Installation and Operation F.A.Q.'s

This page contains answers to common questions handled by our support staff, along with some tips and tricks that we have found useful and presented here as questions.


How flexible is the installation of the Zip Stop System?

Installation of ZipStop is extremely flexible and can be configured to suit any existing zip line application or any future zip line design. The ZipStop system works in combination with ZipStop brake trolley. The trolley itself is connected back to the brake unit via a simple rope and pulley reduction system.

The reset position of the trolley determines the beginning of the braking zone and thus remains independent from the platform position and length. An estimated size of the “braking zone” can then calculated via a simple worksheet. The location of this zone can then be tailored to the individual zip line installation, allowing for infinite number of setup possibilities.

Additionally, a line reduction system can be configured to enable tuning of rider comfort and breaking distances. For example; if a design has riders entering the breaking zone below 22mph, an operator may select a basic 1:1 ratio. However if riders are entering the breaking zone at higher speeds or a more gradual deceleration is required, the operator may choose a 2:1 reduction ratio instead.

Does the Zip Stop have to be installed by a Accredited Installer?
No. Using the Operator Manual, a qualified person can configure and install the zipStop braking system, provided that the required engineering has been performed on the zip line ride and mounting points prior to installation. Note: that design; installation and operational training of the actual zip line must be carried out by a professional and experienced zip line installer / trainer (as specified by various State and Provincial Codes; ACCT, PRCA, ACA, AEE, BSA, ASTM, EN Norm, and other mandatory or voluntary standards - check with your regional laws/codes or insurance agent prior to installing a zipline or the ZipStop Brake without a third party Qualified Person.). If you need help finding a Qualified Installer, please call us at (877) 206-8967 - we have representatives throughout the USA and Internationally who can assist you.

  • Experiential Systems, Inc. (ESI) is an Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) Accredited Vendor for installation of Zip Lines, Aerial Adventure Parks, Challenge Courses, Ropes Courses, and Climbing Structures (indoors and outside).
  • Experiential Systems, Inc. is a ZipStop Manufacturer Approved Installer. As one of the developing partners in bringing the ZipStop to market no other company has as much experience with the design and installation of the ZipStop System.
  • Experiential Systems, Inc. employs certified Riggers and NAARSO Certified Amusement Ride Inspectors (only zip line installer to currently have this level of certification). Not only do we employ 3 NAARSO certified Inspectors - our company president is one of the NAARSO approved trainers for State Inspectors of Ropes Courses and Zip Lines; and is active in training other companies about US and Canadian amusement code as a representative of both ESI and the ACCT Government Relations Committee (GRC).
  • Experiential Systems, Inc. president Keith Jacobs maintains a position on the ACCT ANSI Consensus Group developing ANSI accredited standards for Challenge Courses and Zip Lines as well as a position on the ASTM F24.60 subcommittee developing ASTM standards for Aerial Adventure Courses and Zip Lines at Amusement Park facilities.

How often should the webbing and reduction lines be replaced?
Both the ZipStop webbing assembly and reduction lines are the most likely components to experience significant wear. As such these components must be replaced immediately if they are worn or damaged; or at 12 month intervals, whichever comes sooner. Daily pre-use inspection should be completed on these items (5 to 10 minutes). For Zip Lines with high throughput an additional webbing strap and reduction line should be on hand so as not to shut down operations.

For instructions on how to replace the webbing strap and reduction lines please see the ZipStop Operations Manual.

What is the weight range and speed for the ZipStop?
The actual zipline rider weight ranges will need to be determined by the installer / trainer for each individual zip line operation. Variables such as style and type of harness, platform heights, access to zip line, etc. will need to be considered in collaboration with your designer / trainer. The zipStop System will however accommodate riders between 33 and 330 lbs. It is necessary to know the acceptable rider weight range for each individual zip line before configuring the zipStop Brake on the zipline.

Participant arrival speed is unique to each zip line installation and is the result of a variety of factors including of line slope, zip line length, rider weight, rider descent position, type of harness, type of zip line pulley (trolley), wind and friction. The zipStop Brake Trolley will accommodate a maximum rider speed of 45 mph.

Zip Lines with rider arrival speeds of up to but not exceeding 22 miles per hour can utilize either a 1 to 1 ratio or the 2 to 1 ratio with line reduction system.

Zip lines with rider arrival speeds in excess of 22 miles per hour must use a 2 to 1 reduction system to control the impact forces on the zip line rider; trolley and complete system. The 2 to 1 reduction may additionally be used on slower zip line rides for a shorter breaking distance.

Does the ZipStop require a redundant or secondary zipline braking mechanism?
Yes, The complete braking system of any zip line installation utilizing zipStop components requires the implementation of a secondary braking system. While the zipStop is designed to be utilized as a primary and stand alone brake, the installer must utilize a secondary independent arrest device to protect against operator error and third party equipment failure. The zipStop can also be used as the backup braking system under the complete braking system. This is a requirement of the ANSI accredited ACCT Challenge Course and Zip Line /Canopy Tour Standards; the ASTM draft standards for Aerial Adventure Courses; and the EN norm for ropes courses and Zip lines.

