FAQs

Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions concerning all of Head Rush Tech devices. Sort questions by product for the most relevant answers to your TRUBLUE, QUICKjump, zipSTOP, FlightLine, and Arboreal questions. If you can't find the answer you need, please email us with your question and we'll answer it for you.

Benefits/General

What makes the TRUBLUE better than other auto belay devices?

The TRUBLUE is the next generation of indoor and outdoor climbing auto belays. It uses advanced our patented magnetic braking technology that's not found in any other auto belay on the market. Other features include:

  • Extensive product and manufacturing testing: For over four years, the TRUBLUE auto belay went through extensive testing by an ISO 17025 accredited company specializing in product testing
  • No clutch bearing: The TRUBLUE has been engineered to eliminate the need for one-way clutch bearings, which eliminates a key potential point of failure that is present in other auto belay designs; it also eliminates the need to maintain and replace these mechanisms
  • Reliability with no sacrificial wear parts: Non-contacting magnetic technology with a reliable self-regulating backup system
  • Extended lifetime: Design criteria for number of cycles is much higher than other auto belays

What international safety standards does the TRUBLUE meet?

More testing by an accredited facility has been done on this product than any other auto belay in the climbing industry. The TRUBLUE Auto Belay is the only auto belay to meet the strictest international safety standards for fall arrest devices:

  • American National Standard ANSI/ASSE Z359.4-2007 'Safety Requirements for Assisted-Rescue and Self-Rescue Systems, Subsystems and Components'
  • Canadian Standard, CSA Z259.2.3-99 'Descent Control Devices'
  • Australian and New Zealand Standard, AS/NZS 1891.3 1997 'Industrial fall-arrest systems and devices – part 3: Fall arrest devices'
  • European Union Directive BS EN 341 'Personal protection equipment against falls from a height - Descender devices.'
How will zipSTOP affect rider conversion rates?

The zipSTOP facilitates a much larger rider conversion rate than other braking solutions in the market. The following are just some of the reason for this:

  • zipSTOP accommodates a wider weight range and increased rider comfort provided by the self adjusting braking force and therefore enables a far larger pool of potential riders
  • zipSTOP accommodates both higher and lower speeds on one line, enabling lines to remain operational when others cannot; for example, when there's a strong head or tail wind
  • zipSTOP has extremely low service requirements, minimizing down time significantly and enabling consistent traffic flow throughout peak periods
  • zipSTOP has the ability to deal with a wide range of scenarios including higher velocity zip lines through to mobile zip lines, which enables operators to expand potential venues and react effectively to current trends (like higher, faster, and longer zip lines)
Why use the zipSTOP with the Impact Trolley rather than a standard brake block?

The Impact Trolley 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 manual reset.

And, while you should always have an attendant check that the line resets after each use, this reliability will reduce risk. The act of rider/brake trolley impact can be loud and unsettling to participants unless an effective bumper system is employed. The Impact Trolley employs a highly shock absorptive sacrificial bumper that is easily replaced when it wears. This ensures the best possible rider experience.

How durable is the zipSTOP?
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 the internal parts, which are made 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 20 mm Nylon Spectra webbing and is field replaceable. The Impact Trolley has an aluminum alloy casing, steel wheels and a sacrificial elastomer bumper, which is also easily field replaceable.
Can I use a TRUBLUE Auto Belay instead of zipSTOP for zip line braking?
No, while the zipSTOP uses the same base technology and operates in much the same to way to the TRUBLUE, the design has been completely modified in order accommodate the higher loads and different operational parameters of a high speed zip line compared to that of a climbing wall. Use of the TRUBLUE for the purpose of zip line braking is dangerous and therefore prohibited.
How does QUICKjump compare to other free fall devices?

