Friday, August 7, 2009

Zip Line Install Tips

We have decided to run a new promotion with our website (www.backyardplayplaces.com) to encourage people to ask questions and leave comments for others about their backyard playgrounds. Every month we will pick a different topic to blog about. Anyone who writes in this blog will receive a 5% off entire purchase coupon* good at www.backyardplayplaces.com. (Limit one discount per customer)

August's topic will be about zipline kits. We are in the process of installing our zip line kit and will post pictures soon. Before installing your own zip line you want to make sure that you have 2 solid ancors to attach your zip line to.

Once you determine the ancors then you want to make sure that you have a clear path and make sure that the ancors are suitable enough to allow about a 6% drop in cable. That is a 6' drop for every 100' of cable. This is a good starting point and can be adjusted later to dial in the correct speed. You will also want to take into consideration about a 2% drop in cable for sagging. Once the path is clear it is time to set up the cable. I use a chain wrapped around one anchor with a turnbuckle and at the other anchor I use just the cable. It is a good idea on the end with just the cable to use some rubber tubing to help protect your anchor.

You will want to pull the cable as tight as you can with the turnbuckle fully extended. This will give you the most amount of adjustment to pull the cable just right. Once the cable is hung and tight then it is time for a test run. After testing you want to make sure the cable is still tight and retighten turnbuckle and clamps. Make sure that there is no cable slippage. You will want to make sure riders are going to be able to stop before reaching the end of the ride. A brake block with bungee rope will help slow the riders down at the end of the ride.

A rope may be added to the pully to assist walking it back to the starting point. I would highly recommend using a harness if zipline is any distance off of the ground. Also if there is a good distance in the cable it is a good idea to add a seat so your hands and arms don't get too tired. To purchase parts and accessories for your zipline kit please don't forget to shop www.backyardplayplaces.com

Remember, installing and operating a safe zip line is your responsibility. Establishing a safe operating procedure is essential. Always consult a professional when installing a zip line. Children should always be supervised and taught how to operate the zip line safely.

202 comments:

  1. Ryan,

    So I really want to do a zip line. I have read through the steps above and I have a couple questions. The zip line would be for my young children and I don't have a whole lot of space. I just have 20 feet with an incline. Is this enough to be worth doing a zip line?

    Also a question regarding % drop in cable. You mentioned 6% and then 2% for cable sag. So, does this mean I need to figure 8% or is the 2% included in the 6%?

    Thanks!

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  2. I have sold many kits 20' long and my customers say that there kids absolutely love them. Better to have a short zip line than none at all. The % drop is 6% for speed. The 2% is more needed to figure out how high you want the zip line off of the ground. With a zip line of 20' you won't really have sag so you only need to worry about the 6% difference. In your case for a 20' zip line you would want to have about a 1' 3" drop in height from one end to the other. Keep in mind this is just an average starting point. You will probably have to adjust the height to dial in the correct speed. The younger they are in age usually the slower you would like them to go. Let me know if this helps. Don't forget to shoot me an email for your 10% discount code from my website www.backyardplayplaces.com (ryan@backyardplayplaces.com)

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  3. How great that you have this because I just decided that my kids must have a zip line in our new backyard! I found your website and then I found the blog. I have two questions for you. I would put the zip line up in between two trees that are about 75 feet apart. Which set would I get--more specifically, I want to know why I would get 3/16 over 1/4? What is the effect of the difference? Second, you mention a break block with bungee cord to slow down. What is this and can I buy it from you? Thanks so much!

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  4. For a 75' span either cable would have plenty enough strength. In your case the decision would come down to which pulley you are looking to get. If you go with the CMI pulley I would recommend 1/4" cable. 3/16" cable would work for the Fusion pulley, but it will run smoother on 1/4" cable.
    The brake block is basically a very hard piece of wood that gets bolted to the cable. Bungee rope attaches to the block as well as a solid point (the ground, a tree, etc.) When the trolley hits the block the bungee rope slows down the rider. And yes we do carry those at our store. www.backyardplayplaces.com

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  5. Thanks, Ryan. This is helpful. But now we have rethought the location and the trees we are considering are 120' apart. I think the 1/4" cable would be best, right? And what about height of the cable up the trees? I suppose there will be considerable sag? And one of the trees is only about 10" in diameter. Is this enough?

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  6. Great questions. Again 3/16" cable is enough but 1/4" is better. Height of cable up the trees is kind of up to you. If your looking for a more exciting, adrenaline pumping ride the higher up the tree you want to go. You will also have to consider getting up the tree to start and down the other tree to finish. From start to finish you would want about a 6% drop (for 120' that would be about 7 feet height difference from start to finish. Just to do a little math for you, assuming flat surface if you want the lowest point of the cable to be at 8' then at the end of the ride the cable should be about 11' off of the ground (accounting for 2% sag in cable which is normal). The start of the cable should be at about 18' off of the ground (7 feet higher than the end). This is a great starting point. If you want a higher ride then just move both start and finish up equal distances until it is the right height off of the ground. You will want to play with the 7' diffrence in start to finish to dial in the correct speed for the riders. 10" diameter tree (depending on the tree) should work fine. If possible it would probably be better to use this tree as the finishing tree. The lower the cable is to the ground the less force it has pulling against the tree. Either way should work though. Thank you for the great questions. Please keep them coming.

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  7. Ryan, after an out-of-state trip, I am ready to finalize this! I have rethought the trees again and have decided on two trees about 90-100' apart. I'm ready to buy from you. Any final words of advice on what kit I should be looking at and how much cable length I should purchase? Thanks!

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  8. I would probably go with either the basic sit down kit or the supreme sit down kit. The CMI trolley in the supreme kit rides a little smoother and lasts a bit longer. Again 3/16" cable will work just fine and 1/4" cable will work a little better. We recommend getting about 10% extra cable for errors and sagging. In your case 110' or so in cable should be enough (for a 100' span). Please let me know if you have any more questions. Thank you for your business.

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  9. Hi Ryan,

    We have a large, sloping backyard and are considering putting in a zip line. Our kids are only 3 and 6. Is there a safe version available for kids this age that can possibly be modified/upgraded as they get older? Thank you, Suzy

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  10. I would recommend putting up a zip line kit for kids of any age. We have a child who just turned 3 and he absolutely loves to zip line. If you purchase a zip line kit from www.backyardplayplaces.com there would be a few things that you might want to consider. First off when considering a location to put the zip line you would want to find a place where the starting end of the zip line can be raised to increase the speed of the traveller. The older the kids get the faster they are going to want to go. If adults are ever going to ride the zip line you want to get a kit with 1/4" or larger cable. This will kind of depend upon the legnth of the zip line. To make the zip line a little safer you can get a kit that has a harness. This would ensure the child won't be able to fall off while riding. As they get older they would be able to graduate to a seat and or maybe just hanging on to the bar. As you can see all of the kits we sell are easily upgradable and can be very safe for younger riders. Please let us know if this answers your questions. Feel free to ask as many more as you would like.

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  11. Hi i am looking at doing ~200' with the least possible sag and attaching the ends to concrete what is a realistic minimum sag 3/8" and 1/2"?

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  12. Using solid concrete as anchors and using a large turnbuckle theoretically you should be able to get the sag to alsmost nothing. I would say more realistically you will be between 1% - 2% or 2 to 4 feet in your case.

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  13. Hi Ryan,
    Does your basic sit down kit include all the supplies that I need for installation? I will be adding a break block as well.

