South Padre Island Zipline
We didn't want to waste a beautiful sunny day in mid January on South Padre Island, so we zipped on up the road to enjoy a zip though the air at South Padre Island Adventure Park's Zipline.
South Padre Island Adventure Park is home to a fun zipline, a petting zoo, pony rides, and horseback riding on the beach plus they do beach weddings and beach bonfire parties! As far as we know, South Padre Island Adventure Park's Zipline is the only zipline south of San Antonio.
We've zipped on several ziplines in Texas as well as in Colorado and Costa Rica and we've never seen a zipline as unique as this one on South Padre Island. There are only two towers, both about 50' to 60' tall and one tower has three 2500 square feet platforms and the other has two landing platforms. Between the towers are 4 parallel ziplines about 500 feet long which means from the first tower, two people can zip side-by-side to the next tower - side by side, of course, turns into a challenge of who is the fastest! Also unique to South Padre Island Adventure Park Zip is the braking system - they use the latest state-of-the-art braking system which means you don't have to worry about forgetting to use your hands to break and slamming into the zipline guide.
What all of that means is that you zip from one platform to the other platform where an experienced guide will unhook you and send you up a level to the top platform of that tower. Once they have hooked you onto the two zip lines you're ready to fly through the air to the second tower. You'll land on the lower platform of the second tower, get unhooked, climb up a few steps to the top platform, hook up and start screaming and yelling "Geronimo" as you fly back to the first tower. No wasted breath or time walking/hiking from tower to tower. What's also unique at South Padre Island Adventure Park Zipline is that you can pay a very reasonable rate for a 30 minute or a 60 minute session and zip back and forth as many times as you can within that session. And finally, you won't find such a beautiful view as what you get from the towers at South Padre Island Adventure Park Zipline - a view of the beach and Gulf of Mexico on one side and Laguna Madre Bay and the wetlands on the other side.
We signed up for a 30 minute session, walked a couple minutes to the first platform where we were greeted with a friendly guide and joined by a big guy and a another couple. Our guide quickly outfitted us with a helmet (it took three tries to find one that would fit my big head) and then we stepped into our harness. All was fine until she cinched my harness tight around my big belly and my manhood and asked "is that ok?" - in a very high pitched voice I said "sure." As soon as we got hooked up we got some quick instructions and followed our guide up to the top platform, where I think my legs got a little wobbly stepped onto the launching platfrom what seemed like a mile above the ground! The guide hooked my confident wife into one zipline and then me into the next one which was about 3 feet to my wife's right. The wife looked at me and said "you're history" and she ran off the end of her slopping launching platform and went flying through the air while I'm still standing there with wobbly legs. I sucked it in, slowly walked to the edge, looked down, closed my eyes, sat down in my harness and said a prayer! Next thing I know I was flying through the air toward the next platform - however, it seemed that I had gotten turned around and was coming in backwards! But I nailed it, stood up proud, and hopefully gave a look like "I meant to come in backwards." My wife immediately said "nice landing and what took you so long."
Our guide on the 2nd platform unhooked us and led us up to the next level, hooked us up, and said go when we're ready. After my first successful ride, I was confident and ready to beat my wife across but by the time I had taken a deep breath she had run off the platform and was 50 feet ahead of me. I flew down the zip line I nailed the landing feet first with a big smile and was feeling good until the wife said "about time you got here." Now I'm really mad so on the next trip across as soon as I was hooked up I ran as fast as I could down the platform, got tucked into my zipline racing form, and was ahead for about 30 seconds until she went flying by with a big "wheeeee....I'll wait for you on the other side." And this went on for the rest of our zipping time until the final zip I finally caught and passed her (the wind had picked up some speed and happened to be blowing toward the landing platform which helped plus my new Eddie the Eagle Zipline Form was second to none), nailed the landing, and said "gotcha! You're buying the margaritas."
What a fun 30 minutes. We can't wait to try it again next year because South Padre Island Adventure Park Zipline is going to be adding a third platform in the summer of 2017 that will take you across the road and over to the beach - cool!
Everyone from 10 to 80 should enjoy this zipline and the only restriction is you have to be over 10 and be a minimum of 60 pounds and a maximum of 300 pounds. And there is no need to worry about safety - South Padre Island Adventure Park Zipline hired the very best company in the industry, Adventure Experience, INC. to install and certify the zip-lines, train and certify the staff to the world safety standards of the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT). And every zipline cable, pulley, lanyard, and component is doubled for your safety.
My wife wanted to ride horses on the beach until I reminded her that the last time I rode a horse I could not walk for a week. And I was thirsty and ready for the Margarita we bet. If you bring kids to South Padre Island Adventure Park, they'll enjoy the petting zoo or pony rides or a ride through the waves at the beach.
So next time you're in the Rio Grande Valley or on South Padre Island, make sure you zip on over to South Padre Island Adventures for a zip, to pet the animals, or go for a pony ride or horseback ride on the beach.