Design and installation of the zip line, including the complete braking system, is the responsibility of the installer or operator and depending on location and type of installation SHALL be completed to one of the above standards. Any zipline installation that utilizes the ZipStop that is not completed to one of the above standards is in violation of the ZipStop Product Warranty. For more information on what type of redundant system might be best for your installation - please call (877) 206-8967.

Why use the ZipStop rather than a different zipline braking system?
The ZipStop Zip Line Brake System is engineered for a fine balance. It is able to handle the abuse of heavy impact collisions, yet light enough to increase the odds of reliable reset. Heavier systems (or those with higher built-in friction) will result in the increased frequency of a manual staff reset. And, while you should always have an attendant check that the line resets after each use, this reliability will increase safety, and decrease actual staff hands on work.

The act of rider/brake trolley impact can be loud and unsettling to participants, unless an effective bumper system is employed. The ZipStop Brake trolley employs a highly shock absorptive field replaceable bumper that is easily replaced when it wears beyond acceptable norms. This ensures the best possible rider experience.

ROI- The less staff involvement in the operation of your zip line the higher the throughput of riders and the greater (or quicker) the return on your investment will be. The ZipStop system helps you to increase this ROI by limiting staff involvement in braking participants through eddy current automation of decelerating zip-line riders.

How does the ZipStop reset?
The zipStop has an automatic reset function which is both quick and reliable when configured correctly in a standard 1:1 or 2:1 installation. It works on a simple spring mechanism which retracts webbing back into the unit once the rider has dismounted, readying the brake for usage again. On the rare occasion that obstructions may have prevented this reset, a quick visual inspection and manual staff reset is required prior to each ride. Obstructions may include supplementary lines or other objects that have become tangled in the system, preventing webbing from fully retracting.

How durable is the ZipStop Braking System?
The zipStop is extremely durable under “normal” operational usage of a high speed commercial zip line facility. The unit itself is designed to be weather resistant and remain operational even under extreme environmental conditions.

The non contact braking technology means that the unit has very few parts that will wear out. The casing which is made of aluminum alloy and internal parts which are made of zinc plated steel are both durable and water resistant. Rather than a having a completely sealed unit the zipStop has been intentionally designed to allow water to pass through without affecting operational performance.

The line coming from the zipStop is made from 20 mm Nylon Spectra webbing and is field replaceable; The brake trolley has an Aluminum Alloy casing, steel wheels and a field replaceable elastomer bumper.

What was the testing process in the development of the ZipStop Zip Line Braking System?A
n extremely comprehensive and structured testing program has been undertaken during the development process and a full evaluation made of the performance and endurance characteristics of the zipStop. This has included both computer simulation and physical testing throughout the research and development stage followed by a full Alpha and Beta Test Program.

Boundary conditions for testing were identified utilizing industry input. These boundary conditions included but were not limited to: varying weight ranges and arrival speeds of riders on high speed zip-lines, changing environmental conditions and different setup configurations including line reduction ratios.

A purpose built shortened zip-line arrangement was fabricated in New Zealand at Holmes Solutions’ ISO 17025 dynamic impact testing facility for undertaking many of testing requirements of this program. A specially designed test frame was built to house a data logger and configured to simulate a commercial rider trolley. The trolley was instrumented with triaxial accelerometers and 3 orthogonal gyroscopes for measurement of pitch, yaw, and roll of the carriage during the impact. Calibrated weights were attached to this trolley to represent different rider weights. The data logger recorded the initial G force of the impact between the trolley and the zipStop System.

Additionally, specific tests were completed within the material and components laboratory, on specially designed and calibrated test equipment.

Throughout the entire test program, test articles were subjected to thousands of repetitive dynamic loadings and all data was captured via data loggers and high speed camera footage, for analysis and interpretation .

In conjunction, an extensive Beta Test Program was also completed for zipStop prior to release. This program was used to gain further endurance data for the zipStop to supplement that obtained from internal testing. Additionally this program was also used to obtain confirmation of performance by the market. The Beta Test Program was a “real world” field trial undertaken by selected group of leading commercial zip line Installations during their peak operational period. Experiential Systems, Inc. was an active contributor to the initial design and beta testing of the ZipStop throughout its development and introduction to the marketplace.

If a zip line rider stops short of the platform can an additional retrieval system be installed?
Yes, an additional retrieval line may be rigged, as long as it doesn’t interfere with core functionality of the device. Additionally, if someone stopped short of a platform, the zipStop only provides about 10 lbs of resistance force. You would simply be pulling the participant in with minimal force, should you not have a supplementary line already installed.

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