How To Build/Make A Zip Line, Zip Line Cable, Zip Line Brake: BackYard ZipLines

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Backyard
Zip Lines
Backyard Zip Lines Install Instructions
This is a description of some of the basics about zip lines and methods for installation. No information provided by Backyard Zip Lines, LLC or ZLP Manufacturing, LLC shall be viewed as professional instruction or advice. All written or spoken material is opinion and does not guarantee safety. All persons are wholly responsible for the safe selection, installation and operation of their play equipment. Obtaining professional advice and instruction when installing your zip line is strongly encouraged.
Step 1 - Locate Anchors
Make sure you have two solid anchors to attach the zip line to (for example 2 trees), they are suitable enough to allow about a 5-6% drop in cable (that is a 5’-6’ drop for every 100’ of cable), and they allow a clear path for the rider. If there isn’t a clear line you will want to do some clearing or trimming until it is safe for the rider. Usually you want a minimum of 6’ of clearance all the way down the zip line path.

Cable sag is also something to consider when determining the height of your zip line. On average you will see about a 2% sag (or 2’ for every 100’ of cable). The cable sag measurement is only used to give you an idea of how low you will hang while on the zip line. Use this measurement to determine whether or not you will have enough ground clearance while riding. 
Step 2 - Determine Cable Ending & Starting Attachment Height
Figuring out the cable height for your zip line is an important step. You want to get it high enough to not hit the ground while zip lining, but low enough to make it as safe as possible for riding. Every zip line will be different depending on the land layout and distance traveled. For example we will set up a 100' zip line between 2 trees on level ground. It is easiest to decide the end height first and then figure out the starting point. In most cases 6' – 8' at the end will land you really close to the ground. In our 100' example we are going to end the zip line at 7' high. Make a mark on the ending anchor at this point to let you know where the cable will be wrapping the anchor. 
The ending point of the zip line usually won’t change, because you will always want to end on the ground. The starting point of the zip line will typically determine the speed and safety of the line. The less drop you have in cable height from start to finish the slower it will run. If you are going to use the zip line without a ‘Brake Block Kit’, then we recommend using a slower run or leaving slack in the line to the point that you are travelling uphill at the end of the ride working as a natural brake. 
Now to find out the height of the start of the zip line we will add the 7’ ending point plus the 5% - 6% drop (in our example with a 6% drop: 100’ x .06 = 6’ ). This will give us a starting height for our zip line of 13’ off of the ground. Mark the starting anchor at 13’ high. This is where the cable sling will wrap around the starting anchor. 
For determining cable height on a sloped grade you can subtract the amount of slope from the starting cable height. For example, If your property slopes 2’ over your 100’ long zip line then you can subtract the 2’ from the 13’ starting height. You would then in this situation start at 11’ high and end at 7’ high. Install the zip line on a slightly sloped grade keeps the riders closer to the ground and
makes the ride a little safer.
Step 3 - Setting Up Starting Anchor
If your going to use boards or a rubber hose to protect a tree or anchor, install those now. Wrap the cable sling around the starting anchor at the mark you made in Step 2. Sometimes it helps to put a few nails in around the anchor to keep the chain in place. Next extend the turnbuckle and attach one end of the turnbuckle to the loose ends of the cable sling and tighten down the bolt. Then attach the thimble end of the zipline cable and attach it to the other end of the turnbuckle.
If your going to use boards or a rubber hose to protect a tree or anchor, install those now. Wrap the loose end of the cable around the ending anchor at the mark made in step 2. Pull the cable around the ending anchor as tightly as possible towards the starting anchor. Having a partner to pull the cable tight or using a come along while you tighten the clamps is very helpful.
Put the cable clamp around the cable and the loose end, making sure the u-bolt part of the clamp is on the dead end of the cable (the end that was pulled around the anchor). Tighten the first clamp 3 or 4 feet from the ending anchor. Next loosely put the next clamp on the cable on the anchor side of the first clamp. Slide the clamp about half way toward the anchor then tighten at this point. Next put the last clamp on the cable on the anchor side of the second clamp. Slide the clamp as close as you can get it to the anchor. Tighten at this point.
Step 4 - Wrapping Cable Around Ending Anchor
Step 5 - Adjust Sag
Use a wrench to adjust tightness of zip line. Sag can be used to your advantage at this step to slow down the rate of the rider at the end of the run. A tighter zip line may give you more consistent speed throughout the length of the run.
Step 6 - Install Safety Loop
Thread the Safety Line through the chain sling ends and zipline thimble as shown, then attach the Safety Line to itself as shown with two u-bolts about 4” apart.
Step 7 - Attaching Accesories
Below are instructions for attaching the various attachments that come with the different zip line kits, please refer to the instructions that best fit your kit.
Black Raptor Zip Line Kit
Attach the seat to the carabiner, then saddle the trolley over the zipline and attach the carabiner to the trolley. Verify the carabiner is not looped around the zipline and the trolley rolls smoothly along the zipline.
Hornet Zip Line Kit with or without seat
Rotate trolley handle to open interior plastic spacers and place trolley over zipline. Rotate trolley to close plastic spacers over zipline and entrap the trolley to the zipline. Attach the seat to the carabiner, then attach the carabiner to the trolley. Verify that the carabiner is not looped around the zip line and the trolley rolls smoothly. Tighten carabiner safety catch as shown.
Torpedo & Ultimate Torpedo Zip Line Kits
Attach the Seat to the first carabiner, then saddle the trolley over the zipline and attach the first carabiner to the trolley. Then, attach the handle to the second carabiner and attach the second carabiner to the trolly as well. Verify the carabiner is not looped around the zipline and the trolley rolls smoothly along the zipline.
Harness or Safety Harness & Lanyard Accessory Kit Instructions

