I finally got to Jolly Rogers to check out the new Xtreme Ziplining, and, whatever I was expecting, this went far beyond. The staff was super eager to help and they were more than happy to ‘hook’ me up. But, after climbing to the first platform, I was very content to just watch. Jon Hill, a University of Phoenix student on vacation in Ocean City, was more than happy to oblige and be my subject. He found out about this activity through friends and thought he’d give it a try.
The platform stands 60 feet above ground and while that doesn’t sound that high, it is! I was expecting to see one zip line ride but the rider actually goes through a series of four stations, or events as they call them. Two guides lead the rider through the events, one as lead and one as follow up. Safety is definitely held first and foremost. All guides are trained and certified and the cables are tested and checked daily.
A total of 1100 feet of cable, all 60 feet in the air, crisscross the park, some longer rides, some shorter, with a steep rope bridge thrown in just to mix it up. Jon made it look easy. His guides were Daniel Reed and Alex Galbreath. Vernon Redding, the other staff member, helped hook everybody up – literally – to the strong steel cables.
At the very last platform, the only way to disembark is called the “Leap of Faith”. And I understood what this meant after watching Alex, the lead guide, jump 30 feet to the ground- with a cable of course! All in all, it still looked a little scary to jump from it. When Jon landed and walked the swinging bridge to the exit, his comments were “That is really cool. It’s a blast”! I think I’ll have to actually work up my courage and try it myself next time!
If you go: you must be 12 years and older, must weigh between 100-250 pounds, all long hair must be tied back and closed shoes must be worn – which they provide in case you show up in flip flops. The rides can accommodate groups of 6-8 people. Cost per rider is $24.99. Entrance is through Speedworld. For more information, visit http://www.jollyrogerpark.com/.
Lisa Challenger is the tourism director for Worcester County and still working up the courage to try the new Xtreme Zipline herself.