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  14. Yes it comes with everything you need to attach it to 2 trees. If adding the brake block you will need the block, bungee rope, and either a ground anchor or another tree to attach the bungee rope to.

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  15. Hello, I am looking at getting my family a zip line for our yard. It will be about 100 feet attached to two trees. I have read all the above and have two questions...Which kit do you recommend for a family of five...we will all be riding it. Two adults and three teenagers? I was thinking of the supreme sit down kit. Does the kit come with COMPLETE step-by-step installation instructions? Do I need any extra items..ie..break block materials,,etc. I want to make sure I order everything needed to make this a fun, safe, lasting gift that we all can enjoy! Thanks!!!

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  16. The supreme sit down kit is a good choice. It will work for adults and kids. To make it a little more fun and safe I would recommend adding a brake block. This allows you to speed up the ride and still be able to slow down at the end. To add a brake you will need the brake block, bungee rope, and either a ground anchor or tree to tie the bungee rope to. If you are using a ground anchor then 20' of bungee rope should be sufficient.

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  17. Thanks so much for the advice. I will be ordering shortly and am very excited about my family finding out they are going to have their very own zipline in the back yard! Ho Ho Ho!

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  18. I'm installing a 65ft line attached to 2 trees. There are 2 adults and 2 kids(9 and 6) that will be using this. I was planning on getting the 1/4" cable and the basic sit down kit. Is it worth the extra money to instead do the CMI pulley? Is it a noticeably faster,smoother, and safer ride? Also, will I get less sag if I use a thicker cable?

    One more question- I'm installing a break block attached to a tree. The tree is about 10ft before and to the side of the end of zip line. How long of a cord do I need?

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  19. At 65 ft going to a bigger cable won't really help much with sag. I like the CMI trolley better. It lasts longer, and runs smoother. It also has the safety backup feature if you add another carabiner to the back of the trolley. The brake blocks are usually trial and error on what length of cable. I would imagine that you only need enough cord to go from the tree to the cable (10 ft or so). You may want a little extra just in case, but 10 ft will probably work.

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  20. I have my zip line kit in my cart on your web site and can't wait for Santa to install it and start enjoying the fun!!!

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  21. Looking to purchase a zipline kit - Glad I found you blog (Good Information). Our backyard has a nice grade to it so the kids can have fun with the zip line and stay close to the ground. For a reach of about 150' (tree to tree) what size cable would you recommend. Looking to use the Fusion Pulley. Thanks.

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  22. I would use 1/4" cable. That is kind of a long stretch for 3/16".

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  23. We bought a zip line from you for Christmas and are already having a blast with it. The only thing we haven't figured out is how to get off. The trees are 92' apart and we started at 17' and go to 9'. We'e using a 15' high tree stand for the starting platform but are currently using a ladder to get down. What do most people use to get off at the landing side of the line? We tried putting the trampoline under the line and while that works, the cable and brake block over the trampoline make it unsafe for high jumping--need a better solution. Any suggestions?

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  24. The best option is to build a platform or even easier yet a big ramp. Make the highest point of the ramp near the tree where you would be getting off of the zip line.

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  25. We want a zip line between two trees in our yard. One option is a 55' option, and the other is closer to 100'. To maximize speed and safety (our son is 8), at what height should the start and end points be?
    Also, how does the rider stop and get off? What kit should we order?

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  26. For the younger kids it is best to keep it as low to the ground as possible. You will probably want to end the cable at 7' high or so. The start should be 6% higher for 100' in length for a good starting point. For the 55' kit that would be about 10' cable height and the 100' kit 13' in cable height (assuming level ground). The best way to stop is to add a brake block which slows you down at the end of the ride. To get off you can either make it end at a good height to just jump off, or help them off or build a platform to get off on.

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  27. Thanks, Ryan! I am ready to order. What kit and cable size do you suggest? Adults will be riding it too.

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  28. If adults are going to ride then you will want 1/4" cable. I would either recommend the basic sit down kit or the supreme sit down kit. The main differnce in these kits are the trolley. The supreme kits trolley is all stainless with better ball bearings and a safety backup if you choose to use it. The basic trolley has an aluminum casing which is not as durable and won't last as long.

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  29. This is a great blog- very helpful. Thank you. Watch for our order, please.

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  30. First I have to say thanks to Ryan for your help in ordering and getting our zip line to us in time from Christmas. We got the 100' Supreme Sit Down Kit which was the perfect choice. We have a 90' run and the kids love it (so do my wife and I). I used someone else's idea of drilling holes in 3 tennis balls and sliding them on the cable at the end before installing (just be careful not to drill a hole in your finger like I did, lol). This morning I added springs between the tennis balls but not sure how this will work long term but it helps a little now. My older daughter can drag her feet at the end but my 10 year old daughter can't quite reach but she's light enough it's not too bad with the tennis balls and springs and she stops well before the tree at the end. For adults it stops just right so as our feet swing up we can just reach the tree and stop our feet from swingiing way up but our feet don't hit the tree with any force. I was suprised at how much the 40' tall pine tree at the top swayed and bent so I ran another cable from just below where I have the zip line cable back to the base of another large pine tree almost directly behind the zip line. This helps keep the zip line tree from swaying too much and also reduces sag in the zip line quite a bit. I don't think the tree would ever break, it's big, but I feel better not having it sway so much. If you don't have another tree right behind yours I'm sure you could put some sort of an anchor in the ground to cable to if necessary. I also found a come-along cable puller to be very helpful during installation of the zip line itself and the anchor cable back to the second tree. My big old F250 truck made a nice anchor to hook the come-along to so I could pull the zip line cable tight with the come-along while I installed the clamps.

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  31. Just to clarify, my tennis balls and springs are certainly not as good as a brake block or bungee but in a pinch they are better than nothing. Maybe I'll look at upgrading that situation soon, not sure how a brake block works.

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  32. I am laying out a zipline in my back yard and have strung some parachute cord to simulate the run. The length is going to be '450 feet with a 40' drop. I will have a brake block installed.

    Will 5/16" aircraft cable be sufficient here?

    How much sag with a 200 lb rider can I expect? For the first 100 feet of the run, the line is only about 9 feet above the ground and I'm worried that it's too low. I plan on using a harness and a 2' lanyard.

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  33. I would use 3/8" cable at that distance. You should expect to see about a 6 to 8 foot sag in the middle. At 100' probably 3' or so sag. I would use a cable puller to pull that line as tight as you can because it sounds like you may have an issue around the 100' point.

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  34. I just set up a 125 foot basic zip line (that you sold me thank you) between two trees. After getting the desired speed and action, I would like to add a break. Is there any way I can do this without taking it down? Also, I have the cable end around an elm tree with blocks to protect the tree, and I used the chain sling around a cedar at the lower end. Will the chain be sufficient to protect the cedar, or should I take steps to protect that tree also? Thanks, Dave in Nashville.

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  35. The brake block kits that we sell are able to be unbolted and then bolted around the existing cable. The chain should be sufficient to protect the cedar tree.

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  36. Ryan,

    I have no trees in my back yard and want to install a 50 ft or so zip line. Can I cement a 6x6 four feet in the ground and attach the line to those. I would attach it about 8 feet off ground and run it to 5 feet. Kids are 6 and 9. Too fast for them or not fast enough with that drop.
    Thanks,
    Steve

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  37. That should work great. You may have to put a support guide wire running from the post to the ground opposite the zip line so the beams don't want to pull into each other while riding. This will probably depend upon the weight of the riders.

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  38. I want to lay out a zipline in my back yard. The length is going to be 800 feet (~250m) and i will use 3/8"(~10mm) 6x19 IWS steel wire.

