I had never gone ziplining before. It has sort of been on my bucket list just because I was too heavy to be able to go for many years. So if there was something that I couldn’t do because of my weight, I try to make sure to do it now as a sort of celebration. It meant that I noticed the scale near the entrance where they put on your harness. I reveled in the fact that nobody was going to ask me to step on it to make sure I wasn’t too heavy for the cable.
All of the pictures of ziplining that I have noticed are of smiling, happy people in gorgeous surroundings. So I always sort of assumed that the point was a chance to get out into nature and see interesting things from a new angle (above), and that the cable was more of a means of transport from one area to another.
Boy, was I wrong! The point of ziplining appears to be the adrenaline rush of being on the cable itself! And, at least for me, I spent a whole lot of time concentrating on what I was doing, which didn’t leave a lot of room for pondering my surroundings.
The basic idea is this: you wear a harness that suspends you from a cable in a sitting position. You wear gloves, and your dominant hand goes around the cable behind where you’re attached. That keeps you from spinning while you’re moving, and you use it to brake at the end. Your other hand holds the rope you’re suspended from, maybe for stability?
Then you GO! It felt like I was moving way too fast along the cable, but clearly they have the angle set so that you’ll go the right speed most of the time. The guy at the other end waves you on and signals when it’s time to brake. I spent most of my time on the cable feeling like my hand was about to slide off, but did get the hang of it over time. Luckily they start you with some shorter ones that are sort of “practice” before you hit the longer ones.
The place where I went also had two “superman” cables, where you are suspended from your back in a flying position. This was nice- since you didn’t have to use your hands on the cable, I didn’t have to worry that I would screw something up, and could look around a bit more. I did get a few videos from those, although I kept spazzing and assuming the camera wasn’t recording and turning it off. The first superman line was about a mile long, and took almost two minutes to complete! The second one was about half that length.
Then, it was time for the “tarzan swing”. For that one, you walk across a bridge to a platform, get attached to a rope, and then jump (or are pushed) off. After a bit of freefall, the cable catches you, and you swing back and forth and eventually down to the ground. A few members of our group didn’t do the Tarzan swing. I reasoned that I had come this far, I might as well try it. But at the end of the bridge, you do have second thoughts! They opened the door, and I was falling through the air! It was such a terrifying feeling. Then the rope catches you, and that is a big thrill. From there to the bottom, it’s a lot of fun, and you land very gently.
In the end, I’m glad I did it, but I don’t think I’ll do it again. It’s just not my sort of thing. The tarzan swing, on the other hand, was a ton of fun, and I would do something like that again if I get the chance. But the ziplines, in the end, were about as nerve-racking as they were fun, at least for me. Give me a roller coaster any day.
Here are the videos that I took:
Tarzan swing. I couldn’t videotape myself (obviously), so this is a video of somebody who went after I did.