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Zipline Lingo You Need to Know

Cliffside Zipline Course

Zipline Lingo

Zip lining is a popular activity for vacationers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. There’s a lot more to this aerial activity than just hanging on and zipping through the air. It’s the perfect activity for adrenaline junkies looking for something new, or anyone just looking for a little bit of adventure. If you’re new to the sport you might have some questions so let’s start with the basics, what exactly is zip lining?

Merriam-Webster defines zip lining as “an inclined cable or rope with a suspended harness, pulley, or handle, down which a person slides for amusement.” As it goes, this is a pretty basic definition so let’s delve into some details. At Colorado Zipline, our ziplines are more than just a basic ride down a line.

Zipline EquipmentWe start our adventure when you step foot at the outpost. A guide will show you how to properly equip yourself with your harness. They will then demonstrate the pulley system used to control yourself and your stopping ability on your zip line tour. It may seem a little scary at first with people throwing around words like “passive arrester system” or “capture block”. These are simply the terms used to explain the type of force used to stop and control the zip line.

You’ll then be transported to the aerial platform. This is basically just the platform you start and end your zips on. Your guide will show you exactly how to zip and you will be entirely in control. Gravity does have a lot to do with the speed, which is why we have weight minimums and maximums. These allow us to make sure you won’t go to fast but also to give a person enough momentum to keep going.

We take safety seriously and use only top of the line equipment such as pulleys, carabiners, harnesses, and hand brakes. You’ll also be equipped with a helmet and gloves to maintain the safest experience.

If you’re looking for more excitement, there is a 50 foot free fall element. The free fall requires zippers to walk out on a bridge attached to an autobelay system, then take a step off to free fall for a few seconds before autobelay kicks in and slowly lowers you to the ground. If this is an element you’d rather skip, there is an optional zipline to reach the base instead. We also have a skate zip similar to skateboarding where you “ride” through the air on a skate/surf board type base. If you are coming out with friends or family you’ll also have the choice to race them on our race zip!

Ask your guide about the terms they like to use; there’s a whole secret world to zip lining for you to find out about. Give Colorado Zipline a call at 855-ZIPPING to get your adventure itch satisfied with an exciting aerial adventure!


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