The Ultimate Guide to Zip Lining for Beginners

08 March 2024

Outdoor activities can really take you away from the everyday, giving you an unbeatable adrenaline rush, as well as an opportunity to take in spectacular views, get some much needed fresh air, and get your blood pumping too.

To really get the most out of your zip lining experience, it’s good to take the time to prepare for your first time zip lining. This not only makes sure that you stay safe on and around the ropes, but also that you enjoy your day to the fullest.

Therefore, we’ve put together the ultimate zip lining guide, full of zip lining tips for beginners, so that you can feel properly ready to enjoy the unmatched experience of whizzing through the air.

What is zip lining?

If you’re brand new to even the concept of zip lining, let us explain: it involves one person being suspended, via a harness and/or a protective seat, from a steel cable strung between two high points. You then ‘zip’ from one point to the other, flying through the air and taking in the scenery as you go. It’s something that actually originates from areas such as the Alps and the Himalayas, as a form of transportation. However, elsewhere, it has been adapted to provide a thrilling outdoor activity.

Top tips for zip lining beginners

Zip lining is for any age and ability

Essentially, don’t be put off by your age, physical capability, or prior experience! We truly believe that zip lining is everyone, which means that, provided that the right equipment and adjustments are available, anyone who wants to experience the joy of zip lining absolutely can.

If in doubt, ask your zip lining guide

There’s no such thing as a silly question - your zip lining guide wants you to feel safe, secure, comfortable and happy, so shoot them any questions you may have that will set your mind at rest. The guides are also there to help you get the best out of your experience, and navigate the course in a way that ensures you can’t wait to do it again.

Dress for zip lining

Comfort and safety are paramount when it comes to zip lining, and your clothing has a bearing on both. You’ll want to wear closed-toe shoes, cover bare arms and legs with trousers and long sleeves (no skirts), tie any long hair back, and ensure you’re not wearing jewellery, or anything loose, like a scarf. You can leave the hats at home too - you’ll be required to wear a helmet whilst you’re zip lining.

Empty your pockets

You’ll need to take anything out of your pockets before you go zip lining, for obvious reasons - your phone flying from your pocket as you whizz through the air is not only an expensive problem for you, it’s also downright dangerous for everyone else.

Listen to all safety advice

Whilst the guides are there to keep you safe on the whole, they rely on you to comply with the necessary safety instructions to keep both you and those around you safe. Therefore, you’ll need to listen carefully to the safety briefing and any other instruction that is issued to you throughout the day - it’s all for your own good.

Trust the park’s safety equipment

It’s completely understandable to be nervous about zip lining, but there’s no need to doubt the equipment - it’s all been designed and tested to withstand daily use, ensuring the joy of adventure for many people week in, week out.

Be careful taking selfies

You may well want to document your journey through the air, but use our previous example of an escaped phone as a warning against taking selfies or even videos of your zip wire experience. You may just lose your device!

Always follow the rules

The rules are there to keep everyone safe, and ensure fairness around the zip line. Therefore, familiarise yourself with the rules and stick to them throughout the day to ensure that you’re keeping yourself and those around you safe, and enabling everyone to have a turn at experiencing the magic of zip lining.

It’s okay to be nervous

We get that flying through the air may fill you with more than a little bit of apprehension, so there’s no need to feel embarrassed about it. Most people are nervous, even if it’s not their first time - just think of how accomplished you’ll feel by the end of the day!

Take your time

There’s no rush; in fact, we’d encourage you to savour the experience! Feeling rushed into something like zip lining can ruin the experience, not to mention shred your nerves beforehand, so take your time if you feel the need to.

Enjoy the views

It’s easy to get caught up in the logistics of getting strapped in and how you’ll feel while you’re in the air, but don’t forget to look up and take in the views once you set off. It’s a truly unique way to see the landscape around you, so try, if you can, to take as much of it in as possible.

Enjoy yourself

Ultimately, zip lining is a huge amount of fun, regardless of whether you’re a seasoned zip liner, or it’s your first time. It’s also a great way to bond with the people you’re doing it with, as well as acting as an opportunity to make friends, and learn more about what you’re capable of.

Join us at Gripped for the ultimate zip lining experience

If you’re a zip lining beginner, we’re hoping that you now feel a little more reassured about what you can expect from a day of zip lining, and how to prepare. Here at Gripped, we offer zip lining as a fun and accessible activity for groups, school trips and individuals, alongside other thrilling activities such as high ropes, bag jumps and speed slides. We call it zip trekking, which involves a course made up of long and short ‘zips’, with obstacles, bridges and nets interspersed to make things a little more interesting.

You’ll see our location here in Surrey in a whole new way, you’ll bond with those around you, and you’ll have the time of your life.