Why quality matters
True quality means thinking through your project and making sure it works not just as a structure, but as an experience.
Do users feel good about using your ropes course? Or are your staff constantly harassing them to keep participating? Are you creating predictable debriefing topics for instructors? Are the elements designed and built with teaching outcomes in mind?
Whether you’re aiming for an educational experience, pure fun or both, quality is an issue at every level of a project.
For example, at different stations around a high ropes course, are your platforms big enough for users to hang out and enjoy? Are the towers big enough for your instructors to do their jobs? Are they constantly squeezing themselves into awkward spaces or are they enjoying their work, and therefore creating a fun experience?
Quality in design
A high quality ropes course design will consider many factors, including:
• Throughput – the number of users that can complete the course per hour or day.
• Staffing – a well designed course, with features like continuous belay systems, requires far less staff to operate.
• Maintenance – a low quality ropes course can dramatically increase maintenance costs. See our pricing article for more information.
Quality in construction
Heres a concrete example of the difference in the quality of our products.
Climbing towers are often built by digging four holes and burying the base of wooden telegraph poles. It’s a perfectly acceptable construction method.
A tower is always a considerable investment. The potential for rot below ground is a real threat. If there is doubt about the condition of the poles you’ll be hiring an excavator to dig down next to the poles and check their condition, and eventually you’ll be digging to replace them.
Changing out one pole on a ropes course isn’t too hard, but on an activity tower you’ll be replacing the whole thing.
Our alternative? Wherever possible, lift the poles out of the ground and mount them on a steel footing. No rot. No termites. No grey areas. Because you invested in the best product, you have a reliable asset, which leaves you free to spend on developing your business, not maintaining old equipment.
Right down to the ropes
It might sound obvious but many people overlook a key quality factor: the choice of ropes.
When it comes to ropes, near enough isn’t good enough. Australian operators commonly use wire ropes, which are ‘cutty’ on the hands and less comfortable to hold because they’re thinner (typically 10mm). Alternatively, they use fibre ropes, which have a third the lifespan of wire and tend to sag over any significant distance.
So what’s the solution?
We recommend imported playground-grade ropes that are perfectly suited for ropes courses. Playground-grade ropes are ‘combination’ ropes: wire in the middle for strength, encased in hand friendly nylon.
Any time someone is holding or pulling a rope, the 16mm thickness of a combination rope is required for hand comfort. Whether it’s function, comfort or aesthetics, users feel like they’re on a ropes course – not a wire course.
Want to learn more about quality?
Call us on 0488 662 734 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Raising the bar on quality is a big subject; we’re always happy to chat about it.