In order to get you started with the installation of your zip line, here are a few pointers. We will go over some of the fundamentals of zip lines in order to help you design a ride that is both secure and exciting.
*Every piece of written or spoken content is an opinion, and there is no assurance that it will keep you safe. When building zip lines, competent personnel should be consulted for expert guidance and instructed in proper installation procedures. Everyone is entirely responsible for the safe selection, installation, and use of their own playground equipment.
Step 1 – Locate Anchors
The very first thing that must be done is to guarantee that there are two reliable anchors to which the zip line may be attached (for example 2 trees). As soon as you have figured out a decent beginning and finishing place for the zip line, the next step is to ensure that there is a route that is free of obstructions for the rider.
It is necessary for there to be a space that is devoid of obstructions for the zip line to go through between the two anchors; otherwise, the rider might potentially crash into anything. In the event that there is not a clear path, you will need to conduct some clearing or pruning in order to make it rider-safe.
In addition to this, you will want to make sure that the anchors (trees) are acceptable enough to allow for around a 6% drop in cable as a decent starting point. This translates to a drop of 6 feet for every 100 feet of cable. This may be changed at a later time to get the desired level of speed.
When establishing the height of your zip line, cable sag is another factor that has to be taken into consideration. You should expect to notice roughly a 2% sag (which translates to about 2 feet for every 100 feet of wire).
Tip: Using a Harness can make your zip line much safer and easier to ride, especially for younger kids and longer zip lines.
Step 2 – Determine Cable Height
As an example, we will construct a 100-foot zip line between two trees situated on level ground. At this stage, we need to select how close to the ground we want the zip line to be able to go before it stops moving.
Our minimum height requirement for the sample zip line is 7 feet. Taking into consideration the fact that the cable is going to sag by 2% (100 feet multiplied by.02 or 2 feet in our example), we will need to position the termination point of our zip line so that it is 9 feet above the lowest point (7 feet), which will give us a total height of 9 feet.
Make a mark on the tree that will serve as the finishing point at a height of nine feet; the chian sling will go around the tree at this point. Now that we know the height of the terminal point, which is 9 feet, we can calculate the height of the beginning of the zip line by adding 9 feet to the 6% decline (in our case, 100 feet multiplied by.06 is 6 feet).
We will now have a starting height for our zip line that is 15 feet above the ground thanks to this. Make a mark at a height of 15 feet on the starter tree. At this point, the rope will begin to wind around the starter tree in a clockwise direction. It is a good idea to tie three or four blocks of wood to the rear side of the tree where the cable will loop around. Two-by-fours that are around eight to ten inches long work wonderfully. This reduces the likelihood that the cable will do any harm to the tree. You may also protect the tree from injury by wrapping this end of the wire in rubber tubing before you attach it to the tree.
Tip: Choose the kit that best suits your needs. Then add the correct amount of cable to span the distance your traveling. We highly recommend ordering at least 10% more cable than the actual span. This ensures you have enough cable to compensate for wrapping around one anchor as well as cable sag.
Step 3 – Setting Up Ending Tree Cable
At the mark you created in Step 2, wrap the chain sling around the tree that will serve as the anchor point. When attempting to secure the chain around the tree, it is sometimes helpful to hammer a few nails into the wood.
After that, take the turnbuckle and adjust it so that it is at its maximum length. Put a turnbuckle on the chain sling by connecting one of its ends to the slack in the chain. Now, take your cable and connect a thimble to one end of it. To keep the thimble in place, use three of the cable clamps and distance them approximately 3 inches away from one another. Connect the other end of the cable to the turnbuckle using this end of the cable.
Step 4 – Wrapping Cable Around Starting Tree
It’s possible that this phase will need two individuals. Pull the cable as firmly as you can while wrapping the slack end of it around the tree that served as the beginning point. A cable puller will be of use to you during this phase; nevertheless, its use is not always required. Utilizing the remaining three clamps, finish making the loop in the cable.
