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What are the Weight Limits for Ziplining? And Why do They Matter?

a clock sitting in front of a monitor

Most, but not all, courses require riders to weigh somewhere between 65 and 275 pounds to ride a canopy tour. Weight limits are established by the designer/builder of that specific course. Canaan zip line riders must weight between 75 and 265 pounds per our designer/builder. Always check with the outfitter you’re interested in before booking your tour.

In our post on zipline safety, we explain how zip line equipment is designed to hold several thousand

So, if This Equipment is so Strong Why are There Weight Limits?

a man in a forestLet’s quickly hit on how a gravity zip line works to help us better understand why weight limits matter. Simply put, a zip line works by riding a cable from one high point to a lower point. However, the cable is not tight and is designed with a sag in the middle. If it were tight, you would zip way too fast. When you leave the platform and head toward the lowest point of the sag, you build momentum. Once you’ve crossed the lowest point of the cable you are now traveling back up the cable towards the next platform. The momentum you’ve built up going down the cable now carries you back up to your next
stopping point.

And This is Where Weight Limits Come in to Play

  • Participants who are under the weight limit are at risk of not building up enough momentum to carry
    them all the way across and can possibly find themselves in the middle of the cable. While not really
    “dangerous,” it can be uncomfortable and scary while you wait on the line for a guide to come get you.
    Rescues like that can also be time consuming and cause the course to be on pause until the participant is
    safely on the platform.
  • Participants over the weight limit have the opposite effect of underweight guests. A participant over the
    weight limit builds a lot more momentum and runs the risk of coming in too fast to the platform. Coming
    in too fast can result in a collision instead of a smooth landing. A person coming in at those speeds can
    cause pretty serious injuries.

a man standing next to a tree in a forestWhile zip lining is a lot of fun, being dishonest about being over or under the weight limit can potentially put you and others at very real and unnecessary risk. Always check with your chosen outfitter about weight limits and be honest with them. Some have a “grace” window and will allow you to still ride if you’re pretty close. Additionally, some outfitters have other exciting and fun options that allow for different weight limits.

Canaan Zipline Canopy Tours offers an incredible zip line experience for guests weighing between 75 and 265 pounds. To book a tour, visit