ZIP LINE TOURS – CANOPY TOURS
We design and build the most fun zip line canopy tours in the world!!
WOW! Is this great or what! A Zip line captures everyone’s attention! Zip line tours and canopy tours are the fastest growing adventure business today. Zip Lines can be built across a ravine from towers, over a river, or through the trees. A series of tree top zip lines can really accentuate camp programs, resort guest options, or backyard fun! Poles, platforms, cables, ropes, bridges, and walkways lets visitors explore 20 -80 feet above the forest floor. We can help you determine the costs and feasibility of a zip line as well as complete design and construction.
Services We Offer:
- Feasibility study
- Site location
- Course design
- Insurance/liability concerns
- All aspects of Zip Line installation
- Equipment sales
- Staff training
- Ongoing Zip Line management
- Maintenance program
- Safety inspections
NOW you can purchase stamped engineered plans for portable or permanent steel, aluminum or pressure treated wood zip line towers. Four cable and six cable zip line towers that you can build saving you lots of money by building it yourself. Engineered plans come with a complete list of materials, instructions, post build inspection and engineered foundation plans based on your soil samples and elevation information. LEARN MORE
We work with you to find the best and most exciting zip line corridors on your property and then build beautiful zip line runs with expert crafted decks and zip line launch platforms at affordable prices. We will work with you to minimize environmental impact and build costs, maximize sales, squeeze the most out of marketing, and provide unique, unforgettable experiences for your clients. Whether you are a full scale zip line or canopy tour company or a camp looking to add a new element, we can help you every step of the way! We provide consultation for the do-it-yourselfer as well as complete turnkey design and construction services.
We designed and built the second commercial zip line in the US in 2002 on Kauai. It is still operating with a perfect safety record. We now serve over 100 zip line and canopy tour companies with training, certification, design, construction, inspection and equipment needs.
ZIP LINE DESIGNS
A correctly configured and safe zip line design is crucial to protect your clients, self, family, and friends from severe injury, death, or worse.
POLE & STEEL MOUNT ZIP LINES – allow for complete control over length, landing speed, heights and configuration. Pole zip lines can be designed to accommodate almost any zip line design needs. Poles can be used with trees to create a tour through wooded areas to your design. We can design and install up to 2,500 foot long zip lines over canyons, cliffs and open range.
TREE ZIP LINE – design totally depend on the layout of trees and clearance of zip corridors. Tree courses usually use walk-up landings which requires meticulous cable placement, platform design, and cable drape ratios. Trees are also used for center dismount designs. Tree course require at least one site visit and perhaps an arborist to assure the longevity and health of the zip line support trees.
CENTER DISMOUNT – The center dismount is hung with a considerable ‘belly’ or drape in the cable. The passenger launches and speeds down to the center then starts up the other side. The passenger slows to a stop before reaching the end of the cable and slides back down to the center where they are dismounted using a ladder or removable platform. Center dismount zip lines can be as long as 1,500 feet without specialized equipment. The weight of the rider, trolley type, and wind speed are not really factors for center dismount zip lines. Because they are dismounted with a ladder, riders must come close to the ground during their ride. If there is even the slightest movement of the anchors, the rider may hit the ground at bone breaking speeds. The most common tragedy associated with center dismount zips is the rider crashing into the ladder which should have been removed after the last rider dismounted ankle twist and falls associated with the ladder are also common.
WALK-UP LANDING – Zip Lines or Walk up landing Zip Lines are used for most commercial canopy tours and zip line tours where riders go from one end to the other and land on a platform or ground near the very end of the zip line cable. These are highly technical to install. The weight of the rider, wind speed, and type of trolley used will affect the speed and the landing for each rider; sometimes causing the rider to smack the end of the cable very fast, causing injury. The rider may also not make it to the end and be stuck 30 feet away for the landing zone necessitating a rescue. The longer the cable, the more unpredictable the ride.
GRAVITY BRAKES – A brilliant system that shows wisdom as a designer and builder. The cable ends are attached nearly level and it is sagged appropriately to assure the rider stops before crashing violently into the receiving end. The rider will stop at the landing deck or glide back toward the low point of the cable for dismount. GRAVITY NEVER FAILS!
ACTIVE BRAKES – A constructed system to prevent the rider from a catastrophic impact with a tree or pole. The most successful and versatile active brake in use today is the zipSTOP Braking System. It uses Eddy Technology to slow riders down. Brake block/bungee systems, tires, giant springs, big cargo nets, and mattresses have been used with some success. Remember active brakes need constant inspection and maintenance to function safely. Bungee does NOT tolerate the sun, rain, humidity or anything outside very well.
