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Zipline Safety – Automatic Braking Systems

Oahu Zipline - Kualoa Ranch Zipline Safety Equipment

Ziplining has come a long way from its early beginnings as a means of transportation in rocky, mountainous terrain. It ranged from boring transportation to the harrowing Tyrolean traverse, which is basically vertigo on a string. Slowly but surely, biologists and other thrill-seekers began to use ziplining as fun, an exciting way to fly over the forest floor.

Still, the setup was crude: a glove and friction were your only means of slowing down. Imagine hurtling toward a tree with your life depending on your hand strength! Undoubtedly, the early days of ziplining were about as safe as mountain climbing.

Thankfully, someone saw the potential in commercial ziplining and thought, “We can do this better and more importantly, make it safer.” Unfortunately, whoever he or she was is lost in the fuzzy history of ziplining lore. Almost immediately, ziplining exploded onto the adventure tourism industry and has become increasingly popular, especially in picturesque places like Hawaii or Thailand. There is no better way to experience paradise than from 150 feet in the air going 30 miles an hour.

Oahu Zipline - Tyrolian traverse
Leave the scary stuff to the Marines!

Consider how far the technology has come. Long gone are the days of gloves and stomach-churning stops. Today the top ziplining companies use hands-free, impact trolley or magnetic braking systems that slowly, comfortably, and most crucially, safely bring riders to a halt after that adrenaline-pumping, high-flying ride.

An added benefit to the hands-free system is that it allows riders to film themselves with their hand-held devices while they soar hundreds of feet in the air. In Hawaii, this is a must, as our tropical forests and jaw-dropping scenic views are sure to be the envy of all your friends and family. But how safe is it really?

As with any type of sport or physical recreation, there are some risks, but most ziplining injuries that do occur are sustained on “amateur,” do-it-yourself ziplining kits or at commercial courses that don’t meet Association for Challenge Course Technology standards.

Rest assured—all of our courses meet or exceed every standard of the ACCT and our employees are a highly-trained group of friendly locals, happy to share that famous Aloha spirit. So come check us out and you’ll see a side of Hawaii even most locals miss!