I was recently helping a friend install a new roof on his garage. After we were done for the day, he asked me to check out his upgrades on his zip-line. Now, this is not your run-of-the-mill zip line that we all have installed between trees in our back yards… What, you don’t have a zip line in your back yard? Well, neither do I so read on… Wait, you don’t know what a zip line is? Well, let me show you! This video was taken last year at our church camp out. These great people, Kevin and Gail, host a church campout in their back yard for a church that regularly has over 1400 people in attendence on a Sunday morning. Of course there are many others that help, but they offer a lot of their time, and home, for this wonderful event.
Now that you know what a zip line is, let’s look more at Kevin’s upgrade, the new tower.
He built the tower out of treated pine and it stands 12 feet high with an additional 4 feet of railing above that. There is a ladder built into the side of the tower and a smaller platform to help hook the harness to the carrier. The cable itself is 500 feet long and normally about 20 feet off the ground. But, as you see in the video the contour of their yard takes the line about 50 feet off the ground. Kevin has taken the time to fully research this hobby and ensures us that the utmost caution has been taken to keep every rider safe.
As I was watching my 10 year old son hurl down the side of the hill on this thin steel line, I timed the journey at around 14 seconds. That translates to almost 25 miles per hour! Not bad, not bad at all… The following site has some good information about zip lines. http://www.ziplinerider.com/ However, I must say, please research this topic fully before attempting something this large. Also, it is my rule that the person responsible for building the thing, whether it be a zip line or a hammock swing, should be the first on the test it!
Enjoy and have a lot of back-yard fun!