s a combination of how intense the ride is and how much I enjoyed it. The ones I have ranked the highest (5+) are Fury 325, Lightning Rod, Iron Rattler, Intimidator 305, Top Thrill Dragster, Kingda Ka, and Millennium Force.
The ones that score the lowest are either not intense (kiddie coasters) or painful. I hate Vekoma SLC’s, painful steel coasters like Wild Mouse at HersheyPark, and really jerky wooden coasters like Great American Scream Machine at Six Flags Over Georgia.
C101: Totally understand the hate for the SLCs! What is the Be Brave challenge and how did you come up with the idea?
Logan: I saw the “Ice Bucket Challenge” and thought it was really cool. I wanted to start something like that, but involving people overcoming their fears. So many people let their fears control their life, and they are not living life to the fullest. One of the best feelings in the world is to look your fear in the eye and decide to be brave.
Tweet: One of the best feelings in the world is to look your fear in the eye & decide to be brave. @koasterkids @coaster101 https://ctt.ec/d7L5a+
C101: What an awesome idea! What advice would you give another kid about to embark on his/her own Be Brave challenge? How can someone else overcome their own fears like you were able to?
Logan: Anyone can do a Be Brave Challenge. You just have to record yourself doing something you are afraid to do.
The key to overcoming fears is to think it through. Most of the things people are afraid of are unlikely to ever happen. Riding roller coasters, for example, are one of the safest things you can do. A person is FAR more likely to get killed driving to a theme park than on a coaster. There is literally nothing to be afraid of. The fear is in your head. But, then, your body starts to react as it was designed to work. When your mind feels like it’s in a life-threatening situation, your body reacts with a “fight or flight reaction” – sweaty palms, elevated heart rate, butterflies in the stomach, etc. You just have to think it through. It’s NOT dangerous. The danger is in your head. Force yourself to do the thing you fear.
Courage doesn’t mean you’re not afraid. It means that when you are afraid, you do the right thing anyway.
C101: Love it! Great tips. How many roller coasters have you been on and do you have a favorite?
Logan: I’ve ridden 220 roller coasters. My Top 10 are:
- Fury 325
- Lightning Rod
- Intimidator 305
- Iron Rattler
- Millennium Force
- Lightning Run
- Twisted Colossus
- Goliath (Six Flags Great America)
We are going to lots of new parks this summer.
C101: Wow, that’s awesome! Our last question is for Logan’s dad, Jeff. What do you think has been the biggest challenge for Logan to overcome so far: riding his very first roller coaster, starting the YouTube channel, or speaking in front of coaster fans?
Jeff: As far as what is most scary, all of this is constantly pushing Logan out of his comfort zone. Riding first coaster, riding big coasters, putting his ideas out on YouTube for the world to see and possibly criticize – all of it. He definitely practices what he preaches. Currently, the biggest push on his comfort zone is meeting fans at theme parks. He doesn’t really know what to say to them, so he is developing some social conversational skills that should really help him all his life.
Thanks again to Logan and Jeff for giving us some great tips on how to be brave.
If you’re attending Coasterstock at Kings Island this Friday, May 19th, keep an eye out for Logan; he has been asked to do a presentation for the 700 coaster fans expected to attend – an amazing opportunity for a twelve-year-old!
Have you done a Be Brave Challenge yet? If not, tell us what your challenge would be in the comments below.