Answers to our most frequently asked questions

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What makes TRUBLUE better than other auto belay devices?

The TRUBLUE is the next generation of indoor and outdoor climbing auto belays. It uses our patented advanced magnetic braking technology that's not found in any other auto belay on the market. Other features include:

  • Extensive product and manufacturing testing: For over four years, the TRUBLUE auto belay went through extensive testing by an ISO 17025 accredited company specializing in product testing
  • Reliability with no sacrificial parts: Our friction-free magnetic technology eliminates the need for brake pads, thereby decreasing the wear on internal parts and reducing part replacements
  • Extended lifetime: Design criteria for number of cycles is much higher than other auto belays
What international safety standards does the TRUBLUE meet?

TRUBLUE has been 3rd party tested to the highest standard available for auto belays in the climbing industry. The TRUBLUE Auto Belay meets the strictest international safety standards for fall arrest devices including:

  • AS/NZS 1891: Industrial fall-arrest systems and devices - Part 3: Fall arrest devices
  • CSA Z259.2.3-99: Descent Control Devices
  • EN 341: 2011 Class 1A: Personal protective equipment against falls from a height – Descender devices
  • ANSI/ASSE Z359.4: Safety Requirements for Assisted-Rescue and Self-Rescue Systems, Subsystems and Components
  • EN 360:2002: Personal protective equipment against falls from a height - Retractable type fall arresters
    • Section 4.5: Maximum force < 6kN for 150kg capacity
Why use the zipSTOP with the Impact Trolley rather than a standard brake block?

The Impact Trolley is engineered for a fine balance. It is able to handle the abuse of heavy impact collisions, yet light enough to increase the odds of reliable reset. Heavier systems (or those with higher built-in friction) will result in the increased frequency of manual reset.

And, while you should always have an attendant check that the line resets after each use, this reliability will reduce risk. The act of rider/brake trolley impact can be loud and unsettling to participants unless an effective bumper system is employed. The Impact Trolley employs a highly shock absorptive sacrificial bumper that is easily replaced when it wears. This ensures the best possible rider experience.

How durable is the zipSTOP?

The zipSTOP is extremely durable under normal operational usage of a high-speed commercial zip line facility. The unit itself is designed to be weather resistant and remains operational even under extreme environmental conditions. The non-contact braking technology means that the unit has very few parts that will wear out. The casing, which is made of aluminum alloy, and the internal parts, which are made zinc-plated steel, are both durable and water-resistant. Rather than having a completely sealed unit the zipSTOP has been intentionally designed to allow water to pass through without affecting operational performance. The line coming from the zipSTOP is 20 mm Nylon Spectra webbing and is field replaceable. The Impact Trolley has an aluminum alloy casing, steel wheels and a sacrificial elastomer bumper, which is also easily field replaceable.

Can I use a TRUBLUE Auto Belay instead of zipSTOP for zip line braking?

No, while the zipSTOP uses the same base technology and operates in much the same to way to the TRUBLUE, the design has been completely modified in order to accommodate the higher loads and different operational parameters of a high-speed zip line compared to that of a climbing wall. Use of the TRUBLUE for the purpose of zip line braking is dangerous and therefore prohibited.


How do I install a TRUBLUE Auto Belay on my climbing wall?

The TRUBLUE unit is simple to install and easy to relocate. There are several options for mounting your TRUBLUE Auto Belay. Please refer to the product manual for complete installation instructions.

You can also watch our Installation help video.

How do I determine an appropriate platform size and position?

A simple configuration worksheet is supplied in the manual and can be used to estimate the size of the "braking zone" including rider "arrest zone". By utilizing this information and combining it with the affect of other influencing factors, an approximate "proper dismount area" can be determined which in turn can used to help make decisions on platform size and position.

Can a retrieval system be added in case a ride ends short of the platform?

Yes. A supplementary line may be rigged, as long as it doesn't interfere with the core functionality of the device. Additionally, if someone stopped short of a platform, the zipSTOP only provides about 10 lbs of resistance force. You would simply be pulling the participant in with minimal force, should you not have a supplementary line.

Is an emergency arrest device required in addition to the zipSTOP?

The zipSTOP is one component of a well-designed zip line braking system. The complete braking system of any zip line utilizing a zipSTOP requires an emergency arrest device (sometimes called a backup brake or secondary brake). While the zipSTOP is designed to be utilized as a primary and stand-alone brake, the installer must utilize a secondary independent arrest device to protect against operator error and third party equipment failure.

The zipSTOP can also be used as the backup brake. The design and installation of the zip line, including the complete braking system, is the responsibility of the installer or operator. Please see the product manual for full details.

Does zipSTOP have to be installed by a certified installer?

