FEAR FACTOR! Through the Eyes of a Fearless Zip Line Guide on Treehouse Island, by: Grady Eilts, Owner and Fearless Guide
Running a zipline park has lots of perks!
First: The guests. Everyone wants to be there…it’s not like visiting a dentist or an IRS agent. People are there to have fun (even if they’re a little afraid), and that’s what we do! We’ve celebrated birthdays, bachelor/bachelorette parties, family days, GNOs, anniversaries, reunions and bucket lists, to name a few. We’ve met friendly, interesting people from the local area and all over the world!
Second: Guests who are scared provide the most entertainment for the zipline guides. Don’t get us wrong…it’s not that we want our peeps to be afraid, but it’s so great to see the course through their eyes and help them overcome their fears! All guests are guided through the zipline course, 2 guides for every 8-10 guests. Participants always have the option of getting down at any time, but most stick it out and overcome! When zippers are afraid, they will grab onto anything at the end of the zipline as a comfort blanket: ropes, a tree or even the catching guide. Many weak kneed participants get a thrill trying not to fall off the swaying bridges. Of course if they do fall, it will only be a few inches, but somehow this escapes a fear-filled mind!
Third: Triumph! Many people who are afraid soon realize that they don’t need to be afraid and gain confidence on the highest zip line (75 ft up). This phenomenon cannot be explained, but it does happen in over half of all folks who are afraid. Fear turns to excitement, and patrons have been known to let go of the zipline lanyard, hands free. However, the fear quickly returns when faced with the bridge of death. This short bridge between two trees, 60 feet off the ground, is quite a challenge. We’ve never had a person choose not to cross the bridge of death, but they have had time to work up to it. If the bridge was early in the course, many would not do it. Finally they finish up the adventure, flying down the longest, fastest line (2 football fields long), with a huge sense of accomplishment and jubilation!
To see people get more than they came for is the greatest perk of all.