You’re in the market for a zip line for the backyard and you think it’ll be so much fun, but wait how do you brake… is it safe? How do I or my children properly brake? Here at The Zip Line Blog we will be explaining the top 3 ways to safely brake.
1. Bungee Brake
By far the most popular and safest method of braking is using a Brake Block with a Bungee. How it works is a Brake Block is installed at the end of the zip line with a Bungee Cord attached perpendicular to the zip line and mounted to a tree or rock. Once the rider hits the Brake Block on the zip line the block will be pushed but the rider’s momentum is absorbed by the Bungee Cord therefore slowing the rider safely and smoothly. Here are a few pictures/videos of it in action!
Next up is a Spring Brake. This method is the easiest to install and understand. It involves a heavy duty Spring Coil that is absorbs impact from a rider and pushes the rider back out. A Spring Brake is often used in conjunction with a Stop Block, which is a block on the zip line that does not move. We recommend using a Spring Brake with slower zip line speeds.
3. Gravity Brake
Finally, the most inexpensive method of them all. Gravity. Using gravity you can create a lot of zip line slack to create sag at the end of the zip line. We all know how gravity works so a rider will end the ride when gravity says so. Although this method is free and easy, it is a little hard to measure. Someone who weighs 220 pounds is going to have more momentum than someone who is 70 pounds. If you plan on using this method, do a lot of testing before making the zip line permanent.
But wait…there’s more! Here are a few more methods you can try depending on your zip line setup.
4. Tires or Tennis Balls
Yes this method does seem a little rudimentary, but it works. We have a customer who poked a hole in several tennis balls, put it through the zip line like beads and used that in an indoor gym. The travel speed was super slow so tennis balls were perfect. Just like a tennis ball, you can get tires onto a zip line.
5. Leather Gloves/Trolley Brakes
This type of braking is called active braking. The rider can control their speed by using a leather glove to grip the zip line, or using the trolley braking system to slow their descent.Whatever method you decide, be sure to always test out the zip line. You can use a bucket of water to attach to the zip line as a dummy. Or even better if you can convince your next door neighbor😀. Be safe and have fun! If you need any Zip Line tips or tricks feel free to comment us or visit us here.