How to Make a Zip Line Course in Your Backyard

It is a common belief that zip line construction is an easy job. However, to make a safe zip line, it is necessary to know the various steps involved in the procedure and have a better picture about it. Here are some steps involved in making a zip line in your backyard.

Zip Line Design

The main criterion of the zip line is the length. Usually, it is the distance between two trees or poles in which you are about to install the zip line. An additional 3% or so is added taking sagging into account.

Because the two poles or trees are subjected to force in the middle it is preferable to give support on both ends for extra safety. The height to which the zip line should be installed depends on the sag used on the zip line or the weight of the rider.

Connecting Zip Line Cable

The cable is connected to the ends by means of either bolting or wrapping depending on the tree or pole. Both have its ups and downs though. Wrapping enables you to have easier inspection of the cable. Drilling is not necessary and adjustment doesn’t require drilling of new holes.

Bolting doesn’t girdle the tree like wrapping does, and the blocks used to spread the cable comes out because of the hindrance to the growth of the tree.

Zip Line Installation

Zip line installation is generally done in two approaches: top method and bottom method. In the top method, an end is chosen temporarily at the top pole and then the cable is unrolled downwards. An estimated height at which the lower end should be connected is assumed. If both are found to be same then the top end is attached to the same point permanently. In the bottom method, the height for the landing spot is set first and then the top pole is bound accordingly.

Zip Line Brake

Braking is an important aspect of zip lines. Most zipline kits available in the market have good zip line brakes. There is a wide variety of brakes available depending upon the type of inclination.


It is the final and most important step, and has to be done before trying the ride. Connect the trolley and a mass equivalent to that of the rider to test the run. See if everything works as expected. If not, make appropriate adjustments.