Coral Flyer: Island to Island zip-line in Borneo
What started as a means of transportation in the early days, Zip-line has now become one of the popular vacation activities in the world. I had the opportunity to experience zip-lining at Coral Flyer, said to be the world’s first island to island zip-line, situated here in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.
Introducing the Coral Flyer
The Coral Flyer Zip-Line spans 250 metres between Sapi and Gaya Island, the islands within Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Kota Kinabalu. The zip-line structure was built with the latest technologies and the highest construction standards to bring to you one of the most unique zip-line experience ever. Here’s the specification of the zip-line according to their website, coralflyer.com
- Imported Stainless steel cables
- Imported cable clamps
- Singing Rock Harnesses
- CMI professional cable trolleys
- Daily, weekly and monthly inspections
- Maintenance schedule
- USA Qualified inspectors
- Fully engineered
- 10 : 1 safety ratio
Current price is MYR50 per ride, and you can get the tickets via Sapi Island jetty. The counters opens daily from 10AM to 4PM, so this activity can be an add on for your island excursion plans.
Getting to Coral Flyer
Me with a bunch of eager and fun loving bloggers first meet up at Jesselton Point, awaiting boat ride service to Sapi Island, right at the time the sun shine brightly up ahead. A boat ride from Jesselton Point to Sapi Island takes roughly 20 minutes depending on the weather. You can check out the boat ride fare and Sabah Parks Conservation fee here, jesseltonpoint.com.my
After we arrived at Pulau Sapi, we were greeted by Simon Amos, The owner of Coral Flyer, Ropeskills Sdn Bhd, and also Sabah Indoor Climbing Centre (SICC). We were briefed about how the procedure goes with Coral Flyer experience. While waiting for our turn, we gather under a shady spot, doing our own stuff, applying sunblock, selfies, taking some shots with camera, yeah random stuff. 🙂
As our turn arrived, we head back to the jetty and hop on the boat that leads to Padang Point, Gaya Island. From there we walked to a spot at the foot of a small hill, for zip-line gear preparation.
The staff handling on the ground are either ARAA (Australian Rope Access Association) qualified as professional rope technicians or hold the SEACF (South East Asian Climbing Federation) Ropes Course Instructor qualification (level 2). Feel free to ask them anything related to zip-lining, they are more than happy to explain it to you.
Hey, if you have GoPro device with you, that’s a big plus! You can request for a safety helmet which you can slot in the GoPro to record your experience doing zip-lining and also record the scenery while you’re at it. When gears are prepped and secured, we are off for a small hike up the hill to the platform.
All that I have been imagining a few days back had come to this point and it’s now or never! … Too bad I accidentally pushed the stop button on my camera when I was gliding in between the islands. No videos from me, but this video shows what you will experience;
And that was the greatest thrill ride I ever experienced this year. You are safely secured on the zip-line gear, and feel the adrenaline rush cruising down at speed up to 60KMH. Remember that the price is MYR50 per ride, please enquire at the counter to get multiple rides if you wish.
Small interview with Simon
After the zip-line ride, is all free and leisure for all of us. I used that time to meet up with Simon and ask a few questions regarding Coral Flyer.
TOM: What did motivates you to have a zip-line to be built here in the islands?
SIMON: We’ve been building lines like these for the people, we built one in Kiulu, for National Service, Outward Bound Brunei. When we look at this gap (between Gaya and Sapi Island), we knew it was a perfect spot.
A hill on one side, low on the other, literally the geography is asking for it! We were out of the boat the we looked at this one, “That needs a zipline!”
Normally we build for the people, and this is the first time that we build for ourselves.
TOM: So I heard it took some time to get it done.
SIMON: It took years for paperworks, and 7 months to completely build because we finance it ourselves.
Simon added about the zipline ride fee,
SIMON: We pay for Sabah Parks and also the rent on this island, its quite expensive. But we still keeping the zip-line MYR50 per ride, because we want people to feel satisfied and get value for their money. If you ask people more than MYR50, I think its not fair.
TOM: How was it on the first day of soft opening of the zip-line?
SIMON: We’ve done okay actually without any actual marketing at first. Some tour companies do approach us and helped on promoting by putting it up on their tour packages.
TOM: Maybe you can share a bit of Dos and Don’t before getting on the zip-line.
SIMON: Don’t get DRUNK first. (hahahaha!).
We built (the zip-line) it tamper proof, you probably noticed that you got handle, the handles keeps you facing forward and keep the hands out of the reach of the cable, you couldn’t reach the cable if you wanted to, its too far away.
And the other thing is, when this system is all loaded up, this carabiner, you can open it up but you can’t get out of it (because of your own weight), so you literally couldn’t undo yourself and release into the sea even if you tried to.
What we try to do is to make a situation where there is no opportunity for someone to get hurt.
The small interview concluded with a photo of me with Simon. Big thanks to Simon for the cooperation during the interview.
More free time while we are waiting for our boat ride back to bigger island.
Big thanks to Simon Amos and the crews for a great island to island zip-line experience, do not miss this opportunity when you’re going for island hopping. Do check out their Facebook page, Coral Flyer, and also their website, www.coralflyer.com for updates. You can also check out more photos here in my Facebook page, The Rungitom.
Coincidentally today is also Coral Flyer’s official opening!
I had fun at Coral Flyer, now its your turn to experience, so come out and go zip-lining at Coral Flyer now!
I’ll be back again Coral Flyer!