Sometimes these can break. This usually happens when people pull on the center of the dowel using it as an aide in getting out of the chair. If you do want to grab on to the dowel to assist in getting out grab on the ends of the dowel so that all of your weight is not concentrated in one area in the middle. The best way to exit all the chairs is to simply walk it back till you are almost standing. This dowel is for the regular hammock chair and not the larger hammock chair. It is 39 1/2 Inches Wide.