The Shotover Canyon Swing: a New-to-market Innovation

The Shotover Canyon Swing: a New-to-market Innovation

New Zealand is renowned adventure activities, and the Shotover Canyon Swing provides yet another example of ‘Kiwi’ inventiveness in the adrenaline activity arena. Located over the Shotover River near Christchurch on New Zealand’s south island, the Shotover Canyon Swing provides an adrenaline filled adventure activity for the brave. Using a specially designed harness and rope system, participants launch themselves off the world’s highest cliff, some 109 metres above the Shotover river to plummet 60 metres in freefall down the rocky cliff face at up to 150km before swinging 200 meters across the river canyon below [1]. Many different jump styles enable participants to test their tolerance for fear in a plethora of ways, including in solo and tandem (paired) configurations [1]. See here for a short clip. For those brave enough to do it more than once, a second jump can be done at a very substantially reduced cost; and for those willing to jump off a cliff naked, the activity is entirely free.

The Shotover Canyon Swing is a product innovation. Product innovations are “changes directly observed by the customer and regarded as new…[as in] never seen before, or new to the…enterprise or destination” [2]. Furthermore, it also constitutes a relatively radical form of product innovation as it is a “new-to-the-market” innovation [3].  New-to-the-market innovations arise “when the firm is the first to introduce the innovation on its market” [3]. Although falling inspired adrenaline activities are relatively common in tourism, the operators of the Canyon Swing invented a new system to enable delivery of a new-to-market product combining swinging and free falling motion in a cliff jump activity.

Recommended Citation

Reid, S. R. M. (2016). The Shotover Canyon Swing: a New-to-market Innovation. INNOTOUR Innovation Cases. From


  1. Shotover Canyon Swing & Fox. Canyon Swing. 2016  5 December 2016]; Available from:
  2. Hjalager, A.M., A review of innovation research in tourism. Tourism Management, 2010. 31(1): p. 1-12.
  3. OECD, Oslo Manual: Guidelines for Collecting and Interpreting Innovation Data. 3rd ed. 2005: OECD, Eurostat.

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