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JLMoran

Dragon's Breath Zip Line -- OK for people with back/neck problems?

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OK, so I already know that the Dragon's Breath zip line excursion has a big standard disclaimer on it that people with back or neck problems shouldn't do it. But I also know it's a CYA disclaimer to cover that 1-in-500 or lower chance someone gets hurt doing it. I've been on plenty of rides with these disclaimers, and in spite of having really badly hurt my neck years ago, I've never had a problem with any of them. Mainly low- to mid-line roller coasters (space mountain / runaway train / thunder mountain type, no loops or linear acceleration launchers), but also other amusement park rides.

This excursion has me feeling a little differently. I'm hitting 50 mph by the time the line levels out. There are no restraints to keep my body from jerking around at the end when I stop, certainly nothing to protect my neck (which I will admit is still somewhat weak even now and which cracks / pops several times a day). I'd like to do it, but not if there's a non-minimal risk of spraining / straining it again. Labadee is the last port on our trip, but I still have a sea day after that and then the flight home.

Can anyone who's done this excursion clue me in on how hard the jolt is when you stop at the end? I've seen the videos showing the full experience, and it certainly looks like I could really feel it. The rest of my family will be doing this and I have no problem taking several slow runs down the alpine coaster while they're at it, or just lazing in the cabana and getting our money's worth from that, or taking a slow walk along the paths.

Thanks, all!

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Can't say how you would do, but if you really have back problems, probably best you don't do it. If you happen to crash into the car in front of you, it will definitely hurt. Or if someone crashes into you. The turns are fast and that could strain your back too. 

So if you really have regular problems, I'd say no. But you really need to judge that for yourself. 

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5 hours ago, BrianAlt said:

Wow.  I must have had a reading problem. :13_upside_down:  Ha! I can answer this one with a video!

Me on the Labadee Zip Line

Yes, it hits hard.  No, I don't recommend it for you.  But, again, you know your body best.

OK, so that video and the way you got yanked at the end lines up with what I've seen on other videos. Was that a GoPro you were using there that got knocked loose, or handheld?

It does seem from the sound that you do slow down at least a bit before you hit the end, but still kind of fast if not the peak 50 mph.

As far as the coaster goes, that's less of a concern for me. I've ridden enough coasters in recent years to know I can handle the curves and bumps. I'll just ride the brake a bit to keep from going super-fast through the turns (and so I can appreciate the view!), and try to time my rides for when it's less crowded so I don't have to worry as much about someone slamming into me from behind. I'm assuming earlier in the day or when everyone else is eating lunch should be ideal.

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On 6/18/2017 at 0:29 PM, JLMoran said:

OK, so that video and the way you got yanked at the end lines up with what I've seen on other videos. Was that a GoPro you were using there that got knocked loose, or handheld?

It does seem from the sound that you do slow down at least a bit before you hit the end, but still kind of fast if not the peak 50 mph.

As far as the coaster goes, that's less of a concern for me. I've ridden enough coasters in recent years to know I can handle the curves and bumps. I'll just ride the brake a bit to keep from going super-fast through the turns (and so I can appreciate the view!), and try to time my rides for when it's less crowded so I don't have to worry as much about someone slamming into me from behind. I'm assuming earlier in the day or when everyone else is eating lunch should be ideal.

Holding my camera in my hand. GoPro wasn't invented yet at this time. 

Definitely slower at the end.  But I did hit pretty hard  

Earleir in the day is great. First thing I rode it 8 or so times without a line. 

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3 hours ago, Matt said:

If you have back pain/problems, might not be a good idea.  No need to risk your cruise for it

Matt, back pain is mainly arthritis in my lower back, gets better with walking around, which I'm sure I'll be doing plenty of on this trip! Bigger concern is my neck, which I badly sprained and slightly damaged one of the discs after getting thrown in a martial arts class without using proper break fall technique to roll out of it. Took years to get (mostly) better, and it still clicks and pops several times a day. So I just watch out for anything that could give me whiplash, which the zip line definitely seems to qualify for. And now that I know to go on the coaster earlier / at lunch when it's less crowded, I can enjoy that without worrying about someone coming behind me at 45+ mph and ramming me because I want to enjoy the view and maybe take some video on my phone.

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3 hours ago, JLMoran said:

Matt, back pain is mainly arthritis in my lower back, gets better with walking around, which I'm sure I'll be doing plenty of on this trip! Bigger concern is my neck, which I badly sprained and slightly damaged one of the discs after getting thrown in a martial arts class without using proper break fall technique to roll out of it. Took years to get (mostly) better, and it still clicks and pops several times a day. So I just watch out for anything that could give me whiplash, which the zip line definitely seems to qualify for. And now that I know to go on the coaster earlier / at lunch when it's less crowded, I can enjoy that without worrying about someone coming behind me at 45+ mph and ramming me because I want to enjoy the view and maybe take some video on my phone.

JL,

I developed some serious degenerative arthritis in my lower back which resulted in me quitting golf cold turkey in 2011. As a result I do not take any chances with anything physical that involves my lower back or may have a bad effect on my lower back. I have been to Labedee and seen this zip line. No way in hell would I even think about something like this! I think you are a very smart cookie to stay away from this thing. However, you can get an umbrella on the open ocean side of Labedee under the zip line, have a few cold ones and enjoy the show! I didn't know grown men and women could scream at the top of their lungs for the entire ride!!

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Morgan from the Very Unofficial Travel Guides did a video showing his experience on the zipline - it looks like the very end is a really nasty abrupt stop, so I wouldn't risk it. There are a lot of other things you could do - I'd try the alpine coaster instead.

 

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17 minutes ago, klaconqueso said:

I didn't hit hard once I reached the end.... then again, I also stopped about 100 feet short of the end and had to be pulled in. 

Just a guess, but we probably weigh more than you do.

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On 6/19/2017 at 5:22 PM, rjac said:

JL,

IHowever, you can get an umbrella on the open ocean side of Labedee under the zip line, have a few cold ones and enjoy the show! I didn't know grown men and women could scream at the top of their lungs for the entire ride!!

I actually booked an over-the-water cabana on Nellie's Beach back in February (and for a major discount!), which if I remember right should give a very nice view of its own. I'll most likely be sitting there and sipping on a Labadoozie around 10:30, after doing a few rounds on the coaster, to watch as the rest of my family comes whizzing down and wailing away. 😉

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