    But i can only get 42(~12m) feet drop, is it enough?

    And 600lb load won't be to much?

    What you suggest for pulling that line straight?

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  39. I would probably go with 1/2" cable at that distance if possible. 42' in drop should be enough. That is a nice long distance to pick up speed. I would make sure you have a good brake in place. As for pulling it straight you are going to have to use a cable grab. We are in the process of adding those to our website. The cable grab needs to be used in conjunction with a come along like device. We are adding those as well. We are even thinking about doing them as a rental program if your interested.

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  40. Our property slopes but we don't have trees. We'd like to have a zip line but i can't install it myself. Who do i contact to have poles put in the ground and to install the zip line?

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  41. I will be ordering the supreme zip line kit from you with 1/4" cable. The best area I can find in my back yard for a zip line is about 60' but I need to cement a post in the ground for the low end. What size post would you suggest? Is a 4 x 4 too small, a 6 x 6 too big? The take off point is a 5' high platform that is part of the swing set and sits directly in front of the anchor tree. I am thinking the low end will be 5' off the ground so it will be possible for adults to ride as well, will that be a good height? I want to have the option for a 6' adult to go end to end using the handle and I will have a ramp for the kids to use at the exit. I anticipate having this setup along with the swing set for 10+ years so I would like to get the right size post without going overboard.

    Thank you for all the great information I have already found on your site.

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  42. A 4x4 should be plenty if the end will be 5' off of the ground. Adults should be able to ride if they pick there feet up pretty high (5' is pretty short for an adult rider). At 5' you probably won't even need a ramp at the end for the kids to get off.

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  43. Fantastic blog! I was wondering about this 6% sag factor. Will it occur regardless of how tight I get the cable? At 200ft am I going to see 12 feet of sag? Is it possible to have the cable too tight creating an unsafe condition? Any info would be great!!!

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  44. The 6% is the amount you want to drop in elevation for alright speed. The sag factor is 2% on average. The tighter the cable the less the sag, but you will always have some sag no matter how tight you get it. So at 200 ft you should see around 4 or 5 ft of sag.

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  45. I have a 550 to 600 foot span using 3/8 GAC. I have about 5% to 7% sag when loaded. Can a 250 pound person ride this?

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  46. That might be pushing it, but should be ok for a 250 lb rider.

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  47. I have about 90 ft span in the back yard. In order to maximize the distance, I want to use a 6x6 that is 16' long and cement 6' of it into the ground. Do I have to leave room for a guy wire? Kids will probably be 100 lbs +/- 20lbs.

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  48. Probably not. I have always set them up using a guide wire so I am not sure.

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  49. How would you recommend connecting the cable to the post? I was attemping to avoid the i-bolt. Could I simply loop the cable around the post as I would a tree?

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  50. That should work just fine.

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  51. I am in the thought process of installing a zip line in my field, behind my house.Would like to use Telephone poles (power poles) the run would be around 2000'. any advice on height of poles I need ( both ends )cable width , distance cable off ground , and is this distance to far for poles?

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  52. That is a very long zip line. Poles will work it you have a decent elevation change in your field. Over 2000' you will want probably 120' to 150' difference in elevation height from start to finish. I would use 1/2" cable at least. And the poles will need heavy gauge anchor wires holding them in place. If you give me a better idea of the ground layout in your field I can give you a little better advice. Thank you for sharing your ideas.

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  53. Mark ,Truro Nova Scotia CanadaMay 27, 2010 at 5:38 AM

    Thanks for the quick reply Ryan, the zip plan has changed due to elevation problems, zip line will be two zips at 600' each with a slight change in degree (2%) one line 6 and one line 8 degrees, will be needing some kits so will keep in touch,
    Regards Mark P.S. (Is an 8% line at 600 feet too fast a distance to stop people?)

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  54. I am hoping to install a zip line of 40 feet to accomodate kids/adults up to 200 pounds. What type of cable and poles would you recommend and what % of incline would be necessary to keep things "interesting" for teens but safe enough for the younger kids? Thanks-

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  55. I need to change the location of my zip line and move it from trees to posts. It is 55' long and I have 1/4" cable. I was thinking 4X4 posts with one 6' high and the other 10' high. How deep do the posts have to be put in concrete if I would like for adults to be able to ride it?

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  56. I would go about 4' deep and you might want to consider 6x6 instead. I don't know if 4x4 are going to be strong enough at 10' high

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  57. Hi Ryan, I have about a 30' drop over 100' length. Is that too steep? I have 2 young kids (3 and 5) that would like to be able to use it. How can we make it safe for them, is there a tandem harness? Also there is water at the end of the run. Wondering if we would be able to somehow have the zip be able to stop short for those that don't want to end up in the water? Any tips would be greatly appreciated..I could send a sketch if you think it would help :-). Many thanks, Tamara

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  58. I am planning a 150 foot zipline. I have plenty of slope and access to a variety of anchor points. Question: Is it better/safer to start high in a tree at the bottom of the slope and gradually meet the ground as the ride comes up the slope ending with very little height off the ground or visa versca? The thought is that if the rider bails at the end it would be a short drop to Terra firma.
    Thanks

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  59. 30' drop over 100' is way too much. We recommend a 6' drop over 100'. I think it will be way too fast and dangerous, especially for small children.

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  60. It would be better if you ride with the slope of the ground, that way if they bail at the beginning as well as the end they will have a shorter fall.

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  61. I have a 200 feet 3/16 cable zipline, sagging around 4 feet without weight and 10 feet with weight. Do you think my cable is not taught enough, or should I just elevate the attchments at the trees/anchors?

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  62. If you don't mind the sag then just raise the anchor points. Sag will usually just slow you down. It doesn't hurt to have sag in the line.

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  63. Gordon Said....
    I have not measured it out and need to figure out the drop between to two trees.
    But, right now I am thinking it is about 100' and realistically a 10-15' drop. Is this to much with the use of the brake block.
    I do not want it to be unsafe in anyway.
    need to know the maximum drop/speed that is reasonable.
    I will plan to measure it out tomorrow and get you exact information.
    Also want to build a tree house around the bottom grouping of trees.
    It may be acceptable to have the landing for the zipline in the treehouse as this will also minimize the overall drop between the two anchors.
    May need some material your compaby may be able to provide for the tree house structure also.

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  64. I am interested in installin a zip line in my yard, however trees are limited and due to the nature of my yard, its mostly solid rock. Digging down to install poles is not an option, so my next option would be using a storage barn that we have. The roof top is roughly 15-20' up the most logical connection end is a tree 70 feet away. I want to build a structure that I can attach to the roof of the bard that will handle the tension of the cable and rider. I would say max weight of rider is 200lbs. and that is very rare. I just need an idea of how much pressure is exerted when a person rides. How strong does it need to be? I also considered a deer stand option and possible launching from that. Any ideas or direction would be greatly be appreciated. Believe me I wish a utility pole was an option.

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  65. Ryan, I'm building a 110 footer in my back yard using 1/4" 7 x 19 galvanized cable. I went with 3/8th inch turnbuckles thinking they would be plenty big enough for 1/4" cable. After I got home with my hardware the 3/8th inch Turnbuckles look kinda wimpy. Should I return them and go with 1/2" ones.
    Thanks, Robert

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  66. The minimum I would use would be 1/2", so you might want to return them.