The QUICKjump Free Fall Device gives riders the sensation of a "free fall" while comfortably lowering them to the ground. It employs our eddy current magnetic braking technology to provide many benefits to operators and riders:

  • True free fall feeling: Our magnetic braking technology has been adapted to allow an initial rapid descent, giving the rider a true stomach-flipping thrill. Other systems require a relatively long ramp up period to get to peak speed and lack a true "free fall experience."
  • Consistently fun descent: The self-regulating braking system has minimal variation in the descent rate of a child (at 20 kg / 44 lb min.) and an adult (at 130 kg / 285 lb max).
  • Simple to install and easy to relocate: Compact modular unit designed to be hung from a top anchor. The QUICKjump can be moved easily to various locations. The only limitation is your imagination.
  • High throughput at a low cost: The QUICKjump is a great revenue-generating attraction. It retracts quickly and smoothly, allowing for more throughput than other free fall devices. Maximum throughput on the standard QUICKjump is 1 person every 40 seconds, or 90 people per hour. It is also much more affordable to own, operate and maintain, providing a high ROI relative to the competition. You can earn back the purchase price in as little as a few hours of operation.
  • Reliability with no sacrificial wear parts: Non-contacting magnetic technology with a reliable self-regulating backup system.
  • Easy to maintain: Other than regular self-inspection, the QUICKjump only requires an affordable annual recertification. Webbing is durable and field replaceable. Other devices require cycle counts, spring replacement and costly maintenance.
How do I choose an Arboreal Climbing System set?
Choosing the right Arboreal Climbing System set is easy. All you need to know is the height and circumference of your tree. The height of your tree is the maximum height you want to participants to climb. The circumference of your tree is the widest portion of the perimeter of your tree. If you're having trouble deciding check out these guidelines for choosing and ordering the right set for you.

Installation

Where can I find Product Manuals?
You can read and download all Head Rush Tech manuals here
How do I install a TRUBLUE Auto Belay on my climbing wall?

The TRUBLUE unit is simple to install and easy to relocate. There are several options for mounting your TRUBLUE Auto Belay. Please refer to the manual for complete installation instructions.

You can also watch our Installation help video.

What factors impact the dimension requirements of the landing platform?

The size and position of the landing platform will be influenced by factors beyond just the actual braking performance of the zipSTOP brake unit, and will vary between each individual installation. Some of these factors will be based on commercial decisions and others may be based on design constraints of the individual installation. These factors include but are not limited to:

  • Minimum and maximum arrival speeds into the braking zone
  • Potential rider weight ranges
  • Slope of zip line angle exiting the rider arrest zone
  • Required rider stopping comfort
  • Braking zone start point
  • Additional buffer size prior to terminal end (this buffer must accommodate emergency brake stopping range)
  • Variability of environmental conditions such as head wind or tailing winds

Please see the manual for complete installation and configuration details.

How do I determine an appropriate platform size and position?
A simple configuration worksheet is supplied in the manual and can be used to estimate the size of the "braking zone" including rider "arrest zone". By utilizing this information and combining it with the affect of other influencing factors, an approximate "proper dismount area" can be determined which in turn can used to help make decisions on platform size and position.
Can a retrieval system be added in case a ride ends short of the platform?
Yes. A supplementary 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.
Is an emergency arrest device required in addition to the zipSTOP?

The zipSTOP is one component of a well-designed zip line braking system. The complete braking system of any zip line utilizing a zipSTOP requires an emergency arrest device (sometimes called a backup brake or secondary brake). 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 brake. Design and installation of the zip line, including the complete braking system, is the responsibility of the installer or operator. Please see the manual for full details.

Does zipSTOP have to be installed by a certified installer?
No. Using the manual, a competent builder can configure and install the zipSTOP braking assembly, provided that requisite engineering has been performed. Note that design and implementation of an actual zip line must be carried out by a professional and experienced zip line installer. Contact us for a list of qualified installers.
How flexible is the install of the zipSTOP?

Installation of ZipSTOP is extremely flexible and can be configured easily to suit any zip line application. The ZipSTOP unit works in combination with ZipSTOP Impact Trolley, which is connected back to the brake unit via a simple line 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. Please see the manual for more information.

