Flaws in Conventional Braking Methods Used in Zip Lines

Zip lines have been used in the past for transportation in many remote parts of the world. Nowadays, zip lining is a critically acclaimed sport which needs extensive safety precaution. It generally consists of a suspended pulley on a stainless steel cable that is mounted on a slope and a trolley that hold the rider. The slope helps the rider to slide from the top of the cable to bottom by gravity alone.

It is dangerous in the sense that the safety of the rider is at stake due to many reasons when riding a zip line. So it should be done at professional courses with top class equipments and safety precautions. Because of the altitudes and speeds of many courses, it is highly likely to get hurt. Therefore, it is important for the enthusiasts to have a better picture about it, and take all the safety precautions before jumping in for a ride.

Flaws in Conventional Braking Method

Twisting – Usually, trolley and safety harness are connected by a single point of connection. This could result in a twist depending on the position of rider, which causes discomfort in steering and stopping.

Whiplash effect – To minimize the effect of stopping, a block along with an elastic cord is affixed towards the end of the cable that helps the block to slide along easily. The block is connected to the elastic cord at one end and the other is fixed to ground. When the rider slides and makes contact with the block, the elastic cord connected to the block slows it down. The elastic rope could then catapult the rider.

Brakeman – To counter the whiplash effect, some people use a brakeman. Brakeman holds the elastic rope’s one end, and as the rider intercepts the block, the brakeman slows the trolley by restricting the rope. Yet sometimes the force of zip line could lift the brakemen from his feet, which would be even more dangerous.

Hand braking – The rider is provided with a gloves to apply friction on the rope and thereby bringing the trolley to halt. However, this could result in hand sprain and injuries.

Improvement in Braking System

The shortcoming of conventional breaking methods was eliminated by introducing advanced zip line brakes. With the addition of proper zip line brake system, better control over speed could be achieved, and major flaws in the conventional system could be eliminated.