Ziplines are an amazing pastime that is growing in popularity across the globe. Some ziplines sail across city streets, through canyons, and over ponds. You probably have one close to you. But do you have one on your own property? You can easily learn how to build a zipline in your backyard, and you’ll never have to pay to use one again.
It’s not too complicated — knowing how to build a zipline in your backyard — as long as you have the tools and the passion for building something fun for your family. Just keep in mind that safety is your number one priority when building anything. Also, keep in mind that children using a zipline require constant and vigilant supervision.
What Exactly is a Zipline?
Did you know that the zipline was originally invented to transport items from one place to another? In the mountainside areas of China, things marked for transport down the mountain were put on an archaic form of zipline and sailed down the mountainside.
Ziplines have evolved over the years for more recreational purposes and have actually become quite the tourist attraction wherever they are. Once people learned how much fun they could have soaring fast down a hill or over a body of water.
Ziplines typically involve a cable, suspended across a downward incline with a pulley and a harness attached for a human rider. After getting locked in, gravity pulls the rider down at increasing speeds.
The Benefits of Having a Zipline in Your Backyard
After you learn how to build a zipline in your backyard, you and your family will have countless hours of natural, healthy fun. But that’s not the only benefit that comes from a zipline. A zipline is considered a physical activity, so gravity doesn’t do all the work.
Just building the zipline in your backyard should burn some calories, but spending some time in the harness going back and forth does a surprising amount for your body. A lot of outdoor activities do great at burning excess fat, and something fun like riding a zipline is no exception.
Speaking of great physical activity, a zipline is actually great for your cardiovascular system. It gets your heart beating, blood flowing, and lungs healthy. Ziplining also relieves stress and lowers blood pressure, so your heart will thank you.
Merely having good old fashioned fun is healthy on so many levels. Using a zipline is fun and exciting and causes endorphins and other happy hormones to flood your mind. Even after you’re done riding the zipline, those hormones will continue to pump throughout your body. A happy mind is a healthy mind. So our advice is to have as much as fun as possible, and everything else will fall into place.
Learning How to Build a Zipline in Your Backyard
Remember, before you start building your zipline, keep in mind that you must consider safety every step of the way. There are plenty of ways you can learn how to build a zipline in your backyard safely.
But equally important, you’ll need the right backyard. Walk around the area and observe if you have enough room to properly install a zipline. For example, make sure you have sturdy places to attach the ends of the zipline, like trees or poles. As long as they can hold the weight of an adult.
You can’t even think about starting a project without having the proper tools first. You need to make sure you have clamp sets, carabiners, super glue, circular saw, router table, climbing pulley, wrench, and a drill.
You’ll need the right supplies before you can start learning how to build a zipline in your backyard. The right DIY zipline supplies are actually really easy to find at most hardware stores, like Home Depot or Lowe’s. But most importantly, you’ll need a pulley system, as well as a rubber hose, steel cable, small PVC pipe, paracord, cutting board or wood, eye loop, and bungee cords.
Once you have all this stuff together, you can finally learn how to build a zipline in your backyard.
Choosing the right trees
Remember, you must first find a secure area to attach the zipline itself. It can be a tree or a pole, but if it’s in your backyard, it’s likely a tree. You’re going to need a rather strong tree, maybe an oak, to support the weight of an adult. If the tree is too weak to support your weight, it can break or become uprooted. In either case, choosing the wrong tree can be a dangerous mistake.
Once you find the right tree, you’ll need three of the clamps and your cable. Wrap the cable around the tree and slide the clamps onto the cable so it’s nice and secure. You’ll need to attach the cable high enough into the tree so that it creates a decent decline to its destination. You might want to slide a rubber hose through, so you don’t damage your tree in the process.
To properly secure the cables to the tree, you’ll need to loop the cables into the clamps after wrapping them around the tree. Then tighten the clamps by fastening the screws. If you have an excess of cable, you can push them through the clamps as well, and they’ll stay in their nice and secure.
Now you can do the same for the other tree on the other end. Wrap the cable around the trunk nice and tight and make sure it’s at a good angle with the other tree. Remember, the steeper the incline, the faster your zipline will go, so be careful.
Prepare the hardware
One of the first things you should start working on after the line is set up is the slide handle. The slide handle is what you hold on to when you sail down the line. If you want to know how to build a zipline in your backyard carefully, you must take extra care with this piece. Even though it’s a tiny piece of wood or plastic, it needs to support your weight.
Cut the PVC pipe or wood at about 40 centimeters or long enough for you to hold on to and be comfortable. Then make a mark about two inches in on each side. That is where you’ll drill the holes for the rope, so keep that in mind. Tie the cord into a knot to form a double loop.
Then you want to take the cutting board and make the breaks. You’ll do this by cutting it into four pieces all in equal sizes. Using the router table, make a groove in the center for the cable to run through. Stack the four pieces up and drill four holes, one on each corner. That will be for the screws.
Attach the cables
Take the cutting board brake you just created and place it over the cable. The cable should fit snug in the groove you made in the center. Screw in the screws in the holes you drilled in the corners. You can use the super glue right here to make sure everything stays in place, but make sure everything is where it should be before you use that.
Using the bungee cord, attach the break to something stationary. That is for stability so that you can safely reach a halt.
Attach the pulleys
Once you learn how to build a zipline in your backyard, this becomes an easy step, as all you have to do is place the pulley over the cable and attach the carabiner to secure it. The carabiner is where you’ll attach the handlebar, or slide handle, you’ll hold on to as you ride the zipline.
You can add a second carabiner to extend the height of the slide handle. This is for smaller children to use the zipline. Remember, whenever there’s a child who is using the zipline, make sure you are keeping a close eye on them so they don’t hurt themselves. As we stated before, consider safety every step of the way while you learn how to build a zipline in your backyard.
Test the zipline in your backyard
Now comes the most fun part in learning how to build a zipline in your backyard: the test. We recommend that you try testing it yourself before having a child do it. Have some fun, but make sure that it’s working properly.
Follow these steps in the proper order to learn exactly how to build a zipline in your backyard the right way so you don’t have to go back and repeat some steps.
Be Safe and Have Fun While You Learn How to Build a Zipline in Your Backyard
Having a zipline in your backyard will give you countless hours of healthy, awesome fun that will get you and your family out of the house. Learn how to build a zipline in your backyard right away so that you can share this fun experience with the whole family.
Always make sure that you take proper precautions before starting a project like this. You’ll never regret putting a properly built zipline in your yard, and your family will thank you. We recommend that you read through the steps several times before attempting to complete the project. Even better, have someone there with you to help out. Have fun and be safe.