Is Ziplining in Thailand Safe?
Is ziplining in Thailand really safe? 5 signs you’re dealing with a safe operator
You have to wonder. Could a high octane activity like ziplining really be safe in Thailand? The popular Southeast Asian country is certainly not known for its glowing safety record. Still, the idea of ziplining through a tropical rainforest is enough to spark your imagination. So what can you do? How can you know a zipline operator is really safe? When it comes to ziplining safety, Thailand operators (at least the reputable ones) should all have a few things in common. Here’s five safety signs to look out for when choosing an operator.
1. High quality equipment
Not all equipment is created equal. When you’re flying through the air, dozens of meters off the ground, would you rather use equipment made in a western country or China? We’re guessing you chose the former. The point is, choose an operator that invests in high quality gear. We at Flight of the Gibbon only use the highest quality European equipment for our courses, including brands such as petzl and ISC.
Thailand’s zipline industry is unregulated; there’s no authority that accredits courses for safety here. But that doesn’t mean a zipline operator can’t go the extra mile to get certification. In fact, Flight of the Gibbon has done just that. Our Chiang Mai course is certified annually by the American Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT), and many of our senior level staff are level 2 ACCT certified. Regardless of the zipline operator you choose, we recommend checking their credentials for certifications. https://www.acctinfo.org/
3. Staff training
How well are staff trained? How many months did they train? When you’re probing into a zipline operator's safety procedures, these are two questions to ask. At Flight of the Gibbon, our sky rangers who guide you through the course are trained for 3 months before allowed to lead guests. Once completed, they’re recertified every 3 months to ensure their training is up-to-date. What’s more, each staff member undergoes multiple training courses in first aid, wilderness survival and more. This ensures they can handle any situation encountered up in the treetops.
4. Track record
A good safety record is important for any zipline operator. But an operator with a perfect track record simply doesn’t exist. Like any of the most reputable courses...at flight of the gibbons, accidents have happened. But they’re nothing more than minor injuries such as bumps, bruises and the like. Of course, there are different degrees of injuries. So if your research reveals an operator has suffered a fatality (sadly they exist in Thailand), we highly recommend avoiding them. On a side note, Flight of the Gibbon also offers complimentary VIP insurance for added peace of mind. This covers all medical expenses in the event of an unlikely injury.
5. Course maintenance
How often does an operator maintain their course? How often do they inspect their zipline cables and harnesses? Ideally, an operator should check these at a bare minimum of once a month. Flight of the Gibbon, however, inspects all courses every morning before guests arrive. What’s more, once a month we perform an in-depth check of our entire course where every cable and clip is examined thoroughly. If there’s even the smallest sign of wear, it is replaced immediately. This same philosophy is used for harnesses. As soon as they show the first sign of wear and tear, they’re replaced with new ones.
Now that you know how to size up a zipline operator, we hope you put these tips to good use. If you’ve any doubt about an operator, give them a ring and chat with the manager about their safety procedures. As for Flight of the Gibbon, we’re serious about ziplining safety. Chiang Mai and Chonburi visitors can feel comfortable knowing we’ve gone through drastic measures to prioritize the safety of every guest that steps foot on our course. That way you can relax, laugh and have fun as you experience the thrill of ziplining through pristine rainforest.
With that said, if you ever have a question about our safety procedures, don’t hesitate to call us at 053 010 660. We’re happy to answer any and all of your questions.