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Want a gigantic zipline in your backyard? We show you how to make a zipline launch pad platform up in the trees that is safe and sturdy. Using materials you can buy at the home center, we made one that is 9 feet tall and 175 feet long!

  1. Build the Platform Structure
  2. Add Decking & Railing
  3. Install the Zip Line

1. Build the Platform Structure

The concept behind this gigantic zip line is that I need to build a platform that is about 9 feet up in the trees as a launch pad. The zipline is built to match the sloping contour of the terrain out at the farm. The 9 feet was measured off of that information matched with the droop of the cable and the height of a grown adult hanging from the line. So, if you are considering making one of these for your backyard, take those dimensions into consideration.

I first began by doing a lot of research. After the treehouse build, I wanted to take the comments I got about some of the building methods and research their validity. Things like using nails instead of screws, the tree-attachment methods, and the lack of joist hangers all came together in the plan for this zipline platform. I chose to screw some ledger boards directly to the tree and build the frame on top of those. Using some pressure treated lumber, I built the frame on top of the two ledgers using strap hangers and structural screws. To add even more structural stability, I ran knee braces from the bottom of the platform to the tree trunk at 45 degree angles and secured them with more joist hangers.

2. Add Decking & Railing

Now that the platform was structurally sound, I could make it suitable for people. That means adding pressure treated decking boards across the joists, spaced 1/8″ apart and adding a safety railing all around the platform. The railing was supported by 4×4 posts and structural screws and consisted of pre-assembled deck railing panels from the home center. Of course, I added a space at the launch point so the zipliners can shoot off the side. After building a quick and easy 2×4 ladder, I was ready to install the actual zip line.

3. Install the Zip Line

I have made a backyard zip line in the past, but it was made to fit the backyard we no longer have. The farm affords us the opportunity to make a really, really long zipline that should be way more fun. My intention is to make it 175 feet (53.3 meters) long and to do that, I had to get thicker cable to ensure a safe experience. After running the cable to a hardwood tree at the end, I used a cable puller to make the line as tight as the instructions mentioned. This time, I opted for a pre-made zipline kit that had the arrest break, the carriage, and some safety gear already in it. I didn’t have to DIY this bit, and to be honest, I was okay with that.

It is Strong, Safe, and Super Fun!

I am really happy with the new Super Sized Zipline and really confident in the strength of the platform. I took the information I learned from the treehouse (which is still holding strong) and a lot of private research, and was able to build with confidence. Now, this isn’t the last you’ll see of this zipline platform. I plan on making that area an entire tree fort village with linked platforms and rope ladders, so stay tuned!

Tools List:

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Woodworking:

Welding:

Other Stuff: