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Zip line tourism on upward trend

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More than 700 have been built in North America

Zip lines were first developed to help biologists study plants and animals from above the treeline in tropical regions, according to the Association for Challenge Course Technology in the US.

Now their popularity as tourist attractions mean more than 700 have been built in North America, growing at about 10% a year.

You get strapped into a harness attached to a cord reaching between two tall posts sticking out of the landscape. Once you’re secured by a guide, you can jump off the platform and let gravity take over.

Zip lines are becoming easy-to-build adventure courses, which are steadily becoming more complex and more thrilling. They appear to be safe too as the harness puts no stress on joints or backs.

“Personally, I think the industry is growing because of the great work being done by the builders, trainers, operators, inspectors,” James Borishale, executive director of the Association for Challenge Course Technology, says. “Courses are getting bigger and better.”

Regardless of the height or size of the course, riders should feel safe on the lines, and Rylander said.

Billings Gazette

[photo courtesy Aloha-Hawaii.com]

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