Build a Backyard Zip Line

We have decided to run a new promotion with our website ( to encourage people to ask questions and leave comments for others about their backyard zip line kits. 

Starting this month and every month after we will pick a different topic to blog about, all pertaining to common zip line questions. Anyone who sees this blog can receive a 5% off entire purchase coupon* good at (Limit one discount per customer) Use coupon code “sizzler” for 5% off any purchase

July’s topic will be about Zip Line Kits.
Before you  install your own zip line, you want to make sure that you have two solid anchors to attach your zip line to. (two hardy trees, a sturdy pole, post, etc)
Once you have determined what you will anchor to, you then want to make sure you will have a completely clear path! You don’t want to be smacked by branches and leaves as you zip down your line. You also want to make sure that the anchors will be suitable enough to support about a 6% drop in the cable line.

*A good rule of thumb is about a 6 foot drop for every 100 foot of cable—

Any successful zip line will of course, require a little bit of planning and you’re off to the right start. You will also want to take into consideration that you must account for about a 2% drop that will occur in the center of the cable due to sagging. Once you realize this you can adjust the cable to give you the correct speed. Alright, once your path is clear, it is time to set up your cable line. I used a chain wrapped around a oak tree with a turnbuckle for my first zip line, and for the other anchor I used the slack from the cable wrapped around the second tree. It is a good idea to use some type of rubber tubing on the cable line if you are wrapping it around a tree. It prevents slip and helps prevent the tree from damage, they also sell wooden tree protectors that keep the cable from moving.

The idea is to pull the zip line cable as tight as you can with your turnbuckle full extended. By doing this, you will get the most amount of adjustment available to pull the cable tight enough. Once your cable is anchored on both ends, it is time to install your zip line braking system.

See my blog post here about what type of braking system is right for you.

Now that you’ve got your braking system set up it is time for a test run! This is the fun part! Ride your cable and see if there is excessive sagging, also pay attention to your speed. Are you moving to fast? Too Slow?

*If there is too much sagging in your zip line you will need to tighten your cable more. If you are moving to slowly you will need to increase your zip line elevation. If you are moving to quickly you will need to lower your zip line elevation.

After your test ride you will also need to make sure your cable is still tightly attached to both anchors, you will also need to re-tighten your turnbuckle and clamps. This will need to be checked regularly as part of maintaining the functionality of your zip line.

A tow rope is commonly added to the trolley to assist in walking it back to the starting point of your zip line. I would also highly recommend using a harness if your zip line is fairly high off the ground, and if your zip line is more than 100 feet it is a good idea to buy a seat as your hands and arms will become tired.

To purchase various quality parts and accessories for your backyard zip line kit please shop Zip Line Stop!

Please remember that installing and operating your zip line safely is your responsibility! You must establish a safe and secure operating procedure to ensure the success of your zip line. Children must always be supervised and taught how to properly operate your zip line safely!

Additional Blogs

Zip Line Tips

Happy Zipping!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Jim

    Hi, I don;t know if this is the right forum for this topic, but I am looking for advice on building a backyard zip line as follows"

    -106' between two trees (pitch pine) over flat ground. So I would install starting point of line higher up on one tree than end point of opposing tree.
    -I plan on tying around the trees on both ends as opposed to a bolt through.
    -I would like both children and adults to be able to use, so need something rated for 250+pounds.
    -Looking at some of the kits for sale at various websites.

    So here is my wish list:
    I would like a kit that has everything, but the cable lengths offered are 75', 100', 150'. Distance between tress is 106'. By everything I mean, extras like harness, seat, brake block, etc.

    I would like to use a gravity stop type braking with a stop block for safety. Although one kit (Alien Flier I believe) offers a trolley with a trigger style brake built in, which is appealing.

    I would like a detachable trolley with closed top, so if someone happens to grab the top of the trolley while in motion they won't injure their hands.

    So I'm not sure if I should piece a kit together separately, or buy a kit and cable separate, or if their is a complete kit that has everything I need. Budget is max $400, ideally.

    Also, are the trees I want to use ok for this? Pitch Pines tend to sway a lot in the wind, so not sure if they are even the proper tree to begin with…

    Thanks for any suggestions, and if there is a better forum out there for this please let me know!

  2. Karen

    Which cable is better for my zip line? Stainless steel or galvanized?

  3. Zip Line Stop

    Galvanized is stronger than similar diameter stainless.
    Galvanized is 2-3 times less expensive than stainless (think of it this way, you could purchase 2-3 zip line cables using galvanized cable for the same cost it would take for one zip line using stainless steel).
    Galvanized is very weather resistant. Unless your location is next to the ocean (salt spray in the air causes corrosion) then the galvanized will last many years. Depending on use, expect 5-10 years.

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