Why Ziplining scares travelers and how to overcome your fears
Your heart thumps. Sweat beads drip down your forehead as you take a step to the edge of the wooden platform. As you peer over the edge, your eyes widen in horror as you see the insane drop below: a 50 meter fall to the jungle floor. Yes, you’re in a harness, but that doesn’t calm your fears. What if the zipline breaks? What if the your clip snaps loose? That’s a long waaaaay down.
No doubt, if you have a fear of heights, ziplining may just scare the bejesus out of you. And even if you’re completely okay with being dozens of meters up high, you still may be a bit nervous about donning on a harness and soaring through the skies in Thailand of all places. The country is not known for its glowing safety record after all. So it makes sense why you may be a bit nervous. With that said, if you still long to experience the rush of ziplining, is there anything you can do to overcome your fears?
Yes. If you have a dream of experiencing the rainforest close up and awakening your inner tarzan, you can conquer your fears. You can zipline. But first you must come to grips with the source of your fear: safety. And that starts with a little research of zipline operators. Google and TripAdvisor are your friend. But what should you look for? Here’s two important factors to keep your eyes peeled for as you scour the internet.
1. Safety record and procedures - knowing a zipline operator's safety record and procedures can go a long way to easing your fear. To determine whether or not you’re dealing with a safe operator, we recommend looking for five things: maintenance, track record, equipment, certification and staff training. For a more in depth explanation of these points, check out Is ziplining in Thailand really safe? 5 signs you’re dealing with a safe operator.
2. Supportive staff - no question, the staff of any business—from a restaurant to a temple tour—can make or break your experience. When it comes to ziplining, the staff play a vital role in alleviating your fears. So when you research potential courses and read reviews, pay special attention to remarks about the guides. Are they encouraging and patient? Or are they disinterested? Staff and guides should be like a good coach: gently encouraging you, answering your questions and gauging your experience level.
As with conquering any fear, it’s recommended to take baby steps. Start small and slowly push the boundaries of your comfort level. Thankfully, Flight of the Gibbon’s Chonburi and Chiang Mai courses are designed exactly this way. Your first zipline begins from a low platform just a few meters above the jungle floor. Then you slowly work your way up to a higher level: 10 meters, 20 meters and so on. Sooner than you know it, you’ll be whizzing through the treetops 50 meters off the ground on a zipline. Fear of heights gone? Check. You’ll be having so much fun you’ll completely forget about being scared.
Don’t believe us? Check out some of these TripAdvisor reviews noting how Flight of the Gibbon helped guests overcome a fear of heights…
“I have a pretty intense fear of heights, but I am so glad I did this! The guides were very accommodating and never once made me feel uneasy or pushed me into something I didn't want to do. It all felt very safe and first rate. The course is set up in a way that eases you into the more extreme ziplines. The scariest part was a suspension bridge, however, you are still connected by a safety harness the entire time. Just don't look down! It was an amazing experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
- Bound4NZ, California
I am terrified of heights. I loved Flight of the Gibbon.
We were lucky to have Rambo and Ah (sorry didn't get the right spelling) as our sky rangers. They made zip lines safe and so much fun!!
There's a bit of trekking, a little rappelling and a lot of great zip lines. We were particularly struck by the attention to safety - there was not a minute when we felt unsafe. We saw three gibbons, learned about coffee and tea plants ... and soared through breathtaking jungle views multiple times.
I didn't quite believe the reviews but it is true -go even if you have a fear of heights. I did and am so glad that I did!!
- Suj18, Chicago
As you can see, it is completely possible to beat your fear of heights and no longer be scared of ziplining. And if you do go, a truly exhilarating experience awaits you at Flight of the Gibbon. Whether you’re a solo traveler or a family, Flight of the Gibbon offers you a fun, unforgettable experience. Get in touch with us today at email to book a tour or learn more about our safety procedures.