These days, at some point many more of us look to at least experience an adventure sport. We put our faith into the equipment and go home with a real sense of achievement. At Ronstan we have an extensive range of super strength products which perform year in year out. Our products are frequently found in the following sports:
High Rope Adventures
For the thrill seekers among us high rope adventures are exhilarating. A tree top adventure is a mixture of zip wires, swings, platforms and ladders all up in the trees. For the less intrepid though they can be terrifying, even with the knowledge that the safety precautions are practically foolproof doesn’t always alleviate the extreme apprehension! High rope courses, the safety systems and the kit worn by participants, are constructed specifically for the tasks they do, apes may be able to swing through the trees unfettered by ropes and pulleys and so forth, we humans need the equipment to keep us aloft!
Some interesting rope course facts:
- The first ropes courses were established in the UK sixty years ago when their prime purpose was to be used as a team building tool. It was not until about 20 years ago that the industry started to flourish as an adventurous leisure activity.
- All high rope companies use similar safety systems with just a few differences. The main components are ropes,cables, pulleys, trolleys, carabiners and harnesses.
- Early rope courses involved self belaying where the participant had to undo the carabiner securing their safety rope to the cable above and then re-attach it at the next section. Continuous belaying is used now which enables the progression from one section to another with no changing the connection involved.
- Most injuries are from knocking into the course supports, e.g. trees, poles, or from getting caught up in a rope or a net. It’s a fact that three times as many children are admitted to hospital after falling out of bed than are admitted after falling off a rope.
- The difference between a pulley and a trolley – a trolley is a pulley, but a pulley that moves along a cable or a rope such as the pulleys used in the continuous belaying system. Ordinary pulleys are stationary and the rope or the cable does the moving.
- New developments are emerging, for example the ability to overtake when there’s a bottleneck, and a new system on platforms at junctions which allows participants to chose the section they’d like to tackle next.
The appeal of tree top adventures is not limited to children it is for adults too. The appeal is widespread:
- Adults – It’s something still relatively new. Adults who’ve enjoyed rock climbing or indeed any other sort of adrenalin sport seem to enjoy a tree top adventure. Most organizations provide a range of courses so adults of virtually all abilities can be involved. You just need a head for heights and a give-it-a-go attitude.
- Teenagers – A tree top adventure can be physically and mentally demanding. How are you going to get from A to B with your friends? Who is going to be the bravest and go first? Be prepared for a lot of laughter and maybe the odd scream (hopefully from just excitement!).
- Children – Children love the idea of wearing a harness, clipping on and off their safety rope and being in control of where they are going high up in the trees. For the little ones an adult is always nearby, although on occasion it is the child who is braver than the adult…..
- Birthday Parties/Stags and Hens – Are you trying to think of something different which everyone can do? It’s a great way to entertain a group and many of the tree top adventure companies have worked hard to provide fun and slick safety briefings and excellent pre and post catering.
- Corporate/Team Building – It’s something new and takes people out of their immediate comfort zone giving them plenty to talk about afterwards. Tree top adventures are always memorable.
The tree top adventure companies have created amazing centers, but ask any of them what is the most important and it is safety. Without the right quality equipment none of these companies would be open for business. At Ronstan Industrial we manufacture high quality, industrial strength block and pulley systems. Our systems are relied upon around the world and across many industries. We have a range of standard systems or we can provide a custom made system.
Most people think zip wires are a relatively new development. In fact zip lines have been used as a means of transportation, of goods as well as people, in mountainous countries for many years. A zip line appeared in H.G. Wells’ book The Invisible Man back in 1897.
Zip lines or wires have become very popular with children over the last 5 years. They are sometimes also known as aerial runways or flying foxes. They are basically all the same; a free moving pulley suspended on a cable, usually stainless steel, which runs from the top of an incline to the bottom. Gravity does the rest.
Many zip lines spread the load on the cable by having more than one pulley. Pulleys used together are called a trolley.
The methods used to stop at the end will depend on the speed and the weight on the cable, they can be:
- A mat or a net.
- The amount of friction between the pulley and the cable.
- Using gravity – the middle of the cable always sags lower than the termination point so the last lap is always slightly upwards, by altering the degree of sag the speed of the zip line can be tuned as desired.
- An arrester system composed of devices such as bungee cord, counterweights, springs, and pulleys which reduce the speed and eventually stop the trolley.
As zip lines develop their mechanics become much more complicated, companies in many countries are constantly developing their zip lines, each striving to develop the highest, the longest, and the fastest!
The sport of climbing has been around forever, but nowadays you can make it as thrill seeking as you desire. You can choose to climb outdoors in the freezing rain and enjoy the scenery or if you are learning to climb or simply like to compete on speed you can take advantage of the many climbing wall centers that are opening. Climb in the dry with a warm changing room and a cafe just a few seconds away! Wherever you decide to enjoy climbing, safety should be paramount and a critical part of your equipment will be the ropes. There are so many different types of rope for sale it would be easy to get confused.
There are a number of options for climbers to contemplate. Workhorse singles rope will hold up to a great deal of strain, it is good for rough rock routes due to its thicker sheath and larger diameter. It is rather heavy but is ideal for use on big walls, top roping, and more extreme routes. All-around singles are the bog standard for climbers and the ones that most climbers default to because of their average diameter, weight, and utility. The ideal use for this type of rappelling rope is in sport, traditional alpine climbs including rock, ice, and snow.
Skinny singles are the trendy rope of climbers due to their light weight and flexibility. These are perfect for long complex routes and climbs including hard-to-reach spots. Catching a fall with such a lightweight rope is somewhat different and so these rappelling ropes take a degree of practice before hitting the trails. They are also more likely to become damaged and so it is best to have a backup plan in place.
Half ropes are also great for long routes whatever the terrain and you can rappel twice as quickly when tying two ropes together. Their ideal use is in multi pitch rock where you may have to rappel half way through to continue the route. The systems do take more time to set up but are much safer for tricky routes.
Twin ropes work on the same principle but are much lighter than half ropes. They provide the same rappelling rope advantages but are more suitable for ice climbs and non-wandering rock climbs. There is usually more rope drag with these systems.
Static ropes are useful for where stretch is not required and are ideal for all types of rappelling as well as rescue and big wall ascends
As with all sports, it is vital to have reliable equipment. Poor equipment normally means poor performance and therefore less enjoyment in the sport. For sports involving high rope adventures, zip wires and climbing it is essential your safety equipment is in place.
Photo credit: dswat.org