All You Need to Know About Zip Line Cables
Zip Line Cable
Most zip line cables are interchangeable, but which suits your needs? I'll break it down in this blog. The rule of thumb when buying zip line cables is the longer the cable line, the heavier the cable. When the rider is soaring down the line the cable must be heavy enough to support the load increase with the acceleration.
When buying zip line cables, I must also stress the importance of buying a quality product, remember, you will be putting your faith in this cable- sometimes it helps to pay a few extra dollars for peace of mind.
WARNING: Always buy cable that is designed especially for zip lines. Other cables may fray, create friction, or even break.
First, let's look at cable lengths.
For a 100' -200' zip line you're going to need at least a 1/4" cable, anything beyond 200' will need a stronger cable because it will not be able to support the live load.
All of our Alien Flier zip line kits utilize 1/4" cable, our specialty kits such as the Torpedo zip line (shown below) use 5/16". They can support a total weight of 350 lbs.
All professional Zip Lines and those longer than 200' use 5/16" or 3/8" cable, all professional cable lines use this as well.
You can choose your own zip line cable length and thickness with our DIY Zip line Cable Kit option.
For Example: If you were to assemble a 70' zip line cable in your backyard between two trees you would want to buy a cable that is 1/4" in diameter.
If you were assembling a 300' zip line over top of a canyon you would need at least a 5/16" cable, anything less and you would increase your chances of the cable snapping under tension.
One cable that you absolutely want to avoid is rubber or plastic coated cable wire. This can cause the line to get too hot and create friction which slows the ride and tears at the bearing of the trolley as well as the cable itself. In the worst case scenario it could heat the cable to a snapping point and injure the rider.
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