4 Things to Know Before Your First Zip Line Adventure

4 Things to Know Before Your First Zip Line Adventure

Everyone who has been zip lining before remembers their first experience; there’s nothing quite like it. The adrenaline builds as you’re getting geared up, put on your helmet, and climb to your first platform. You get to see a view you’ve never seen before from a whole new perspective; it’s an eye-opening experience. Then, it’s finally your turn to be sent down the line, and as the nerves build, so does your confidence as you take 2 steps of courage to take that first leap. You’ll end the day feeling more empowered than ever before.

But there’s a lot of courage behind taking the initiative to book your first zip line adventure. There are a lot of questions that first-timers usually have. How does it work? Where should I zip line first? Is it safe? Is it scary? Are there any requirements to zip line? What do I wear?!

So let’s answer some of these burning questions you may have!

  1. Where should I zip line first?

Not all zip lines are the same or created equally. Zip lining in Kansas will be a lot different from zip lining in the mountains of Costa Rica. The first thing to look at is location. For someone with a fear of heights, the Kansas zip line may be the best option for them but if someone is looking for an experience that will get them out of their comfort zone, then they may want to look at a mountainous zip line course. Or maybe you want to zip line somewhere with a waterfront view and catch a beautiful sunset. Obviously traveling to various locations can be a challenge in itself. But ask yourself what you want to get out of the experience. Do you want to overcome your fear of heights? Or do just want to do something new and unique to build the courage to tackle your next big adventure? Is this a travel bucket list item for you? Or is there a zip line course right down the road that would check off all of your boxes?

Another component to consider is the different features of zip line courses. Some offer just zip lines, some offer suspension bridges, aerial obstacles, or some type of leap of faith challenge. At some courses, there is no way to get back to base camp once you have started the tour, while other courses have some type of exit system at each of their platforms. The average tour time is about 2-2.5 hours, so be sure to consider that as well depending on your needs.

2. Is it safe?

While every and anything you do has some sort of risk factor to it and accidents can always happen, zip lining is safe. Zip line courses must pass yearly inspections by 3rd party companies which include checking everything from the tension of the zip lines to the soil in the ground where the platforms are, to the safety of the harnesses and equipment. We strive to be 100% safe, 100% of the time. The staff will also check and inspect the course every morning before tours start, and every night when they finish up.

During your tour, you will have zip line guides there to set up all of your equipment for you, so you don’t need to worry about being a pro your first time. Some courses may have a guide working a braking system at the end of the line to stop you and pull you in, which means no work for you! Other courses may have some type of ground school where they teach you how to brake yourself by hand and the guide will tell you when to start braking. Both options are equally as safe, it’s really just your personal preference on what type of experience you would like to have.

But is it scary? I think everything you do something for the first time, you will have some level of fear. The nerves, anxiousness, and fear are all your body’s natural reactions. When you experience any type of adrenaline or something that you may consider risky, your body activates the fight-or-flight system and that is why you feel those symptoms. Just remember it’s totally normal to feel that way and your guides will help to keep you calm and as safe as possible.

3. Are there any requirements to zip line?

There are actually a few requirements to meet in order to go zip lining. Other than the obvious requirement of money for a ticket, the industry-standard weight requirement is an average of 70lbs-270lbs. The reason for the minimum is you simply must weigh enough for you to get across the full zip line. Some courses do offer a smaller, child-friendly zip line and that may be something else you want to consider. Most zip line courses will also require the participant to be a minimum of 7 years old while also meeting the weight requirement, which doesn’t always correlate. Because of the tension on the line, there is a maximum weight for the safety of everyone. Of course, there is no maximum age requirement; we recently had someone who was 96 years young come zip line for the first time! And it’s not as uncommon as you think. You must also be healthy enough to hold onto handlebars and steer, or to hand brake yourself and to walk, climb, or hike if needed. You cannot be pregnant to zip line. As long as you meet all of these guidelines, you are good to go!

4. Okay, I think I’m ready, but what do I wear?!

When picking out your outfit for the adventure, consider that you will be wearing a harness for 2-2.5 hours, some courses may require hiking and others may not require much walking at all. Wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and closed-toe shoes with a heel on it (no Crocs, or slip-on boots), and leave the jewelry at home. If you have long hair, it needs to be pulled back in a low ponytail or braid, some hairstyle that will fit under a helmet comfortably.

And as always, make sure you use the bathroom before you put the harness on, and always eat something to fuel your body before your adventure!

Contact Empower Adventures Tampa Bay!

Are you ready to take on your next adventure and feel even more empowered? Check out Empower Adventures Tampa Bay for your first, or next, Zip Line Adventure!


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