If you’re a thrill-seeking traveler, ziplining is one of those quintessential adventures you should try out. You put on a helmet, fix the harness, clip into the trolley, take a deep breath, and leap off the platform. At first, it may look scary. But after one or two rides, you’ll find the sight of you gliding above treetops on a whistling trolley quite exhilarating.
Are you planning to zipline on your next trip? Here’s all you need to know before going on your first ride.
Is Ziplining Safe?
Generally, ziplining is known to be a fun and safe adventure. According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, there were only about 16,850 zip-line-related injuries between 1997 and 2012. Most of them were minor accidents involving children aged nine or younger.
That said, a little proactivity can help you further enhance your safety up there. Here are some factors to consider:
- Choose a reliable place: While requirements for constructing and operating a zip line vary from state to state, there are standards from organizations like the Professional Rope Course Association that cut across. Before booking an experience, call the place and confirm their compliance status, certifications, how they train their staff, and the safety measures they have in place. The best option is to work with established zipline operators like Denver zipline tours.
- Listen to the instructor: No instructor will push you off the platform without one or two safety instructions. While some of these may sound like just a formality, the least you can do is listen to them. In any case, they’ve been there long enough to identify the common mistakes zipliners make.
- Pay close attention to the surrounding: Before you leap off the platform, look around and ensure everything is okay. Besides being a great way to work on your courage, this can also help you identify safety flaws. If you have any concerns about the course, tell the staff immediately.
Is Ziplining Scary?
For first-timers, it’s often a little scary. Once you’re on the platform, you’ll realize that the zipline is far above the ground than it looks from below. Then, you have to trust the instructors and go against your instincts to leap off the platform—this is arguably the scariest bit.
Subsequent rides are usually not as scary as the first one. Like most people, you’ll probably find the whole experience of defying gravity and zooming over trees so intriguing that you’ll want to clip on the following line and take off almost immediately.
Does Ziplining Have A Weight Limit?
Most zip line operators will insist that their equipment is strong enough to hold a truck or two. That notwithstanding, all ziplines usually come with weight restrictions. If you’re too light, you might not reach the end of the line. Riders who are too heavy may get to the landing platform faster and hit it with a force that might cause injuries. Generally, most zip lines have weight limits of between 60 to 275 pounds. Confirm the course’s specifications beforehand if you have any doubts.
What Should You Wear When Going Ziplining?
The baseline is you should wear something comfortable. If it’s the cold season, you may want to throw on a sweatshirt or a long-sleeved shirt. Opt for hiking boots, sneakers, or any other close-toed shoes; avoid scandals and flip-flops since they’re likely to fall off mid-air. Other things to avoid are scarves, long necklaces, hats, or any other accessories that might get entangled to the line or fall off.
How Fast Are Ziplines?
According to a recent survey by Head Rush Technologies, standard ziplines have speeds between 31 and 40 miles per hour. Speed is the most exciting aspect of ziplining—some can go for up to over 100 miles per hour.