Originally Posted by aeajr
I had these videos that I think illustarate the zip start vs hi-start very well.
Hi-start, up-start, zip start or zip cord
To me a Zip start is a short piece of powerful rubber or bungee cord typically used for high powered launches optimized for speed, hence the name Zip. They typically 10-25 feet of elastic with little or no line. They are often used with flying wings where the hook is in the nose. The plane reaches very high speeds on a flat launch, then is taken straight up at high speeds. Pretty exciting.
F3J pilots use them too. The pull is so strong that the pilot literally has to lean into the plane in order to back up and stretch the rubber. These simulate the powerful pull of a two man tow launch. An example is shown in the video. Note the stance of the pilot as he pulls back.
Zip Start Launches
I think you are talking about short hi-starts or up-starts. These are soft launch devices consisting of about 25 feet of rubber and 75 to 100 feet of line used for launching TD gliders, optimized for altitude rather than speed.
You are correct. I had started with the Zip Start as it would take up the least amount of space but someone pointed out that it is too fast for someone that is not used to it and they could destroy their plane. So now it looks like Up-Start or Mini Start is the preferred method. Excellent video's and watched it many times. Thanks