HAND BRAKING – A braking system widely used outside US borders. This system requires the rider to judge their speed and apply appropriate brakes by grabbing the cable with a heavily gloved hand. The friction of the glove against the cable slows the rider down avoiding a violent collision with the termination point. This sketchy system is most likely needed for platform landings. The lack of documented training for riders and frequency of injuries keeps this system from being widely used in the US. Installing a zip line that requires hand braking will most likely result in injury at some time down the road.
EMT DISMOUNT – Hold-on only zip lines where serious injury will occur if the rider lets go too soon. Popular with backyard zips and hospital emergency rooms.
More about Zip Lines
A zip-line (also known as a flying fox, foefie slide, zip wire, aerial runway, aerial rope slide, death slide or Tyrolean crossing) consists of a pulley suspended on a cable mounted on an incline. It is designed to enable a user propelled by gravity to traverse from the top to the bottom of the inclined cable, usually made of stainless steel, by holding on or attaching to the freely moving pulley. Zip-lines come in many forms, most often used as a means of entertainment. They may be short and low, intended for child’s play and found on some playgrounds. Longer and higher rides are often used as a means of accessing remote areas, such as a rain forest canopy. Zip-line tours are becoming popular vacation activities, found at outdoor adventure camps or upscale resorts, where they may be an element on a larger challenge or ropes course.
The term “flying fox” is most commonly used in reference to a small-scale zip line typically used as an item of children’s play equipment, except in Australia and New Zealand where it also refers to professional forms of zip-line equipment.
In a flying fox the pulley(s), attached to the car, is fixed to the cable. The car itself is usually a two wheel pulley but can consist of anything from a simple hand grip, with the user hanging underneath, or a bucket for transporting small items to a quite elaborate construction, perhaps including a seat or a safety strap. Children’s versions are usually not set up with a steep incline, so the speeds are kept relatively low, negating the need for a means of stopping.
In order to be propelled by gravity, the cable needs to be on a fairly steep slope. Even then the car will generally not travel completely to the end (although this will depend on the load), and some means of safely stopping the car at the bottom end is sometimes needed. It can be returned by several means, a line leading from the car to the uphill end being the simplest.
Professional versions of a zip-line are most typically used as an outdoor adventure activity. In contrast to “flying foxes” professional courses are usually operated at higher speeds covering much longer distances and sometimes at considerable heights. The users are physically attached to the cable by wearing a harness which attaches to a removable trolley. A helmet is required on almost all courses of any size.
Cables can be very high, starting at a height of over 30 feet (9 m), and traveling well over 1500 feet (457 m). All zip line cables have some degree of sag. The proper tension of a cable is important and allows the ability to tune the ride of a zip line.
Users of zip-lines must have means of stopping themselves. Typical mechanisms include:
- Thick purpose-built leather gloves.
- A mat or netting at the lower end of the incline.
- A braking system composed of springs, pulleys, counter-weights, bungee cord or other devices, which slows then stops the trolley’s motion.
- Gravity stop utilizing the inherent nature of the sag in the cable. The belly of the cable is always lower than the termination point. The amount of uphill on a zip line controls the speed at which the user arrives at the termination point.
- zipSTOP Braking System that uses the Eddy Current Braking Technology – automatically adjusts the braking resistance to the weight of the rider for smooth, comfortable deceleration.
Costa Rica is known for their Canopy Tours where a vacationer can zip line through the rain forest. The zip lines are scattered among several platforms, some as high as 130 feet.
Some smaller, indoor zip lines have also been used in commercial applications for children’s recreation centers such as Jungle Quest.
Zip-lines are a common way to return participants to the ground at the end of a ropes adventure course.
In past days in the Australian outback, flying foxes were occasionally used for delivering food, cigarettes or tools to people working on the other side of an obstacle such as a gully or river. Australian troops have used them to deliver food, mail and even ammunition to forward positions in several conflicts.
Zip lines may be dangerous devices, requiring proper knowledge of rope work.
An example of a flat ground zip line is located in Florida at the Zip line Safari course.
Two Royal Caribbean International ships, the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas, will both have zip lines going over the “Boardwalk” areas of the ships. Also owned by Royal Caribbean, Labadee, a private beach on the northern coast of Haiti has its own private zip line.
History – The zip-wire is not a recent invention. Referred to as “an inclined strong,” one appears in The Invisible Man by H.G Wells, published in 1897, as part of a Whit-Monday fair.