Does the QUICKjump require any precautions at the landing site?
A fall attenuation surface must be used and centered below the landing point of the device, extending a minimum of 5 feet in all directions. The surface must have the equivalent absorption of a 4 in thick reinforced foam crash pad. A larger surface may be required in windy conditions. The Head Rush Landing Pad meets the above requirements and can be purchased at the Head Rush Technologies Store. Refer to the manual for more details.
What are some ways the QUICKjump Free Fall Device can be mounted?
The QUICKjump can be installed in a wide variety of configurations, including a "leap of faith." The galley below offers some ideas, but the options are endless. Refer to the manual for complete installation instructions and load requirements.
What is the mounting height of the QUICKjump?
The QUICKjump Free Fall Device has a maximum mounting height of 12.5 m (41 ft) and a minimum mounting height of 8m (26 ft). Refer to the manual for more details, including minimum and maximum mounting heights for all of the devices in the QUICKjump family of devices.
Where can I use the QUICKjump Free Fall Device?
The QUICKjump can be used anywhere you need an exciting attraction with a high throughput and low operating cost. Ideal locations include amusement parks, resorts, adventure parks, zip line tours, ropes courses, malls, mobile attractions and more. The QUICKjump can be installed in a wide variety of configurations, including a "leap of faith." The options are endless. Refer to the manual for complete installation instructions and load requirements.
How do I install the Arboreal Climbing System?

The system is composed of three basic components: straps to fasten around the tree, base plates that fit anywhere on the strap, and handholds of varying shapes that easily attach to the base plates. Follow these easy installation steps to install Arboreal on a tree, pole, or column.

Operation

What is the descent rate of the TRUBLUE Auto Belay?
The descent rate of the TRUBLUE auto belay is approximately 6 ft/second (1.8 m/s). The descent is smooth with minimal variation regardless of climber weight.
Is there a way to slow the descent rate on shorter walls?
The TRUBLUE can be used on any size wall. However, some operators find that the descent rate is perceived to be faster on shorter walls. If that's the case, you should order the TRUBLUE with the shorter webbing length of 7.5m (24.6 ft). This shorter webbing will slow the TRUBLUE's rate of descent. This webbing can be installed with your order or it can be replaced by the owner in the field.
Can I use the TRUBLUE Auto Belay outdoors?
Yes. The TRUBLUE auto belay can be used indoors or outdoors. The TRUBLUE holds up to the elements and can be installed in an outdoor environment.
What are the weight ranges for participants to climb on a TRUBLUE Auto Belay?
The TRUBLUE has the widest weight range in the industry, making it the perfect option for any climbing facility. It accommodates a weight from 10 - 150 kg (22 - 330 lbs), making it possible to use the TRUBLUE auto belay for virtually every climber. The minimum weight of 10 kg (22 lbs) is the weight of an average one year old. By contrast, other auto belays have a minimum weight capacity of 34 kg (75 lbs), the size of an average 10 year old.
Does the deceleration vary based on rider weight?
Due to the zipSTOP’s proprietary self-regulating braking technology, the deceleration G-value is largely equalized between rider weights. While some variation exists (especially at higher speeds) this feature allows the widest range of users to participate in the activity. With other braking solutions, this deceleration can be much more jarring and much more pronounced – which vastly limits the potential audience. Use of a zipSTOP will not only increase the potential audience for zip lining activities, it will increase the actual experience, which can lead to higher rider conversion rates.
What are the rider requirements for the QUICKjump Free Fall Device?