The clamp that is located farthest away from the tree will be the one that is fastened to the branch first. It is recommended that you tighten the clamp at a place that is about two feet away from the tree trunk. Wrap the cable with the cable clamp, ensuring sure the u-bolt portion of the clamp is on the dead end of the cable. Make sure the cable clamp is around the cable and the loose end (the end that was pulled around the tree).
Give your buddy the cord and tell them to pull it as tight as they can. At this stage, you should tighten the first clamp. After that, loosely attach the subsequent clamp to the cable on the other side of the first clamp from where it was attached to the tree. Move the clamp towards the tree roughly halfway, and then tighten it once you’ve reached this position.
After that, attach the final clamp to the cable on the other end of the cable from the second clamp. Move the clamp till it is as near to the tree as it can possibly be. Pull it in even more at this point.
Step 5 – Tighten Turnbuckle
At this point in time, the wire should already be pulled in quite tightly. You need to go back to the turnbuckle and tighten it down about as much as you can to make it even tighter. It is recommended that a little amount of lubricant be applied to the threads of the turnbuckle in order to help it spin more easily. This will assist in ensuring that the turnbuckle rotates in a smooth manner.
Step 6 – Test Run
It is now time to do a trial run. Start by doing a test run using just the seat and the cart. This helps to ensure that there are no obstructions in the way. If you want to get an idea of the speed of the zip line, it is not a bad idea to connect a weight to the trolley.
This is particularly important to do if you have increased the drop in height from the beginning to the end of the course. This will also give you an indication as to whether or not you may need to put a brake at the conclusion of the course in order to slow down the riders.
You need to check that you can come to a halt without being pushed off balance at the very end. After these stages have been completed, it will be time for you to take your place in the driver’s seat. If you have any reason to believe that the speed of your zip line would be unsafe for you, you should consider wearing extremely thick leather gloves.
You will then be able to grip the cable BEHIND the trolley, which will allow you to reduce the pace at which you are traveling (only attempt this if you are sitting on a seat or strapped into a harness, NEVER attempt to hold on to just the handle with only one hand).
After the test has been completed, it is essential to check that the cable has not become loose. Check to see whether the cable has come unwound and fallen off the tree. It’s possible that you’ll need to hammer a few nails into the tree in order to keep the cable from dangling.
Brake Block Tips
- Step 1
To begin, remove the brake block’s four bolts, which are keeping it together, and then take the brake block apart.
- Step 2
Put the brake block back together using the bolts, making sure that the wire for the zip line runs through the center. Check that the eyebolt is positioned such that it is closest to the beginning of the zip line.
- Step 3
The last step is to determine where you will place the anchor and how much bungee rope you will need for this project. These positions will most likely need some kind of modification, but we can at least provide you with a solid basis for moving forward. In most cases, the bungee cord will extend to a length that is twice as long as its original length. The majority of zip lines will need between 20 and 30 feet of bungee cord in order to properly set up their braking blocks. Both the length of the zip line and the pace at which it is traveled will affect how long it takes to complete the course.
The length of the bungee rope you are using should be proportional to the distance that separates the point where the brake block rests at rest and the conclusion of your journey on the zip line. Move the brake block along the cable until it reaches this location.
The brake block should have one end of the bungee rope attached to it. Take hold of the other end of the bungee rope, and while walking toward the beginning of the zip line, continue to do so just until the brake begins to slide. This is around the spot where you should screw in the ground anchor or tie the bungee cord to a tree.
The ground anchors are not nearly as effective as the anchors provided by a tree or another substantial item. Be sure you screw it into the ground approximately five to ten inches to the side of the wire that runs the zip line. This will ensure that you do not hit the bungee rope when you are traveling down the zip line. Make a knot on the other end of the bungee rope and secure it to the ground anchor or a tree.
- Step 4
Before you ride, check that your brake block is working properly by using your trolley and some weights. The weight of the riders, the speed of the zip line, and the length of the course all play a role in determining whether or not Step 3 requires any modifications. Unscrewing the anchor and repositioning it in a different position is the simplest method for adjusting the brake.