No. Using the product manual, a competent builder can configure and install the zipSTOP braking assembly, provided that requisite engineering has been performed. Note that design and implementation of an actual zip line must be carried out by a professional and experienced zip line installer. Contact us for a list of qualified installers.

How flexible is the install of the zipSTOP?

Installation of ZipSTOP is extremely flexible and can be configured easily to suit any zip line application. The ZipSTOP unit works in combination with ZipSTOP Impact Trolley, which is connected back to the brake unit via a simple line reduction system. The reset position of the Trolley determines the beginning of the braking zone and thus remains independent from the platform position and length. An estimated size of the "braking zone" can then calculated via a simple worksheet. The location of this zone can then be tailored to the individual zip line installation, allowing for an infinite number of setup possibilities.

Additionally, a line reduction system can be configured to enable tuning of rider comfort and braking distances. For example, if a design has riders entering the braking zone below 22mph, an operator may select a basic 1:1 ratio. However, if riders are entering the braking zone at higher speeds or a more gradual deceleration is required, the operator may choose a 2:1 reduction ratio instead. Please see the product manual for more information.


Can I use the TRUBLUE Auto Belay outdoors?

Yes. The TRUBLUE auto belay can be used indoors or outdoors. The TRUBLUE holds up to the elements and can be installed in an outdoor environment.

Does zipSTOP deceleration vary based on rider weight?

Due to the zipSTOP’s proprietary self-regulating braking technology, the deceleration G-value is largely equalized between rider weights. While some variation exists (especially at higher speeds) this feature allows the widest range of users to participate in the activity. With other braking solutions, this deceleration can be much more jarring and much more pronounced – which vastly limits the potential audience. Use of a zipSTOP will not only increase the potential audience for zip lining activities, it will improve the actual experience, which can lead to higher rider conversion rates.


How do I log my inspections?

All devices and webbings should be visually inspected daily for wear, use, and safety as outlined in the manual. Daily, weekly, and bi-annual inspection logs may also need to be completed, depending on your device. Download inspection log forms to track your required inspection data.

Why does the TRUBLUE auto belay have an annual service requirement?

Annual service for the TRUBLUE is required to comply with Regulation (EU) 2016/425 and 3rd party independent assessment, which states that Category III life safety devices must be inspected annually by the manufacturer to maintain the performance of the device for its lifespan. In addition, Head Rush requires that the webbing is inspected daily, and the unit must be inspected and logged weekly and bi-annually.

How often does my device need to be serviced?

All Head Rush Tech devices require an annual service in order to ensure proper operation of the unit and to maintain the warranty on the device. For newly manufactured devices the first service interval is 15 months, which accounts for time between manufacture and install and gives most users a full 12 months of use before the first service is due; however, the first service interval may be slightly longer or shorter based on individual circumstances. All subsequent servicings have a 12 month interval. Additional fees may apply for non-warranty parts, including webbing and side covers. Service should be ordered and paid for prior to sending in your units. Click here for a list of Authorized Service Centers. You can also order your service online directly from Head Rush (for customers in the USA).

How do I send in my device for annual service?

Returning your Head Rush Tech device for service is simple. USA customers may order service online and return their device in its original box per these instructions. International customers may return the TRUBLUE to any Authorized Head Rush Technologies Service Center (a list of Authorized Service Centers is here). Please contact the Service Center prior to sending in your device for instructions.

When should I replace the webbing on the TRUBLUE?

TRUBLUE is fitted with a webbing that can be replaced in the field by the owner. Any webbing that appears damaged or shows signs of wear should be replaced immediately. Damage may include (but not be limited to) excess wear (fluffing), sun bleaching, cuts or knicks, loose stitching or burns. The frequency of line replacement will vary depending on usage. Please refer to the product manual for complete information. We also have webbing inspection and replacement documents and video that will help you determine when your webbing should be replaced.

When should I replace the webbing on the zipSTOP?

Both the webbing assembly and reduction lines are the most likely components to experience significant wear. As such these components must be replaced immediately they are worn or damaged or at 12 month intervals, whichever comes sooner. Please refer to the manual for more details. We also have webbing inspection and replacement documents and video that will help you determine when your webbing should be replaced.

What is the warranty on the TRUBLUE?

The TRUBLUE Auto Belay will be sold free from defects in materials and workmanship (excluding field replaceable wear parts) for a period of two 2 years from the date of purchase. This warranty only applies to the original purchaser and is contingent upon the owner/operator using and maintaining the device in accordance with the TRUBLUE instructions, including the requirement to maintain annual service.

What is the warranty on the zipSTOP?

The zipSTOP will be sold free from defects in materials and workmanship (excluding field replaceable wear parts) for a period of 1 year from date of purchase. This warranty only applies to the original purchaser and is contingent upon the owner/operator using and maintaining the device in accordance with the zipSTOP instructions, including the requirement to maintain annual service.

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