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The Best Wire Rope for Zip Lines

If you’ve fortunate enough to have a large back garden then the thought of building a zip line might have crossed your mind. Especially if you have children who can’t wait to have a go.

Of course, there are many factors to consider before getting started-such as deciding on the best wire rope to use for your zip line. Don’t worry though, because we’re here with a few quick tips to help you make an informed decision.

Go For Galvanized

Your zip line is going to be at the mercy of the weather so make sure you buy high –quality wire rope. Galvanized wire rope has a rust-proof layer so is protected in harsh weather conditions.

Galvanized is also stronger than stainless steel wire rope at similar diameters and significantly less expensive. In fact, you could purchase 2-3 galvanized zip lines for the same price as one made of stainless steel!

Tight or U Shape?

As a general rule, the tighter the cable then the larger the diameter should be. If you intend the zip line to have more slack (i.e. in a ’U’ shape) then go for wire rope with a smaller diameter.

Zip Line Length

Zip lines have a significant weight of their own, which puts constant tension stress on the cable. For that reason, the longer your zip line, the bigger your wire rope cable will have to be.

Be Wary of Wear ‘n Tear

Zip line trolleys are designed for larger wire rope cables (8– 12mm). Anything smaller than the sizes mentioned will wear out quickly.

A Smooth Ride

For a smoother, less bumpy zip line experience make sure you choose larger wire rope cables (no smaller than 8mm).

Choose 7x19

We recommend using 7x19 wire rope for zip lines as it’s very flexible and has a high breaking load.

Wrapping or Through Bolting?

If you’re using a pole then through bolting is the best way to fit your zip line as it provides a cleaner look. However, when it comes to fitting your zip line cable to a tree, there are advantages to both methods.

Bolting to a tree means less growth interference as there’s no need to use blocks to spread the cables out. Wrapping cable round a tree can also girdle them.

However, wrapping does mean you won’t have to drill into the tree which ensures you can see every part of the cable system. Ultimately, there’s no simple answer when it comes to choosing the right method for installing the cable so it really comes down to your own circumstances.

We hope this helps you to choose the best wire rope cable for your zip line. For even more info please visit our zip line page.

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