Our Harness Kit is recommended for use on zip lines that carry the rider over 3’ above the ground or for smaller children riders. These can easily be added to your existing zip line without taking down the cable or trolley. No information provided by ZLP Manufacturing shall be viewed as professional instruction or advice. All written or spoken material is opinion and does not guarantee safety. All persons are wholly responsible for the safe selection, installation and operation of their play equipment. Obtaining professional advice and instruction when installing your zip line is strongly encouraged.
Step 1 - Orient & Step into Harness
Grab the harness handle and step through the right
side opening with the handle and harness logo in front and away from you as shown. Note orientation of buckles in picture.
Step 2 - Step into the other side
With your left foot, step through the other side of the harness as shown. Again, note the orientation of the buckle to your leg as shown in the picture.
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Step 3 - Lift & tighten right leg strap
Step 4 - Tighten left leg strap
Step 5 - Tighten waist strap
Tighten the right leg strap so that it is secure around the top most portion of your leg. You may need to push some slack through the right leg buckle in order to tighten the strap around your leg.
Tighten the left leg strap so that it is secure around the top most portion of your leg. You may need to push some slack through the left leg buckle in order to tighten the strap around your leg.
Pull up on the harness so that the leg straps are secured into the groin, and tighten the waist strap so that it is secure. You may need to push some slack through the waist buckle in order to tighten the strap.
Step 6 - Attach Carabiner onto Harness & Trolley
Hook the carabiner onto the lanyard, and then onto the trolley as shown. Regardless of the type of trolley you have, the carabiner will hook through the slots below
the line. If you are using the double harness, only attach carabiner on the shorter leg of the double looped side as shown. Tighten carabiner catch by turning the locking collet.
Step 7 - Attach Carabiner onto Harness 
Hook the carabiner onto the bottom of the lanyard, and then onto the handle of the harness as shown. Tighten carabiner catch by turning the locking collet.
Step 8 - Safety Lanyard only - Attach Safety Loop
Hook the carabiner onto the lanyard, and then onto the zip line as shown. For the Torpedo Trolley, place carabiner through safety through holes. Tighten carabiner catch by turning the locking collet.
Brake Block Kit Installation Instructions
Our Brake Block Kit is recommended for use on most zip lines in order to slow down the rider at the end of the zip line run. These can easily be added to your existing zip line without taking down the cable. No information provided by ZLP Manufacturing shall be viewed as professional instruction or advice. All written or spoken material is opinion and does not guarantee safety. All persons are wholly responsible for the safe selection, installation and operation of their play equipment. Obtaining professional advice and instruction when installing your zip line is strongly encouraged.
Step 1 - Disassemble Brake Block
First, use a wrench and unbolt the 4 bolts holding the brake block together and pull brake block apart.
Step 2 - Install Brake Block
Bolt the brake block together closest at the end of the zipline ‘in front’ of the Trolley, with the zip line cable running through the middle. Make sure the eyebolt is closest to the end of the zip line to avoid contacting Quicklink with some Trolley Handles.
Step 3 - Locate anchor & choose Bungee length
Preferably, use a solid anchor such as a tree that is 5’ to 10’ off the side of the zip line, and 20-30’ from the end of the zip line. You can adjust the length of the Bungee to accommodate the location of an existing anchor as long as the Brake Block naturally rests halfway between the end of the zip line and the Brake Block anchor after installation.
Typically the bungee will stretch to double its length and will be adjusted depending on the speed and weight of the rider while travelling on the zip line. 
You can install the Lag Screw Eyebolt in the anchor tree, attach to a 4x4 set 3 feet into the ground, or install the Ground Anchor Accessory at the chosen location.
Step 4 - Attach Bungee
Make a loop in one end of the Bungee and attach a Quicklink to it, and then to the Brake Block. Close and secure the Quick Link. Take the other end of the Bungee and create a loop at a location that will make the distance between the two loops half the distance of that between the anchor and the ending tree, then attach the remaining Quicklink to the newly created loop in the Bungee, and then to the anchor.
Verify the Brake Block naturally rests halfway between the end of the zip line and the anchor after installation, and that the anchor is
off to the side of the zip line 5- to 10’ so you don’t run into the Bungee Rope when riding down the zip line.
Step 5 - Test Run
Make sure and test your brake block using your trolley and weights before you ride. The Bungee Rope will probably need adjustments depending upon the weight and speed of the riders. The easiest way to adjust the brake is to unscrew the anchor and move it to a new location when using a Ground Anchor, or you can change the length of the Bungee