Forest zipline safety and equipment

Safety is our number one, core value at Canopy Tours forest zipline. And, I’m sure that runs through most of our guests minds before booking one of our experiences. Most people look at the photos, read the reviews and chat to others they know who have been on the tour before making a judgement on the safety of an experience. We thought we would lay it out here for you. We have done a heap of research, training and tested all sorts of equipment in the forest to ensure that you are in the safest hands and the safest equipment there is to offer. 

Forest Zipline Equipment

Ziplining is been increasing in popularity around the world over the past 40 years, and has skyrocketed reciently. It’s is now an industry in its self with companies all over the world specializing in zipline specific safety gear. In the early years of forest zipline, most of the gear use was not specific for ziplining. It was equipment made for rock climbing and industries like rope access.

At Canopy tours forest zipline our guides look after most of the safety while on tour. This means that customers are not operating the equipment and the highly trained guides do all the work. Because of this we have been able to reduce the amount of equipment used. Less equipment means that its easy to ensure it is all working correctly and can be throughly every time.

Most of our customer’s equipment is designed and made in New Zealand by Aspiring Safety Products.

This includes:

  • Harness
  • Helmet
  • Main attachment lanyard
  • Back up attachment / bridge attachment lanyard
  • Trolley

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How do we select the right forest zipline equipment?

Selecting the correct equipment for each of our guests is super important. This process actually starts before the customers even arrive onsite. During our booking process all our customers are explained what is involved in the tour. This includes physical requirements, weight and age restrictions. If there is anything that we need to know about our guests we find out then so our guides can be prepared.

Guests are weighed and given a colour when they arrive on the day of their tour. This colour allows our guides to know what weight range they are in. With this info the guides are able to select the equipment that will be best for that guest depending on the conditions on the day as well as their comfort.


Our customer harnesses come in 3 sizes (small, medium & large). This means we have one that will fit each guest correctly so they are safe and comfortable throughout the tour. All of our customer harnesses are full body. The harness has 6 buckles that is secured around the waist, legs and chest. And, adjustable straps that go over both shoulders. The guides leave these loose for comfort until its time to ride the first zipline.


The next piece of equipment is the Lanyard. We have 3 sizes of lanyard, which are 450mm, 500mm & 650mm. They are colour coded to typically coincide with the colour stamp the customer was given when they were weighted in. There are lots of factors to consider to ensure you get the correct lanyard, it’s not just about the weight. Things like height, build, physical ability and even the weather conditions can all play a part in gear selection. As a basic rule, smaller people need a longer lanyard so that they sit lower on the zip line and are able to stand up at each end. While taller / larger people need a shorter lanyard to help ensure they depart & arrive at each platform at the correct height.

Helmet and trolley

Lastly we have the trolley and helmet.

We have 3 speeds of trolley (Fast, Medium & Slow). Typically smaller people just don’t have the mass to make them go fast on the zip lines, so we can help them out by putting them on a faster trolley. Similarly, larger / taller people can go fast. We can slow them down by using a slower trolley making the braking process smoother.

People think that helmets are for zipping. But, in reality the greater risk is being struck by a branch falling from the canopy. This makes the walking sections of the tour the most high risk part of our experiences. We survey the forest and preform maintance on every tour, but we also ensure that everyone (guides included) are wearing their helmets throughout the entire tour, just incase.

Once the gear is on, it doesn’t stop there. We check the gear before every zipline ride and at the end of each ride also. We have your safety at the top of our priority list! 

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