When you travel to an EBL tour, you can expect the following to be generally true at each of our locations. Be prepared to experience some regional differences as no two tours are a like.
- In most cases the person can be a minor if their parent or guardian is present with them on the trip and can sign the minor's waiver form.
- The minor (in most cases) is at least 80 pounds, has a level of maturity that would allow them to follow directions while high off the ground.
- Has a fair to good level of focus. There will be times of rest and relaxation on the tours while at height. During this time, information can be gained about the local area and interaction with other tour participants.
- Able to reach the various safety clip in points. All of the time the zip line / canopy tour guides will handle the safety clip in point, but it helps if the participant is able to climb around and reach hand holds and cables during the tour if necessary.
- Type of harness: Not all harnesses are designed for smaller children. The harnesses will fit most sizes and can easily accommodate our operational weight range of 60 - 270 pounds. The harness breaking strength is roughly 7,000 pounds.
The zip lines themselves can be very long and designed to operate within a minimum and maximum weight range. The lightest weight range course that I am aware of is about 50 pounds.
Lastly, keep in mind that not all zip line tours are the same. You will have canopy / tree top tours and you will have what we coined "zero elevation" tours. While a canopy zip line tour is just that, in the trees amongst the canopy, "zero elevation" tours start and finish at ground level. These tours are designed to zip you over natural features, off cliffs, and/or down stream beds.
Some Safety Tips!
Ladies, braid and tuck your hair inside your helmet or shirt. This helps keep your hair from getting caught in the pulley during your rides. So, any piece of hair, clothing, necklace, jacket hood draw string, or other items should be secured and kept away from the pulley.
Don't grab the cable!
On the U.S. tours we have installed, the systems use a passive breaking system, thus, no hand braking is required. This means that you don't have to manage your own speed and are safer by the design of the tour. Your trained guides will attach you to the pulley (19,000 pounds) at just about an arm's reach away form the cable. One could still reach the cable, but you have no need, so just keep your hands off the cable and enjoy the ride.
One zip cable or two?
There is a recent trend in the market today to install dual cable zip lines. EBL has examined this trend and the pro's and con's of a dual line cable system. We have determined that if engineered correctly the first time, there is no need for a second cable. We believe there is no need to complicate the system by installing twice the product for the added opportunity for something else to go wrong or get entangled. In short, Keep It Simple! If it helps, think of going on a canoe trip and thinking if one life vest is safe, two must be better. In the end, it really isn't very practical to wear two life vests, nor is wearing two helmets while riding your bike. EBL promotes a thorough inspection schedule and utilizes 26,600 pound test cable. All of our designs are engineered, wet stamped, and comply with the Professional Ropes Course Association (PRCA) zip line installation standards.
Hanging upside down creates safety concerns for the tour guides. One, it puts your feet over your head and you run the risk of passing out. It also puts your shoes and shoelaces up by the pulley and they could get caught in the pulley wheels. Think about hanging up side down from your feet for about 10 minutes while a guide comes out to assist you down. Also, outside of a full body harness, no manufacture that we are aware of endorses a seat harness to be used while upside down. Overall, it is just considered poor practice and should be avoided.
Eat and Drinks!
You should eat and drink something about two hours before the tour but allow yourself 30 minutes without food or water just before the tour. You don't want to show up to a 2-3 hour tour and get hungry along the way. It is also hard to zip around with a loose water bottle in your hands. Good tours will have water station breaks incorporated within the tour itself. If you have a big meal just minutes before the tour, you may feel bloated and uncomfortable as you digest your most recent meal. If you have low blood sugar, pack a candy or energy bar for some fast energy during your trip.
Everyone wants to remember their trip. If you bring a camera, also bring the protective case and a means to secure it to your person while you have your hands busy holding onto your safety tethers. Dropping your $300 digital camera is never fun and often, you may not be in a position to recover it. If you do bring a digital camera, download all the other pictures from your trip to your laptop or Internet source before your tour. That way if you loose your camera, you don't also loose all your other vacation photos as well. Another tip would be to bring multiple memory cards for your camera. Then you could just swap out memory cards and protect other vacation photos.