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  67. Ryan: My goal is to have a "level" zip line that I can use for seated adults to cross back and forth over a creek on my hunting property. I plan to use a rope to pull myself across and a second rope and pulley to retrieve the seat. The total distance between supports will be less than 100'. Would the supreme zip line kit with 1/4" cable be appropriate for this application or would you have a better recommendation? I look forward to your advice. I am eager to get going! Pat

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  68. I have had other customers use that kit for pretty much the same thing. They all said that it worked great. I think that will be your best choice.

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  69. Ryan,

    I recently ordered a 300 foot zipline and 48 rock climbing holds from you. Everything arrived promptly and looks great. My kids are excited to try out the zip-line, but I have a few questions before installation. Where is the brake block mounted on the line (i.e. 10 feet from the end?, 20 feet from the end?)? What is a "come along" and a "cable grab"? Can I install a 300 foot (5/16) cable without these? Thanks so much!

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  70. You will probably need something to help you tighten the cable. On a 300 foot zip line the cable probably needs to be 50 feet from the end or so.

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  71. Ryan,
    I want to install a 45' zip line in the backyard between two trees. I've got kids ranging from 11-3 1/2 that I'd like to be able to use the zip line. Given the ~1' sag in the line over that distance, for the youngest to only have a drop of about no more than a foot at full extension, I figure that I'd need to have the line at around 6' above the ground (she's a touch over 3' and with her arms above would be about 4' from hands to toes). Does that sound about right and would there be issues have the end that low to the ground?
    Best,
    Mike

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  72. The only issue is that the 11 year old will be dragging their feet. That might be a touch too low.

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  73. I really want to install a zip line. I am so concerned about killing a 100 year old oak. Any one have experience placing 2 X4's around tree with a fabric sling to protect the tree?

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  74. Great blog! My question is about tension. I have come-alongs, a winch, a tractor etc. we have used for stretching fence wire. My concern is over-tensioning the zip cable. Is there a reasonable way to measure the tension or am I just over thinking this?

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  75. I have never heard of anyone over tensioning their zip line but I guess it could be possible. I would say if your zip line cable is straight then it is over tensioned. You should have a little bit of sag.

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  76. Hi,
    I am planning to install a 90' zip line between a 10' palm tree and a 15' wall. The line is intended for adults (up to 200 lbs) but mainly for two kids, a 6 yr and a 3 yr old. My idea was to install it from the wall at 10' (building a ladder and platform to take off) and to end at around 5' on the palm tree. Would that work okay? I was thinking about the supreme sit down kit, but what type of cable would you reccomend?, 1/4 or 1/2?
    Thanks in advance. Edgar

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  77. 1/4" cable is plenty big enough. 5' tall is way too low. I would say bare minimum you want 7' at the end of the ride. And you might want closer to 6' in drop from start to finish.

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  78. My zipwire is 8mm galvanised winch cable, about 25 metres from tree to tree.
    After 6 months, I have noticed that the thinner tree [about 12" thick trunk, cable fixed to 8" branch] is tending to lean slightly inwards with the weight of the cable, resulting in excessive sag.
    I have now sunk a concrete ground anchor to which I will attach another cable/strap in an effort to reverse the tree's lean.

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  79. do you think instead of using a 6x6 post, i was thinking of using a 3" galvanized pole. steel,iron. do you thinks using steel poles instead of 6x6 would worl... with a guy wire.

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  80. Using a steel pole should work fine, with a guy wire.

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  81. I am in the process of building my kid's a clubhouse and they want a zipline coming off of it. I have started the clubhouse, it is 6 feet off of the ground and the two middle post extend 4 feet above that, so the zipline will start about 10 feet in the air and I have the space to make it any length that I would like. There is a downhill slope from the clubhouse. Will the two 4X4 in cement hold the one end securely? How far off the ground should the other end be? Can I use 4x4 in cement for the other end? Which kit would you recommend? Adults and kids will probably ride.

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  82. That should work just fine. The single post on the end might need a guy wire for support. The ending height is hard to determine without knowing the layout. You want about a 6% decline in cable from level. or 6 ft drop for every 100' in length. The kit recommended will also depend on length. The most common kit we sell is the supreme zip line kit.

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  83. Thank you very much...when I get closer to the end of this project, I will come back and talk and make sure I purchase the right thing.

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  84. I am trying to figure out how to install a zipline in our backyard. I have a large pine for the start and about 75 ft to a cedar playset. The playset has a 4x4 at the corner that I would "like" to be able to use. it is not set in concrete but is anchored in with a steel ground type anchor. do you think the 4x4 would be sufficient for the end? I would probably end it about 5' off the ground.

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  85. I have a 90' kit, one tree is oak and the tie off point is only 6+" in diameter(20"in circumference). I will have some 200' adults riding it. Would this tree be sturdy enough or would I need a guy wire anchored in the ground?

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  86. I asked the last question and just realized I wrote 200' adults (wow), when I meant 200lb. adults!

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  87. A guy wire is recommended for something that small

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  88. I'm having to use a 6x6 pressure treated beam as my end point. My kit says to not use eyebolts, but shouldn't I use one tapped all the way through the beam, instead of the sling? Also my start point is on a hill,I attached a string at my end point at the right height, then attached a line level in the center and attached the line to my start point. I got my start point level , then went 4 feet higher to attach. Would this work?

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  89. Hi there!
    I would like to order the Torpedo Zip Kit (150' 5/16" Cable). Does this come with a brake? If not, what would you recommend that I purchase or use for a brake? Thanks!

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  90. Hi, I am looking to build a ZIP line for my family. I have the perfect straight trees, separted about 80 apart. I was thinking on 5/16" or 3/8 cable.... The question is where can I find the intructions on how to tie the cable to the trees...
    Thanks

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  91. Hi Ryan. GREAT BLOG! Thank you. Just a couple questions for you. I have 200'. End point is a 2 foot diameter tree. Start point will be a post and anchored to house foundation. Which package should I purchase? What size post? And how far off the ground should the end wire be? And how much higher than that should start wire be? THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

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  92. Hello Ryan. I am installing a zip line for my 6 year old. Adults will not be riding it. I only have about 50 ft. How high should the line be and how deep should my 6X6 poles be buried ?

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  93. I've just stretched a hardware-store bought, 3/16" 7X19, galvanized wire rope across a 95' span, between 2 trees. Starting about 12' high, and ending at about 7'. It's obvious you know wire ropes and I'm nervous about them. It's just alot of energy waiting to go somewhere.. ... Anyway, Because the lower end goes around and is secured to a 2" steel pipe, I faced my fears and crank-tightened it with 2- 14" pipe wrenches. I tightened enough so that I don't see more than a few inches of sag until weight is applied. At the mid point, 70 lbs caused it to drop about 1' . 110 lbs caused it to sag about 2'. If you can assess my situation, Here's my concern: I want more clearance at the mid point. (About 1' for 110-150 lbs)...So, do you think I can safely tighten the cable even more, or do I have to raise the end points?

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  94. I would raise the end points. The cable your using is not very strong to begin with, so the less tension you run the better off you will be.

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  95. Hey, I was just looking to put up a zipline in my backyard. Looking for about 250 ft long. Ive got the perfect tree on on end, but on the other its empty field. Do you have any suggestions to anchoring the end without a tree? is there i type of post reccommennded?

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  96. I am planning a zip line from my deck down to a post about 200 feet away. The attachment point slope down about 6 to 8 _degrees_ (not %). Is this just too much slope? I don't mind fast, I just need it to be safe.

    Thanks - Scott

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  97. Hi,
    I am about to place an order for the Basic Zip Line Kit but i was not sure whether the trolley can be easily removed or not. My concern is that I am leavinbg this cable in a public area (shared) and I don't want to leave it there all the time for unsupervised use.
    thanks

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  98. Does vinyl coating matter?

