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Zip line ride design
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rhudson    Posted 04-22-2003 at 14:19:52       [Reply]  [Send Email]
any on you set up a zip line ride for kids? the cable with pulley you hang from? i would like some experienced information on cable tension and angle of drop. i would like to know what to expect in speeds so it doesn't get too exciting for my kids. i tried a google but could not come up with much on design or practical stories. Thanks for any help.

Willis    Posted 09-16-2004 at 12:11:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
A really interesting idea is to have the zip line end in pool/body of water. Allow 12 - 40ft of stop distance depending on length and angle of zip line, it's really cool. Rode one with this a while back, very very fun. You get the water skiing affect for a little.

Willis    Posted 09-16-2004 at 12:11:56       [Reply]  [No Email]

eric hansen    Posted 08-24-2004 at 14:16:35       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Angle of drop is defined in terms of inches:

Low end cable attachment should be at 102 inches above ground for a 6 foot (72 inch) adult (i.e. height + 30 inches). High end should be at 114 inches above ground for a 40 foot ride. Add six inches per additional 10 feet of ride. This is per a zip ride manufacturer.

Leila Cardenas    Posted 11-20-2007 at 10:05:17       [Reply]  [Send Email]
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eric    Posted 08-24-2004 at 14:08:13       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have seen "turnbuckles" used for tensioning the cable. This hardware is an integral part of the assembly and not a tool.

O==+(==== ====)+==O

It has a loop 'O' and a nut '+' at each end outside a frame '()' which has threads '==' running from inside the frame to the loop ends. You tighten by turning the frame and secure by tightening the nuts. 200lbs of tension ideal I read.

eric    Posted 08-24-2004 at 14:08:13       [Reply]  [No Email]

eric    Posted 08-24-2004 at 13:55:36       [Reply]  [Send Email]
for cable tension and end heights see

you will need adobe reader to view this file

eric    Posted 08-24-2004 at 13:07:46       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I am making a 125 foot 3/8" cable ride at the moment and have come across the cable sagging issue. I also would like to know about stretching techniques and limits. I think we may need something called a come-a-long. But there are also cable tensioners for sale on the internet sites selling "zip ride" components for about $60

eric    Posted 08-24-2004 at 13:07:46       [Reply]  [No Email]

Tom A    Posted 04-24-2003 at 05:14:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
Did it several times during Army training...a great time for an 18 year old paratrooper, but now that I'm a stodgy old guy I'm not sure I would want my little ones on the thing until they're "in boots" themselves.

But as I recall, the slope wasn't all that steep... if the cable is as taut as it should be, then you can really get some speed up in a hurry. I would *guess* that the vertical drop on the ones I rode was no more than maybe 10 or 15 feet over perhaps a 150 run. Near the end you had to drop off into a lake before you hit the tower at the bottom (ouch!).


Greg S    Posted 04-23-2003 at 13:04:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
Worked around the oil patch in a previous life. The crows nest at the top of the drilling mast had what they called a "geronimo"line for fast exits for here in case of emergency. Tee handle with a braking arrangement. Crows nest on a triple sub rig with a 142' mast is way over a 100 foot from ground. Had to try it once-h--- of a ride!!!

screaminghollow    Posted 04-23-2003 at 07:09:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
You'll probably not see any designs count'a us lawyers suing folks fer havin' fun. There was a cool one down at Dolly Wood in Tenn back in 1990. I would suggest if at all possible having the lower end terminate at a horizontal bar or timber, so if the kids don't let go before the end, they don't fly into the tree, girder, pole, etc. On my property there used to be a rope swing tied about fifty feet up in a huge poplar. You could swing out over a ravine, no water below. My idiot nephew took a running start at the rope after a rain storm, swung way out over the ravine and about then, the wet rope was a little too slick for his grip. Fortunately or maybe unfortunately, a multiflora Rose thicket about ten feet high broke his fall. We were pickin' thorns out a his hide for a week. Kinda reminds me of an Uncle Remus story!

DeadCarp    Posted 04-22-2003 at 19:35:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
My buddy set up a nice hand-slide across his pond in Erie years ago - the handlebar was sorta like an inline skate with pulleys, it had to be carried up the pole and swung over the cable, then a swinging flopper kinda locked it on. The starting platform was maybe 15 feet off the ground, the other end terminated in the ground about 20 feet past the pond and the pond was 100 feet wide. He just kept enough tension in the cable so grownups had to raise their feet or get dragged to a stop over the water - oh i remember seeing some hilarious sights coming down that slide during the 4-day summer parties :)

Nathan(GA)    Posted 04-22-2003 at 19:22:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
I built one for my kids. I enjoy riding it myself. Need to come up with a motorized return though. Pulling the seat back uphill is a killer after about 10 times. Ours is only about 100 ft or so long. I haven't ever measured the length or angle on it. I'm guessing the upper end is about 6-8ft higher.

