Switchback® Technology

At Holmes, we’re always on the look out for projects that excite us—and the thought of an exhilarating, world-first adventure ride did just that. The challenge? To create a zipline that goes around corners and revolutionises the Adventure Recreation industry? Sign us up!

The Holmes Solutions Adventure Recreation team dreamed up a new spin on the traditional zipline. Their vision was to develop a zipline that could transition from cable to rail, and back, at speed—something which was ‘impossible’ in the industry to date.

The brief:

To design a breakthrough technology where riders transition from cable to rail—at high speed.
The zip line technology in action at the Paula Deen's Lumberjack Feud Show & Adventure Park.

It was all hands on deck for this exciting project! The Holmes Solutions team developed a game plan and collaborated with our structural engineering and fire engineering colleagues in New Zealand and  USA. Holmes Solutions designed the Switchback® technology system that could seamlessly travel from cable to rail, allowing for corners of varying angles and inclines. Our US and NZ teams delivered different aspects of design. The US team designed the rider loading and unloading platforms, as well as the rail towers for each corner. Whilst the NZ team took charge of the track supports.

The Flying Ox uses the innovative Switchback® technology.

We worked with CLIMBWorks (a well-established adventure recreation company) who are known in the industry for their amazing zipline courses, to implement the technology onsite. Together, the Holmes team designed and delivered the world’s first zipline ride that turns corners! The multiplier value of the Holmes team was in full effect; this awesome result couldn’t have been achieved without each team working together, and bringing their unique expertise to a huge technical challenge. The best part is we all had amazing fun bringing it to life in such a collaborative environment.


All photos courtesy of Reid Bieber.

Together. To us, it’s not just a word.

It’s our Holmes teams working together—and working with our clients—to create magic.