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  99. So glad I found this post! What is the best way to secure the guy wire to a 6x6 post? How do you attach it and how do you anchor it? How far does it need to be from the base? Thanks again! I'll be ordering soon!

    Jay
    Happy Valley, OR

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  100. Hi I am planing to buy a zip line I need a promo code to save some dollars if you could give me one
    Thanks

    Marco

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  101. Send us an email and you can get the promo code ryan@backyardplayplaces.com

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  102. Hi Ryan,
    We have a sloping backyard and want to add a zip line between trees 40' apart. Our grandkids are now ages 5 to 12 years and we would like to adjust the line as they grow. What would you suggest we purchase? How do we attach it? How far should it be from the base? Thanks so much!

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  103. Had a zip line in our backyard when my kids were young. Even the grandmother's went zipping (with some help). Now that I'm the grandmother I'm ordering one for my grandchildren. Can't wait to ride!

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  104. Hello, I would like to install a zip line for my 4 and 9 year old, I have a lot of space just no trees, how do I go about making something to attach it too? Should I use metal or wood? Thanks

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  105. Looks like we missed a couple of posts so I will respond to the last 3. The basic sit down zip line kit would work great at 40' and the way we set up our kits makes it easy to adjust the height to make them faster as the kids grow. Check out our install tips to help you see how we set up our kits.
    http://site.cmplaygrounds.com/Zipline-Tips.html

    Next post, metal or wood works fine, whatever you use you will have to have a guy wire holding anchoring the back side. Most people use 6x6 or 8x8 posts and bury a couple of feet in concrete and then attach the guy wire for support.

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  106. Hello Ryan,
    I have two trees 85' apart with about 5'10 of slope. I also have two boys 8 years and 12 and their friends.
    I've been reading your blog for a month (it's very cool, thanks) and I'm thinking about the Supreme Zip Line Kit and 150' of 1/4 cable.
    I think I will attach the cable at 7' of height on both trees, use a ladder at first but soon build a simple platform and landing ramp.

    I plan on buying 20' of bungee and attach it to a short piece of 4x4 spun over the cable. The other end of the bungee I think might attach to a sunken 5 gallon paint bucket filled with cement with like a 3/4" lag bolt and washers run through the length below ground.

    I might want a harness for one kid who is 5 years.

    Also I might have only my older boy to help with the install and was thinking that the extra cable length might be handy for pulling out the slack while I clamp the U Bolts.

    Thanks
    Marc

    Anyway, it will make for some bright eyes on Christmas morning. :)

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  107. I have a zipline made from 5 strand telephone cable/wire. I think it is 5/16 cable. it is about a 50 foot run with 10' elevation change +-

    I tension it with a 10 ton come along. it terminates in a pond.

    Do you have any concerns over the use of 5/15th 5 wire cable like the stuff they use for telepone pole stays.

    What kind of trolley would you recommend.

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  108. The only concern I have is that is going to be very rough riding cable and will probably wear the trolley wheels with a very rough pattern as well.

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  109. I am trying to do the zipline thing. Having issues, maybe you can help.
    quarter inch cable, 220feet long , sloping yard, lowest point of zipline is 8feet above ground. When an adult (175 lbs) is on the line the seat drags the ground. although I don't see much sag in the line with no rider on it, does this mean it is not tight enough? thanks.

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  110. Hi Ryan,
    I just received your shipment of the Supreme Zip Line Kit - http://stores.cmplaygrounds.com/-strse-190/Supreme-Zip-Line-Kit/Detail.bok. The materials are high quality and I am excited. This will be a Christmas gift to the family.

    I will begin the install Right after Christmas. My research identifies two braking options:
    1) Friction
    2) Gravity

    There is ample discussion above about your opinion on Friction braking options. I am leaning toward a gravity braking options. What advice can you give me about installing with a gravity based braking system?

    Thanks!

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  111. Hi I'm considering the Supreme kit but I want to get a strong cable since our span will be over 200'. Will the trolley in the kit work with the 5X16 cable? Is that the right cable?

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  112. 5/16" will work good up to 500' and the trolley works on anything up to 1/2" cable.

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  113. Hello, I am thinking of building a zip line for my kids 7 and 4 yr old. I have not trees on my property but I have about a 150' run. I am thinking of using 6x6 posts for both ends. I want to play it safe and I would like the zip line to sag so the kids are about 2 possible 3 feet at the lowest point from the ground. I am having a swing set put it and I was wondering if I can use the swing set instead of a post at the beginning of the run. How far down should I put the post in the ground? How far up do I put the line at the starting post and how far down do I put it on the ending post. I will be looking to purchase your kit once I plan things out and I am ready to start the installation. Thank you for all your help.

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  114. I'm putting a zipline across a river behind my home. The run will be approx 220 feet. I have purchased 2 12" turnbuckles (one for both sides of my cable). Will this be enough to eliminate most sag? I'm worried that my start/finish difference cannot allow for the 6% drop so I want to make sure I can get some speed before we let go and drop into the water!

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  115. Hello. I have a 69 foot run going between the peak of my shed roof to a telephone pole (on my property) where I would like to install a zip line. Ideally it would run from the shed to the pole but the highest point of the shed is only 10 feet off the ground. The zip line would for for our kids, currently 8 and 3, and I would like to consider if we could do a seat. Is this all possible, do ya think?

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  116. Ania, it is definately possible. You would want to start at the 10' mark on the shed and go down to about 6 1/2' on the telephone pole. This will give you a decent speed. Yes the seat is our most popular way to ride the zip lines.

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  117. Thanks Ryan. I would like it to hold up well of course and am anxious to get started. cAn you advise on a kit that you seel that would have everything I need, including the seat?

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  118. Oh, and I would like your advise on the cable strength. I would like the stronger cable for the 70 size run, without overkill. I would love if the adults in the house could zip on it without fear of breaking it...

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  119. Supreme Zip Line kit with big boy seat upgrade will give you a 250 lb weight limit and come with everything your looking for.

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  120. And, sorry to keep asking things, but how far before the end of the line should I put the block brake so the kids don't whack into the telephone pole? To remind you, I have a 69 foot run. If I buy the Supreme kit with big boy seat, with 100 ft of cable and a block brake... that should be everything right?

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  121. At 69' more than likely you won't need a brake. Your not going to get going fast enough. You will stop by the trolley running into the cable clamps about 3' from the tree.

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  122. HI ryan,
    Great info and product all around. Thanks.
    I'm building a 200' zip for the boys up here in canada (victoria BC). My boys that is, aged 3,5 and 7 and of course mom and myself.
    We all love to zip. Anyways, what's the minimum thickness cable i can use for this. I work at an aircraft manufacturing plant and can likely purchase what i need from here. Knowing the min thickness would be a great help. I know what the cables are rated to, which is far beyond any stress we'll ever put on, but i know people tend to you use much heavier than needed. What would you advise for a 200' distance?
    Thanks very much
    Thomas

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  123. Minimum would be 1/4". If it were me I would put up 5/16". It costs an extra $20 for the 200' length.

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  124. Would you recommend the 5/16 for extra durability even on my short 70 ft run?

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  125. Bonjour Rian,

    Comment commander ces tyroliennes en france? Avez vous un revendeur?