The QUICKjump Free Fall Device should not be used by anyone that is/has:

  • Weight over 130 kg (285 lb)
  • Weight under 20 kg (44 lbs)
  • Pregnant
  • Any type of heart condition or heart-related issue
  • Any type of spinal injury or weak spine condition

If you have any physical or medical conditions that may affect your ability to ride, consult a medical professional prior to participation. Refer to the manual for more details


Maintenance

How do I log my inspections?
All devices and webbings should be visually inspected daily for wear, use, and safety as outlined in the manual. Depending on your device daily, weekly, and bi-annual inspection logs may need to be completed. Download inspection log forms and use them to log your required inspections.
Why does the TRUBLUE auto belay have an annual recertification requirement?
Annual recertification for the TRUBLUE is required to comply with ANSI/ASSE Z359.1-2007 American National Standard - Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems, and Components. According to section 6.1.1 of this standard: Equipment shall be inspected by the user before each use and, additionally, by a competent person other than the user at intervals of no more than one year.
How often does my device need to be recertified?
All Head Rush Tech devices require an annual recertification in order to ensure proper operation of the unit and to maintain the warranty on the device. Additional fees may apply for non-warranty parts, including webbing and side covers. Recertification should be ordered and paid for prior to sending in your units. Click here for a list of Authorized Service Centers. You can also order your recertification online directly from Head Rush (for customers in the USA).
How do I send in my device for annual recertification?
Returning your Head Rush Tech device for recertification is simple. USA customers may order recertification online and return their device in its original box per these instructions. International customers may return the TRUBLUE to any Authorized Head Rush Technologies Service Center (a list of Authorized Service Centers is here). Please contact the Service Center prior to sending in your device for instructions.
When should I replace the webbing on the TRUBLUE?
TRUBLUE is fitted with a webbing that can be replaced in the field by the owner. Any webbing that appears damaged or shows signs of wear should be replaced immediately. Damage may include (but not be limited to) excess wear (fluffing), sun bleaching, cuts or knicks, loose stitching or burns. Frequency of line replacement will vary depending on usage. Please refer to the manual for complete information. We also have webbing inspection and replacement documents and video that will help you determine when your webbing should be replaced.
When should I replace the webbing on the zipSTOP?
Both the webbing assembly and reduction lines are the most likely components to experience significant wear. As such these components must be replaced immediately they are worn or damaged or at 12 month intervals, whichever comes sooner. Please refer to the manual for more details. We also have webbing inspection and replacement documents and video that will help you determine when your webbing should be replaced.
When should I replace the webbing on the QUICKjump?
The webbing assembly is the most likely component to experience. As such the webbing must be replaced immediately they are worn or damaged or at 12 month intervals, whichever comes sooner. Refer to the manual for more details. We also have webbing inspection and replacement documents and video that will help you determine when your webbing should be replaced.
What are the servicing requirements and operational costs for the QUICKjump?
The QUICKjump incorporates a proprietary magnetic technology as the principal braking mechanism in the device. The distinct absence of friction wear components in the braking system means that the unit itself is extremely low maintenance and therefore the annual operational cost is extremely low. The main service requirement is the annual recertification. The QUICKjump is returned by the operator to an Authorized Service Center, where detailed inspection and testing of the unit is undertaken. Refer to the QUICKjump Free Fall Device Operator Manual for more details. Other operational costs include the periodic replacement of the webbing line and or carabiners (frequency based on climatic conditions and overall usage). These are field replaceable by operator with low material costs and down time for the unit.
What is the warranty on the TRUBLUE?
The TRUBLUE Auto Belay will be sold free from defects in materials and workmanship (excluding field replaceable wear parts) for a period of two 2 years from date of purchase. This warranty only applies to the original purchaser, and is contingent upon the owner/operator using and maintaining the device in accordance with the TRUBLUE instructions, including the requirement to maintain annual recertification.
What is the warranty on the zipSTOP?
The zipSTOP will be sold free from defects in materials and workmanship (excluding field replaceable wear parts) for a period of 1 year from date of purchase. This warranty only applies to the original purchaser, and is contingent upon the owner/operator using and maintaining the device in accordance with the zipSTOP instructions, including the requirement to maintain annual recertification.
What is the warranty on the QUICKjump?
The QUICKjump Free Fall Device will be sold free from defects in materials and workmanship (excluding field replaceable wear parts) for a period of two 2 years from date of purchase. This warranty only applies to the original purchaser, and is contingent upon the owner/operator using and maintaining the device in accordance with the QUICKjump instructions, including the requirement to maintain annual recertification.