The Catapult, also known as the runway, is a gimmick that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a ramp-like object exclusive to the Sonic Riders series that initiates Air Riding for those capable of performing it.
Catapults take the form of ramp-like objects, although the details of their design differ from game to game.
In gameplay, launching off a Catapult will result in the playable character automatically initiating the Air Ride maneuver, allowing them to fly through midair and through Dash Rings/Accelerators for a short time. However, the Catapult only works for the characters who are capable of using the Air Ride maneuver. Who that is depend on the game.
Sonic Riders series
In Sonic Riders, the Catapult is referred to as the runway. In this game, they are simple ramps in the road. Although the Catapults' design and color scheme vary slightly between each course, they are all marked with a distinctive yellow arrow symbol that is made up of thin lines.
Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity
In Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, this gimmick is referred to as the Catapult for the first time. In this game, they are transparent ramp panels that raise up from the ground whenever an eligible playable character approaches. These panels have yellow frames with black recesses, white triangular arrow marks with red outlines on top of their panels, a red front edge, a gray foot edge, and a vertical split down the middle.
In Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, Catapults can only be utilized by SCR-HD and racers that ride on Air Ride or Yacht type Extreme Gears or Board type Extreme Gears with the Air Ride or Yacht Gear Part activated.
Sonic Free Riders
In Sonic Free Riders, this gimmick is referred to as the Catapult once again. In this game, the Catapults look and behave exactly like they did in Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity. This time around, Catapults can only be utilized by those with the active Air Ride Skill Gear Part equipped to their Extreme Gear.