    Merci beaucoup

    Mur

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  126. I am thinking of using 2 x 4"x4" posts with a cross beam for the lower end anchor of a 200' line. The posts will be approx 4' in the ground and 8' to 10' above ground. You mentioned in a previous post that 4x4 maybe not strong enough for 10' above ground, but in this case, given that the load is shared between 2 posts what do you think? It's difficult to get 6"x6" long enough in my part of the world.

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    Replies
    1. Chris are you talking 2 4x4 posts bolted together to form what would be consodered a 2x8? That would be much better then a 4x4 on its own especially 8-10 feet above ground

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    2. Actually I was talking about 2 separate 4x4s maybe 5' apart with a cross beam to take the eye bolt.In the end though I have decided to use 2 6x6 posts instead! Thanks

      Delete
  127. Im going to order a supreme kit and Im using 2 6x6 posts over 110 ft for my line.. gunna be sweet!

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  128. What are your thoughts about anchoring a zipline to a palm tree?

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  129. Honestly I am not an expert on palm trees, so I really don't know on this one. In general if you have 10" diameter or more on a tree, it is usually fine to attach to.

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  130. Putting in approx 150ft line, ages 6 - 33, 40lbs - 200lbs, what size cable should i go with?

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  131. Hi, I am putting in 130 ft zip for kids and 230lb adult. What wire would you recommend please?

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  132. 1/4" will give a 250 lb weight limit at that distance

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  133. I am putting a 140 foot zip line in my back yard. There is a 4 or 5 % slope in the terrain between the trees. At the lowest point of the sag I want to be 7 feet above the ground. By my math If I have the up hill side mounted 13.5 feet high, and the down hill side mounted at 10 1/2 feet, I should be good to go right?

    Thanks!

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  134. It will probably take so playing with to get right, but this should be a good starting point.

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  135. Ryan, I am wanting to put a small zip line in our backyard... the only problem is that we don't have much space at all. We just have one section towards the back that's got trees and brush, etc. for a good amount of feet. There's no tree to anchor it to, but I need something fun to go in our backyard! Would a zip line even work?

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  136. Hello - I'm investigating putting a zipline up in a space roughly 60'. In reading some instructions it seems like the clamps will be only about 3 feet or so from the ending tree but with a disc seat that's about 5 feet that leaves a lot of room for it to swing up into the tree. Could I simply put a couple of extra cable clamps on the line a few more feet up?

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  137. Hello.. I have a few questions regarding an unconventional use for your products.I have a 120lb dog who has a degenerative disease of the spinal cord...he is basically going paralyzed...We got him a really awesome rock climbing harness for dogs from REI.. it has 2 handles one for the rear legs and one for the front that hold his body. I want to run a suspended cable system with a pulley or glide across the yard for him. I am thinking that I would attach one end of climbing type rope to the back of the harness and run it through a pulley or glide and attach the other end to the front handle of the harness. The plan is to run it parallel to the ground at the right height for him to walk with some of his weight suspended and have a raised beds at either end so that he can lay down as well. I He weighs about 120lbs... and the span I want to strech is 56'. I have a very large tree at one end and a 4x4 post at the other(which is a support column for my attached carport). Also I would need a glide or pulley that allows for rotation so he can turn around and walk both ways without tagnling/twisting the rope.

    Any pointers you might have would be greatly appreciated. ie: size of cable needed, how I should anchor it to the tree/ 4x4 post ( if even possible)... type of glide and sag I might need to account for seeing that this is a parallel suspension system.
    Thank you much

    Becki

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  138. I am trying to install a 100ft zip line that I ordered from alien flyer. I do not have any trees and have purchased 2 6x6x16 treated wood post. Everything I read says they must go in the ground 4 ft. We have dug down a little over 3 ft and have hit solid rock!!! Would that depth be safe??? The cable is rated up to 275 but could limit the weight to less than 150 as only children will be using this zip line. I am planning the cable at the top to be at about 7 ft off the ground and with the decline ending it about 3-4 ft off ground.

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  139. Hi There, I'm thinking of building this Pirate Ship for 4 and 6 yr olds. I'm trying to figure out if there is a way to hook a zipline up to it for the kids (who I plan will use it for quite a while). How much torque would their be on that mast, or do you think the ships size would be sufficient to keep it in place?

    Thanks, Clarke

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    Replies
    1. http://www.pirateshipplayhouseplans.com/

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    2. I would imagine that you will have to guy wire anchor the mast to the ship and also anchor the ship to the ground. There is a tremendous amount of pulling force put on the cable while riding the zip line.

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  140. We are having a zip line installed now. Our kids are ages 3 and 5, Do you think a full body harness is needed or a half harness?

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  141. We have a 200' long zip line that our 2 and 4 year old wear a half or sitting harness for. The main difference between the two are if your child were to throw themselves backward while riding they could go upside down in a half harness whereas the full body harness would keep them upright. As long as the harnesses are put on correctly you should not be able to fall out of either of them.

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  142. Ryan, what would you rec. For both pole and ground anchors for guy wires. I read that eye bolts for the post is not a great option due to non inline pull. Im using 8x8's for both ends, about 150' run with 3/8'' cable, max 300 lb rider. Im not fond of screw type anchors for the guys. Also, one more question - is the concrete really necessary if im placing the 8x8's 1/3 in the ground? TY!

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  143. We usually take 5' long metal pipes and drive them all the way into the ground at a 45 to the posts and attach the guy wires to that. Concrete is not necessary, but will help prevent rotting of the posts

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  144. Hi Ryan, I have read every single question and still can't find my answer and I'm hoping you can help. For Xmas I want to get the kids a zip line. Our back yard has a 250' stretch from one big tree to another. It's all downhill. It's gradual, but enough to sled down in the winter. How high would we start and end the line at? Is having a hill in our favor so we won't need to put the end of the line so high up? Also, can a zip line work in the cold MN winters too? Thank you!

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  145. What is the minimum distance you would recommend for a zip line?

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  146. We have sold a run as little as 10ft, but we recommend starting with a 50ft run to give you a good distance for zip line fun!

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  147. Ryan:
    Can I get your experienced opinion? I'm putting in a 60 ft line for my 4 yr old. My trees are too thin to use (7 in dia. at most), so I want to use square steel tubing 2x2. I will weld a support beam of steel tubing at a 30 degree angle going down to the ground under the wire. I am figuring a 3 ft drape when laden and want at least 6 feet between wire and ground at all times. Is 12 ft too high to start this line? If I start 12 ft, should I bury my posts 6 ft deep?
    Thanks,
    Adam.

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  148. If i make a 200' zip line can i use 1/4" galvanized steel cable? Would that be safe for a 150pound people.

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  149. Absolutely! On a 200' zip line using 1/4' cable, that will you give a weight limit of 250Lbs and a distance of up to 250' ft. in Length.

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  150. If I wanted to build about a 1500 foot zipline across relatively flat terrain with a landing at ground level to be used by adults what would be the minimal elevation at the top end to have a decent (albeit tame) ride? This would be a commercial app (and I'm spit balling here) so its a given that anchoring would be concrete/heavy duty and the wire would be 1/2 in (or whatever is needed). Rough Guess? 60 feet altitude at the launch end?

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  151. Hi,
    60ft would be a 4% drop. That would give you a slower run and would be perfectly fine. The average commercial application is at 75ft with a 5% drop. 1/2" cable would be plenty sufficient. Just let us know if you have anymore questions!

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  152. Hi, Great blog. I have a flat backyard and a 100' line. I'll build a platform to start out with and at the end if needed. Do I need a 6x6 to anchor it or will a 4x4 do? On a 6% drop I'll need 6'. At what height do I want the line to end? Do I need a guy wire for a 100' line?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      We would suggest using a 6x6 post and yes it does need a guy wire or the post could bend. I would say your going to end your run around 7' high. Let us know if you have anymore questions!

