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Building your backyard zip line

Posted on 14 February 2017

The best way to build a Backyard Zip Line

The zip-line trend is just starting out in the United States of America. Increasingly more zip-lines are being constructed every week, from ski resorts to journey parks. As a consequence, more and more people wish to understand just how to construct a zip line in their back yard in the home.

That's where we will assist you! Professional zip-line contractors aren't interested in yard zip lines, and if they were, you are looking at very high-priced services, commonly in the thousands or tens of thousands for a big one. So if you're inclined to construct a zip-line at home for yourself, the information and sources here may point you in the right direction.

Site Selection
Before installing your zip-line a suitable place should be chosen. You are going to require an obvious run way for the zip-line using a strong point on both ends, and enough pitch in the cable to launch your members from end to another. Even though there are comparatively few places in which a zip-line is unable to be set up, some places may offer a safer and much more pleasurable journey than many others.

Cable Drop

  • For zip lines with a braking system, the optimal difference in cable height between the start anchor and the end anchor is approximately 6% of the zip line’s length. (The zip line should drop approximately 6 feet per 100 feet of Cable.)

Cable Sag (Cable Tension is measured by Cable Sag)

  • The Cable, when bearing a test weight, should sag right below the end where cable is attached.
  • The sag of the cable needs to be approximately 2% of  your zip line’s total length. (2 feet per 100 feet of cable)
  • The sag is measured at the cable’s lowest point.

You may use a laser Level or a sight level to find a level line over your backyard. Have a friend assist you in measuring (A). The Elevation Change (C) of your terrain is (A) minus (B). Set your END ANCHOR HEIGHT based on THE SUM OF CLEARANCE (7 feet or greater) AND SAG.

Set your START ANCHOR HEIGHT based on THE END ANCHOR HEIGHT plus the DROP (6 feet per 100 feet of zip line) MINUS the Terrain ELEVATION CHANGE.


Typically backyard zip lines will be installed between two trees. These trees will need to be at least 12” in diameter.

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