zipSTOP Zip Line Brake FAQs

Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions concerning the zipSTOP Zip Line Brake. If you can't find the answer you need, please email us with your question and we'll answer it for you.

Scroll down to see all the FAQ categories, and click on the question to to access an answer.


Benefits / General Questions

How will zipSTOP affect rider conversion rates?

Why use the zipSTOP with the Impact Trolley rather than a standard brake block?

How durable is the zipSTOP?

Can I use a TRUBLUE auto belay instead of zipSTOP for zip line braking?


Installation

Where can I download the Operator Manual?

What factors impact the dimension requirements of the landing platform?

How do I determine an appropriate platform size and position?

Can a retrieval system be added in case a ride ends short of the platform?

Is an emergency arrest device required in addition to the zipSTOP?

Does zipSTOP have to be installed by a certified installer?

How flexible is the install of the zipSTOP?


Operation

How do I log my zipSTOP inspections?

Does the deceleration vary based on rider weight?


Maintenance

How do I log my zipSTOP inspections?

How often does the zipSTOP need to be recertified?

How do I send in the zipSTOP for annual recertification?

What are the servicing requirements and operational costs for the zipSTOP?

When should I replace the webbing on the zipSTOP?

What is the warranty on the zipSTOP?


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)

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Why use the zipSTOP with the Impact Trolley rather than a standard back brake?

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.


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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.


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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.


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Where can I download the Operator Manual?

You can download the Operator Manual here for complete installation and configuration details. If you have any questions, or if you have a 3:1 reduction line set-up, please feel free to call us at 720-565-6885 or email us at info@headrushtech.com.


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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 Operator Manual for complete installation and configuration details.


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How do I determine an appropriate platform size and position?

A simple configuration worksheet is supplied in the Operator 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.


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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.


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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 Operator Manual for full details.


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Does zipSTOP have to be installed by a certified installer?

No. Using the Operator 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.


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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 Operator Manual for more information.


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How do I log my zipSTOP inspections?

Your zipSTOP device should be inspected before each use, weekly and bi-annually (every six months). Use the Head Rush Tech Inspection Log (found here in our Resources section) to record your Weekly Inspections and your Six Month Inspections. Please refer to the Operator Manual for complete inspection, maintenance and servicing requirements.


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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.


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How often does the zipSTOP need to be recertified?

The zipSTOP requires 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 click here to order your recertification online directly from Head Rush (for customers in the USA).


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How do I send in the zipSTOP for annual recertification?

Returning the zipSTOP for recertification is simple. USA customers may order recertification online and return the zipSTOP in its original box per the online instructions found here. International customers may return the zipSTOP 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 unit for instructions.


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What are the servicing requirements and operational costs for the zipSTOP?

The zipSTOP incorporates a proprietary magnetic technology as the principal braking mechanism in the device. The distinct absence of friction wear components in the braking core 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 zipSTOP is returned by the operator to an Authorized Service Center, where detailed inspection and testing of the unit is undertaken. Refer to the 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.


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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 Operator Manual for more details.


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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.


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zipSTOP Installation, Operation and Maintenance

Watch this video for high-level information on installing, operating and maintaining the zipSTOP Zip Line Brake, the best brake for your zip line. This video is intended to provide an overview only. Please read the Operator Manual for complete information.