      Delete
  153. Lots of good information. I'm getting ready to purchase a zip line kit and build my first zip line. Mine will be just over 200 ft and I plan on tightening it with a come along. I figure there will be some trial and error, but how tight do you recommend tightening the wire to start with?

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  154. I have installed a 165" zip line with a 10' drop. The cable is 5/16". Bottom end is attach to a large tree with two 5600 lb straps with hooks into the thimble. The top end is a 6" steel pole (schedule 40), cemented into the ground 5', 20" diameter hole, one yard of concrete. I have no room for guy wires behind the pole. Right now the pole is 11" above ground and I want to weld on another 4 feet. Do you think I will need 45 degree front brace for this line?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      Yes you will have to brace the pole somehow or the post could pull over. Let us know if you have anymore questions!

      Delete
  155. I'm looking into a zipline over a slope between two trees, probably a little over 250' long, 5/16" cable. I have a few questions.

    1) Which tree to use as the starting anchor? The downhill (end) tree is a huge oak, but uphill I'm trying to decide which tree to use. One option is a very large pine, but here in New England large pines are prone to blowing over in storms (not strongly rooted) so I'd rather use one of the oaks. Of those, the largest is not well-placed, so I'd rather not use it. The one in the best location is probably about 12" diameter where the cable would go around, probably 30' from the ground - most of the posts above are asking about shorter lines, so can you tell me with this length of zipline whether or not this tree would be adequate? How about if I were to put another cable from this tree to the larger one, to shift a large proportion of the horizontal force to a larger tree?

    2) Our slope is about 10-12' drop per 100'; I've seen many questions about minimum slope, what about maximum?

    3) Our riders are likely to vary in weight from ~80# to ~250#. Will a bungee braking system adequate for the upper limit leave a rider at the lower end hanging far from the landing ramp? Is there a way to have a primary braking system for most riders, with a stronger secondary system for those who are heavier?

    4) Any recommendations on an automated retrieval system to pull the harness back to the starting point when a rider gets out?

    Thanks!

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  156. how deep do you bury a wooden pole for a zip line?

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  157. Hi Ryan! Great info on ziplines. I think i have come down to it 1/4" cable over a 350' stretch over the cove of my lake. Its going to be portable and easy to take down. 30ft up the tree on one side and attached to a chain and pulley on the other side of my cove with either a cum-along or a tractor tighening up the wire for less sag. We have no intention of going all the way accross just dropping of in the middle of the ride into water so i see no need for a brake just a trolley line to get the trolley back up to the original higher side. Do you have any suggestions i should take into consideration. This is my first zipline. Plus do you have any recommendations on a trolley for the 1/4" cable?

    Thanks,
    John

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    Replies
    1. Sorry missed your question on here..
      We definitely do not recommend leaving your come-along on the line. There are too many points for failure. for a 350' zip line you will need to use 5/16" cable. 1/4" cable you can only go 200' in distance. All of our trolleys work on cable clear up to 1/2"
      Thank you, let us know if you have anymore questions.

      Delete
  158. 1/4" cable is way too small for 350'. I would use 5/16". And you really don't want to use a come a long as one of your anchor attachments. That is not going to be very safe. I would go with our torpedo trolley, it is our best seller and will last you the longest.

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  159. IM WANTING TO BUILD A ZIPLINE ACROSS MY POND ABOUT 250 FOOT IN LENGTH I HAVE A POWER POLE 17 FT TALL AT STARTING POINT, HOW HIGH WOULD THE ENDING POINT NEED TO BE ? THANKS MICHAEL

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  160. Hello - Looking to put a zipline for two 9 year old boys and 2 adults. WE do not have trees that would work in our backyard. Can you suggest a method by which we can build a platform or?? in place of the trees, maybe recommend a Video or diagram or?

    THANKS!!
    Laura

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, sorry missed your question on here...
      A lot of people use posts for their zip lines if they do not have trees. you would want to use a 6x6 or 6x8 depending on length. You do need to anchor the exposed part of the post using a guy wire.
      Let us know if you have anymore questions!

      Delete
  161. I am looking to install a zip line in our backyard and would like to use a wooden rainbow swingset as one anchor. Will this work? I could either do it from the cross of two 4x4's extending sideways from the cross, or from the top of the playset- wrapping around two 4x4's that are approximately a yard apart- at the top of a climbing tower- about 6 -7 feet from the ground. The play set is not cemented into the ground. Suggestions? Thanks

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  162. How far from a power line should a zip line be strung?

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    Replies
    1. Hi,
      We definitely do do not recommend being near power lines. Please try to set zip line as far away as possible. Let us know if you have anymore questions!

      Delete
  163. I'm going to set up a 600' zip line, how much feet change in elevation would be smart? I'm going to have a brake at the bottom.

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  164. Hi Ryan, we would like to set up a zipline for the kids (6 years +) 153 feet long. We cannot go higher than 7 feet on our tree since it is not as high (the stem is only appr. 6 feet high). Would that be enough? We have a nice slope and would get higher as we go. How much cable would you recommend and which kit? Is the basic enough? Do you sell something to protect the tree ( the tree is only 8 years old so hopefully the roots are strong enough? His height is maybe 25 feet ). Cable 1/4? My daughter is very excited and as soon as we get your answers, we are ready to order :)! Thank you

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    Replies
    1. Hi, you will need a 6% slope. You would be starting at about 17' and ending at 7' if your ground is level. You can nail a couple of blocks of wood on the tree and wrap the cable around that to protect the tree. 1/4" cable will give you a 250lb weight limit and up to 200' in length. So that sounds plenty sufficient for what you are wanting to do. We do have larger cable with higher weight limits. We do have kits that come complete with cable and hardware for installation. I would recommend our Black Raptor kit, with possibly adding a brake block kit, or our ultimate Torpedo kit. This is heavier cable and comes with the brake block kit. Here are a couple of links for you to look at. Let me know if there is anything else we can help with.

      http://stores.backyardziplines.com/-strse-64/Black-Raptor-Kit/Detail.bok

      http://stores.backyardziplines.com/-strse-37/Ultimate-Torpedo-Zip-Line/Detail.bok

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  165. Hello Ryan,

    i am building a 80' zipline in my backyard using 2 6X6 post for anchors. I am considering drilling a hole in each post about 1 foot from the tops and running the 1/4 cable through the holes and then attaching the cable to a heavy duty galvanized chain anchored 3-4' behind the post. Is that ok? or should i attach the cable directly to the post via eyebolts then just used the chain / cement anchors for guy wires?

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  166. We would suggest wrapping your cable around the posts and using forged clamps and then the opposite end using chain to attach the turnbuckle. Yes definitely guy wire your posts. Hopefully that helps, let us know if you have anymore questions.

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  167. Hi Ryan, We cannot use our Tree because its not high enough, so we need a post. Do we need a 6x6 post for 100 feet or could we use 4 4x4 poles and screw them together? 4 feet deep, and 8 feet up? Would that be good enough? Thank you for your help, we got your kit and it looks great!!

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  168. Hi,
    Thank you for contacting us.Either way will work just fine. You need to make sure to guy wire the posts to the ground. Let us know if you have any more questions. Glad you are happy with your kit! Enjoy

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    1. Hi Ryan, HOW do we guy wire the posts to the ground? It's only 1 post the other goes from our backporch (crosspiece), do we have to guy wire that as well? Thank you!!

