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Expert Tips for Zip Line Brake Installations

Thrill Syndicate’s mission is to assist climbing facilities, adventure providers, and zip line operators in creating the finest rider experiences and improving operations. When we identified an opportunity to provide a braking experience that is both hands-free for the rider and easy and efficient for zip line guides, we created the zipSTOP Zip Line Brake.

Riders can enjoy the journey without having to worry about braking at the end of the line thanks to the zipSTOP Zip Line Brake. Guides are free to focus on giving the best possible visitor experience by without having to activate or reset the brake.

However, we didn’t come to a complete stop using merely a brake mechanism. Thrill Syndicate has also developed zip line trolleys, Gorilla Rope for use as reduction lines, and high-performance pulleys in order to provide the best possible braking. All of these items work together to provide the ultimate zip line braking experience.

At Thrill Syndicate, we understand that as a zip line owner and operator, you want your zip line to perform at its best. What you may not realize is that there are numerous methods to alter and configure your installation to get peak performance. It’s critical to properly install all aspects of your zip line for the maximum throughput, profitability, and rider pleasure. To get the best performance from your zip line, Thrill Syndicate Technologies recommends talking with a zip line builder or engineer during the installation process and checking for the following variables.

The first item on your installation checklist should be your reduction line. According to the zipSTOP manual, your rope must have a maximum diameter of 10mm, a minimum strength of 15kN, stretch less than 3% when 15kN of force is applied, have abrasion, water, and UV resistant, and be made of Kernmantle, or single braided construction. There are numerous ropes out there, and we realized that finding the perfect rope that combines all of these elements would be challenging, so we invented the Gorilla Rope.

The Gorilla Rope was created expressly to satisfy these needs, and it excels its competitors when it comes to impact braking applications that require a redirection point. One of the Gorilla Rope’s advantages is that it is highly hydrophobic; a unique sheaf repels water, leaving the rope unaffected in wet settings. When saturated in water, the Gorilla Rope, unlike many of its competitors, does not retain water. Water alters the behavior of your rope, which can have a detrimental impact on your braking performance and produce an inconsistent and perhaps dangerous braking condition.

It’s critical to match a redirection line with the suitable pulley once you’ve decided on one. The majority of pulleys used in zip lining are not suited for high-speed operation. Many have huge gaps on either side of the sheaf, or locations where the rope can become snagged or slip. Our redirection pulley is inspired by stunt pulleys, which are frequently required to perform at fast speeds. Our pulley is made to suit our Gorilla Rope flawlessly and avoids any gaps where the rope could get trapped, ensuring that your redirection line is always in the proper position for maximum performance.

Take note of how much slack is permitted in your redirection rope after installed after choosing your redirection rope and pulley. Your rider will come to an abrupt and unpleasant stop if there is too much slack. With the correct amount of slack, your visitors will have a better customer experience and more uniform braking between visitors of various weights and sizes. Finally, double-check that all of the zipSTOP’s components are properly configured. A twist in the webbing brake line can be seen here, which will obstruct maximum performance. To eliminate twisting or interference with your webbing line, you should install your zipSTOP. When you set up your zipSTOP brake with these considerations in mind, you’ll get the best performance out of your zip line braking system.

The line on the left is properly set up and installed with the correct components, however the line on the right has a thick, damp, sagging redirection rope, a lot of slack, a big pulley, and twisted zipSTOP brake webbing. Now watch how the rider on the right comes to a sudden and uncomfortably abrupt halt with the redirection rope swinging wildly about him, while the rider on the left brakes smoothly and gently. It’s clear that taking the time to ensure a perfect installation has a visible positive impact on your business.

Speed regulation and Safe Zip Wire Braking

Our self braking zip wire pulley solves the major safety issues around the controlled and safe braking situation at the end of high speed zip wire courses.  

Designed especially for steep, long and fast zipline courses, the MAG Brake Trolley allows for the development of long-distance zip-lines without a complex braking area. With that, we leave the smallest possible environmental footprint, by eliminating expensive and high maintenance constructions. With its internal braking system the MAG Brake zipline Pulley is able to handle a reduction of speed of up to 35%. 

All riders, independent of their weight and/or weather conditions (wind), will arrive at the same speed, allowing a safe and controlled braking situation.  

To learn more about the best braking installation and component options for your zip line, contact us.

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