I had just a pulley and handle for myself. Then I built the seat for the kids. Also bought a better pulley with a greasable bearing.

The cable is 5/8th or 3/4th inch, don't remember exactly. It takes a dang good comealong to pull the cable taught. The clamps on this one have loosened already. The seat runs much faster when the cable is tight. And it takes 2 good anchors. Mine is fastened between 2 big pines.

I slid several old springs over the cable totaling about 3ft with a big washer to dampen the stop at the bottom end.

I can get some pix if you want. May take a few days depending on how good my memory is tomorrow.

Pat Y    Posted 06-30-2003 at 07:16:43       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I, also, am also planning to build a zip line for my kids. I was wondering about that sudden stop at the bottom. I have seen a tire (strung on the cable thru holes in the tread)used for this purpose, but I like the spring idea better. Can you tell me what kind of springs you used for this purpose?

JOHN hanst    Posted 08-10-2007 at 08:59:08       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Is a zip ine an amusement ride and how can you control the speed

Eric    Posted 08-24-2004 at 13:04:11       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I am making a 125 foot ride with 3/8" plastic coated cable. All components rated 550 to 880 pounds. I am considering using bunjie cords to hit the rider across the chest and slow them down and spring them back a little. Home Depot has some nice springs in a 2 pack for $1.99 that are about 1 foot long placed end-to-end. Probably need 3 packs for 3 feet as one poster suggested for spring length.

Willis    Posted 09-16-2004 at 12:08:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
Youwch! Bungies across the chest? I'd suggest trying to slow rider's velocity with Tire turned legthwise (attach tire to tree treadside to bark, line outside with bubble wrap etc.) IF the kid is going at anything like fast getting hit across the chest with a bungie is going to dampen his spirits. good luck

Willis    Posted 09-16-2004 at 12:08:38       [Reply]  [No Email]

Eric    Posted 08-24-2004 at 12:58:47       [Reply]  [Send Email]
A budget way to make a braking system for your zip wire with minimal cost. You will need the following items (per a internet supplier of zip ride components).

A small used car tire and 3 wire rope clamps.

1. You will need to drill two through the tire on a horizontal access.

2. Thread the zip wire cable through the holes.

3. Slide the tire right to the end of the zip ride and tighten one of the wire rope clamps in the centre of the tire.

4. Slide the tire back towards the trolley until the tire meets the clamp.

5. Use the remaining two wire rope clamps next to each other, on the outer wall of the tire furthest away from the trolley.

Note: For zip rides that are on a steep decline it is advised to added a second, or even third tire before the fixed tire.

Eric    Posted 08-24-2004 at 12:58:47       [Reply]  [No Email]

rhudson like the spring idea    Posted 04-22-2003 at 19:33:42       [Reply]  [Send Email]
i was thinking of having some type of hinged sideplate pulley so it could be removed at the end of the ride. like the spring idea. how fast is your line? thinking of a 200 to 300 foot line depending on cost of cable. thanks for pictures, but your experience and guidance is more important to me. Thanks

eric    Posted 08-24-2004 at 14:56:16       [Reply]  [Send Email]

50 second, 1/2 mile ride, dropping 550 feet. Located in Utah.

eric    Posted 08-24-2004 at 14:56:16       [Reply]  [No Email]

Nathan(GA)    Posted 04-22-2003 at 19:51:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yeah, the sideplate could be easily done. I haven't timed it, but it takes about 5-6 seconds to run the length depending on how big a push it's given.

My cable was free. I just wish I had gotten more. My Uncle worked for a foundry. They changed out the overhead crane cables on a regular basis. Could've gotten a whole spool if I had taken the time. He's retired now.

200-300 ft will be a nice one! Make 2 150 footers at opposing angles with a ladder at each end. Ride one down, get off, climb up and ride the other one back.

bruce    Posted 07-16-2005 at 19:24:56       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Where can I go to get rides on a zip going from one mountain to another? I saw the rides on the Amazing Race and they look so neat.


sally    Posted 07-31-2004 at 07:38:42       [Reply]  [Send Email]
where can i buy the handle/pulley separate from the
cable? I want to put together a 150' zip line ride....

Scott Hansen    Posted 04-22-2003 at 14:51:21       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Fun for kids! My Dad once built a bar swing suspended between two trees with garage door springs. Fun stuff. Can't give you any advice, but if I were building it for my neighbors, I'd put it at 45 degrees, and terminate in another state.

Ron,Ar    Posted 04-22-2003 at 15:51:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
Ya forgot your disclaimer. he-he-he

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