Designing a Zip Line Brake System

Create an integrated zip line braking system with help from the zipSTOP Zip Line Brake and other zip line gear designed by Head Rush Technologies specifically for zip line installations. Our zip line equipment is made to work together to create the best braking experience for riders and to increase throughput for operators. This page will discuss how to make a zip line brake system, accessory zip line products, and elements of zip line design.

The Brake: zipSTOP

The zipSTOP and zipSTOP IR Zip Line Brakes are the ideal brakes for most common zip line setups. The zipSTOP is easy to operate, has no downtime due to weather, and provides consistent braking for a wide range of rider weights and arrival speeds. The zipSTOP IR (“IR” stands for internal reduction) includes the same benefits and can accommodate speeds up to 60 kph (37 mph) without an external reduction line.

The zipSTOP can be used in a 1:1 configuration or a 2:1 reduction ratio. The zipSTOP IR removes the need for a 2:1 reduction ratio. Both models have an optional Pivot Mount accessory to expand mounting possibilities and to simplify installation.

The Backup: Emergency Arrest Devices

The zipSTOP Zip Line Brake is only one component of a complete and well-designed zip line braking system. When utilizing the zipSTOP as the primary brake, Head Rush Technologies requires the use of an emergency arrest device (EAD). This requirement is based on zip line standards put forth by the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Without an EAD, the zip line brake system is not complete.

Learn more with the Emergency Arrest Device (EAD) white paper or the Braking Dynamics white paper.


Accessories: Ropes & Pulleys

A redirection line is required to connect the zipSTOP brake unit to the brake trolley, and a redirection line is comprised of a rope and pulleys. As a rider trolley engages with the brake trolley, the redirection line pulls through the pulleys, pulls webbing from the zipSTOP, and engages the magnetic braking.

Head Rush Technologies developed two pieces of zip line equipment to maximize the performance of the zipSTOP Zip Line Brake: the Gorilla Rope and the Redirection Pulley. The Gorilla Rope has a high strength-to-weight ratio, has high abrasion and UV wear resistance, and repels water. The Redirection Pulley is specifically engineered to prevent rope snags and is lightweight and corrosion resistant. Using these two products in tandem with the zipSTOP Zip Line Brake creates the most efficient and effective setup for your zip line brake redirection line.