How to Easily Install Your Zipline Course

How to Easily Install Your Zipline Course

Are you looking to buy a zipline, but aren't sure where to begin? Some of the most common questions that our customers have are:

What measurements do I need?
How do I know the height difference between the start and finish points?
Do extra large trees make a difference?
Can we still set up the zipline if we don't have trees in our yard?

We have all the answers! Lets start with the basics.

Figuring Out Cable Length:

We sell various zipline kits that range in length from 40' to 100' and come with everything needed for set up between two healthy trees. If you're questioning the health of your tree, we recommend consulting with an arborist to determine the health of your trees. Additionally, attachment trees MUST be at least 38 in. (97cm) in circumference or 12 in. (31cm) in diameter. To ensure you are purchasing the correct Zipline cable length, you will want to measure the circumference of both trees, and then add that total to the distance between the two trees. Use a tape measure to ensure accurate measurements.

Circumference of Tree #1 + Circumference of Tree #2 + Distance between trees

Bear in mind that you'll want to make sure you have enough cable to touch both trees, and at least 5 ft. (1.5m) of extra cable left over at the finish point. More cable is always better than not enough cable as excess can be cut once the course is fully set up.

Example: If you have 2 trees that are 3' each in diameter and 36' apart, our 50' Zipline kit would work perfectly in that situation, and would leave you with about a foot of excess cable to cut. We also offer separate sling cables if you have larger trees.

Additionally, we offer our Tree Huggerz to protect your tree bark from possible damage. 

Zipline Course Setup:

The goal in setting up the course is to have the rider accelerate at first from the starting point, then at the last third of the course, start decelerating and reach the end of the course going slightly uphill (due to dipping/sagging of the trolley/cable as the rider progresses down the course). In most cases, the rider will roll to a stop at the end, but then roll back towards the middle of the course. Bear in mind that individual rider weight as well as terrain variations will have effect the speed at which they traverse the course.


General Set Up: Start point Height for Course (space between trees)

Course Length: 100 Ft. 90 Ft. 80 Ft. 70 Ft. 60 Ft. 50 Ft. 40 Ft. 30 Ft. End Point

Initial setting: 132 In. 126 In. 120 In. 114 In. 108 Ft. 102 In. 96 In. 90 In. 78 In. (from ground)

*This table is meant to aid set up, showing minimum heights. Adjustments for rider height and weight as well as terrain variations should be taken into consideration. At no time should the trolley hit the U-clamps at the finish point when testing. If so, lower the start point attachment height and retest.


If the course is sloping downhill, you need to measure how much to drop in inches at ground level it is from your Start Point compared to Finish Point and then subtract that from your starting point height. For example: Your course is 80 Ft., and you estimate the ground level drop is 24 In., you would need to set your Start Point height at 96 In. (120 In. less 24 In.). See chart for the maximum you can REDUCE your Start Point height. (NEVER HAVE YOUR START POINT LESS THAN 78 IN. FROM THE GROUND).


General Set Up: Start point Height for Course (space between trees)

Course Length: 100 Ft. 90 Ft. 80 Ft. 70 Ft. 60 Ft. 50 Ft. 40 Ft. 30 Ft. End Point

Initial Set Up Start Point (In.): 132 In. 126 In. 120 In. 114 In. 108 Ft. 102 In. 96 In. 90 In. 78 In.

Maximum Slope Height Reduction: 54 in. 48 In. 42 In. 36 In. 30 In. 24 In. 18 In. 12 In.

*Every course is different, examine the course clearances so the riders feet do not drag near the end of the course.

If you are attaching your Zipline to other types of posts or poles, you must consult with a qualified engineer as suitability of the "side load" strength is required.

Mandatory Maintenance:

Replace your Zipline sling and course cables after every 12 months of normal use. Check your installation before each use. Check over all hardware and replace if you see any of the following conditions:

Frayed: Cable strands visible and unraveling.

Crimped: Gaps in the strands where the cable was crimped.

Rust/Discoloration: Cable is rusty, orange, weathered or dull.

Trolley Grips: Check for looseness, peeling or other deterioration.

Take down your Zipline cable when play season ends or when not in use for a long time. This will help prevent rusting of the cable and unsupervised usage.

Each Zipline kit comes with detailed instructions which elaborate further on what is touched upon on this blog post.

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