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  169. People now a days are very adventurous and want their children to be the same. For that the people install the zip line in their backyard or in the garden area. The above blog comprising the various installation tips for the zip line is very effective and useful as well.

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  170. I have a 200 foot run from a playhouse to level ground. How high does the starting platform need to be,

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  171. Hi,
    for a 200' run on level ground you want to keep a 6% slope. So you would start you run around 19' ending at 7' your platform would be around 14' from the cable. Hope that answers your questions!
    Thank you

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  172. I am half-way through a zipline installation (100 ft long 6' drop). I am using 6x6 posts buried about 4' into the ground. The posts will be guyed with about 300 lbs of concrete as an anchor. Adults up to 200lbs will be using this. My concern is this: will the forces of the zip line be enough to move the concrete guy anchors? Should I use auger-type anchors instead? I want this to be very solid. I've read every post here, but haven't been able to learn if anyone here has ever had guy anchors pull out of the ground. For additional info, my soil is a dense clay. Thanks!!

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  173. Hi,
    Sounds like you have taken all the correct steps in making this as secure as possible. You should not have any problems with the anchors. However having the dense clay I would just make sure to keep an eye on the anchors. What size of cable are you using for the zip line? you would want at least 1/4" cable to accommodate 200lb weight limit. Let us know if you have anymore questions! Enjoy!

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  174. Hi. I want to install a zip line for my kids in my backyard but we only have one tree. how or what we can make in the other side ????. Thank you

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    1. Hi,
      You could use a 6x6 post for you other end. We would suggest you cement 3 to 4ft in the ground. The exposed part of the beam could bend, so you will need to guy wire the exposed part of the beam to the ground. Hope that helps!
      Thank you

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  175. Hi...getting ready to pull trigger on zip line....can I use Rainbow Swing set as one of anchors with tree on other end? I read somewhere that horizontal forces may be too much for swing stes but the Rainbows are heavy and well built. Maybe reinforcing the swing set to handle these forces would be in order?

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  176. Hi .building a 100 ft zip line using a 6x6x12 post for the starting point and a 6x6x16 for the ending point. Ending point will be 5ft and starting point 11ft. Poles will be burined 3-4 feert deep and both will have a guy wire. Will this work for adults and children?
    Also which would be better the black raptor or the hornet zip sit? The hornet is an all in one trolley vs the black raptor is a trolley and handlebar seperate. What are the pros and cons? I want the most reliable, smoothest, long lasting product.

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  177. 5' for an ending height is going to be way too low. You might get away with a 6' ending height. Otherwise your set up should work fine. The Hornet kit is going to last you longer, it has dual bearings and is a light more heavy duty.

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  178. To Anonymous on 12/1, I recently completed an installation similar to yours (I posted as anonymous on 11/6 above). I found the info on this site to be tremendously helpful, so I wanted to add my experience to the mix. We had no trees, so we used posts. The top post is a 6x6 (16 feet long) buried 4 feet and concreted into place. This post has a guy wire that is anchored by about 4 bags of concrete (80 lb bags) as well as an auger type ground anchor that was screwed into the ground about three feet. The bottom of the zipline has two 6x6 posts about seven feet apart with a 6x6 spanning them across the top (paralel to the ground). The upright posts are guyed with about three-four bags of concrete each. This design means the kids are not at risk of slamming into the end post, because they actually swing between the two uprights. If you want adults and kids to use this, start by setting your bottom height 8 feet off the ground and then set your top height about six feet higher (for a 100' zipline). We had a natural slope of about 4' between our posts, so I only had to add two more feet at the top post. The 8' bottom height means that adults will not be dragging their feet at the bottom (not too much anyway) and the kids will not be too far off the ground. On our zipline, adults use the handlebars on the trolley and the kids use a wooden seat attachet to a rope that hangs below the trolley (kids hold the rope since they can't reach the trolley). At the launch platform, I have two steps. The first is for adults to use and the higher step is for kids. We wanted the whole family to be able to use our zipline and didn't want to have to lift or catch kids. Everyone from about age 4 and up can use this without assistance (although there is always an adult present when the kids are on it). Additional info: this is a 100' zipline, we have very dense clay and the heaviest person to use the system so far is a little over 200 lbs. One last piece of advice, don't go with cheap hardware. I originally used cheap eye-bolts through the posts to connect the guy wires. They bent open as I tightened and tested the zipline. Make sure ALL of your hardware is rated for the significant stresses of a zipline system. Good luck and have fun!!

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  179. hello,

    I am tryiing to plan a zipline to go in at my house for the kids. the zip line would be approx. 375 feet in distance. where i want to start is up by the house which is about 1114' above sea level. i want to install the line with a platform on a 18' utility pole. the 18' pole would be in the ground 4' in concrete, that leaving 14' above ground. leaving the top of the pole elevation at approx 1128' above sea level. where i want to end is the tree house i built this past summer, the tree house has a patio about 8 ft above the ground. the elevation of this is about 1105' above sea level giving me approx a 23' drop from top of pole to patio on tree house. my question is with a distance of about 375' how high do i put the launch platform if my cable is attached at 13' above ground on the pole? and want to end with feet about 1ft above patio? the yard has a natural slope.

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  180. Ryan: I would like to do a zipline for my kids who are 6 and 8. I have a solid 6 x 6 deck post which supports the corner of our deck. I want to run a zipline to the back of our yard from this corner post. The run would be 90 feet. Do you see installations where people use deck posts? Also, there are no large trees in the back of my yard, so would it be possible to put a post in that would be secure and not move? If so, I would be able to get the starting point at 11' I'm not sure if that's high enough for 90 feet (I can actually get the cable to 9 and 1/2 feet and there is an 18 inch drop in the yard from starting point to ending point). If necessary, I could shorten the course by 10 - 20 feet. What do you think?

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    1. Hi, Thanks for contacting us. Yes quite a few of our customers use posts. Just keep in mind that the posts need to be guy wired (like how you see telephone poles) the exposed part of the post will bend. You need a 6% slope, so you could go with a starting point of 11' and ending at 6' that would give you a perfect and safe fun ride! Let us know if you have anymore questions

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  181. I just replaced thinner (and rusted) cable with new heavier cable. Zip line same length, drop approximately the same as before, run is about 75 feet. I have the Hornet ZLP trolley that I bought from you a couple years ago. After all was installed, the trolley does not go as fast as on the thinner wire.......noticeably so. Before I redo the connections to try to get it have less sag (it does seem as tight as possible), would like to know if the larger cable would cause the trolley to go slower?

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  182. It could possibly slow you down on a shorter run like that, the large cable has larger grooves in the cable and if you don't have enough speed to keep the momentum going, those groves could possibly slow you down. where as the smaller cable is smoother. Hope that makes sense! Let us know if you have anymore questions.
    Thank you!

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  183. Ryan- do you have any tips for what to buy for a ground anchor/ guy wire set? I'll have a 150' zipline wire (1/4"), ending up in a 6x6 that's cemented about 4' into the ground. I feel like I need some kind of guy wire behind the 6x6 so that I can keep the zip line tensioned well. I have heavy clay soil. Thanks! Great blog.

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  184. Ryan,
    I have a tree house in the backyard that I want to put in a zip line for the kids. I am going 200 ft but the drop is 25 ft in that distance. From what I am reading it sounds like that is too steep for a zip line? What would be a safe drop for this length zip line?

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  185. Hello Ryan,
    I have a 350ft span I would like to use 1/4 galvanized telephone strand with riders up to 220 lbs. would that be OK?

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