Many people see rappelling as an easy sport, so they don’t consider it necessary to engage in any practice before they actually go rappelling for the first time.
However, rappelling is considered one of the most dangerous activities and one that is responsible for a good number of accidents owing to human errors, equipment faults, or natural causes.
To avoid getting caught in any accident, especially one with potentially harmful effects, you need to practice rappelling.
It helps you familiarize yourself with all the safety processes, helps you avoid amateur mistakes, and makes rappelling like a second habit to you.
If you have decided to take some time to practice rappelling, you might be wondering where you can do that. From your surroundings to a climbing gym, there are a few convenient places to practice rappelling. Let’s look into them.
Best Places to Practice Rappelling
To get the best from your rappelling practice, you should carry it out in a safe and guided environment where whatever mistakes you make won’t be harmful or of grave consequences.
You can do this by training in a controlled environment, backing yourself up on a top rope belay, or learning at a climbing gym.
1. In Your Backyard
You can start practicing rappelling straight from your backyard without having to go far away from home. If you have a large tree in your backyard, it is the perfect object to rappel from.
All you need to do is set up your equipment on top of the tree and then practice by lowering yourself from a tree branch. You can go as high as you want or stay as close to the ground as you want.
2. At a local park
If you don’t have trees high or strong enough in your backyard, you can visit a local park nearby to practice rappelling. You’ll find large trees of all shapes and sizes where you can set up your rappel and practice lowering yourself from any comfortable height.
You must ensure that the tree is large and sturdy enough, and also that you’re allowed to use the trees at that park for rappelling.
3. A roof or safe high point
Whether around your home or far away, you can find a high point that is safe to descend from and then set up your rappel there. However, you must ensure that the point is not too high, and also safe for you.
If you’re going on the roof of a building, ensure that you have clearance to do so and go with someone who is good at rappelling to guide you through the motions to avoid mistakes. You can even watch them go first before you give it a try.
4. State/private owned rappelling parks
Before you do waterfall rappelling or rappelling in a rocky environment, you might want to practice at a park that has the appropriate environment for the activity.
While some people visit these parks to rappel for real, nobody says you cannot practice there, especially if you have a guide. It’ll only be dangerous if you choose to do it alone for the first time in a potentially unsafe location.
So, you can visit a rappelling park and ask for a guide to teach and supervise you while you practice the motions from the setup to descending.
When you’ve mastered it, you can then go to the park alone or with friends to enjoy the activity unguided.
5. Rappelling Gyms
While it might be difficult to find gyms designated simply for rappelling, you can find gyms where members and visitors practice climbing. They will also have courses or practices for rappelling.
Sign up for abseiling/rappelling training at a gym and have the instructor take you through the ropes in a safe environment where you can set up your rope and anchor and descend safely while avoiding pitfalls.
6. Any controlled outdoor Environment
There are several outdoor sports schools where you can get guided rappelling tours with an expert teaching you the ropes. You’ll have all the equipment you need and you can practice the activity in a controlled environment before going out alone.
Some of these schools have designated locations, parks, and environments they consider safe for rappelling, and they take their students to such locations to train them on rappelling. You can gain a lot by joining any of such schools and gaining the needed skills.
Avoid Practicing Rappelling in Accident-Prone Locations
As a beginner who is practicing rappelling, you should avoid locations that are potentially dangerous to you, especially because you could make a beginner’s mistake, even if you’re guided.
Waterfall rappelling locations are risky for beginners, as well as locations with a lot of rocks. Places that are too high are also dangerous.
This is because, in the instance of a fall, you would be more badly injured if you fall from a very high point or hit your body against rocks, or even fall into the water and face a risk of drowning.
Ensure that the ground you’ll be landing on is safe, free of sharp objects, and if possible, cushioned to protect your body if you should fall.
Rappelling is fun, but it also requires focus, preparation, and safety awareness to avoid accidents and injuries when you’re carrying out the activity.
Whether at a gym, at a local park, outdoor school, or even in your backyard, there are a number of places to learn to rappel before you try it in a real-life situation.
Always ensure to practice the techniques in safe and controlled settings where you cannot get into harmful accidents or develop serious injuries when you fall or make other mistakes.