How to use a Slackline Official Guide
Slacklining has become one of the fastest-growing trends in the United States and all around the world. Slacklining is incredibly simple and you can start by using a standard type of ratchet strap that has two main anchor points that strap to usually to tree to tree. The fun in slacklining is attempting to make it from one point of the tree to another tree without ever touching the ground, or falling off of the slackline. It is a very simple easy and quick installation which makes Slacklining that much better.
Becoming a Slackline pro may take a few attempts to get the hang of things, but the success is worth the patience! The proud accomplishment of being able to walk across a slackline dangling off of the ground will make this achievement worth doing! Slacklining is a great way to have fun in the sun with family, friends, and coworkers. Make sure to check out our beginners Slackline kit we offer for a limited time price to get you started!
The History of Slacklining
A slackline or slacklining is the act of walking or balancing along a suspended length of tie-down webbing that is tied between two different anchor points. Slacklining over the years has been compared to tightrope walking. Although these two trends are similar a Slackline can be adjusted with tension that fits the slackliner. Slacklines are tightened way less than tightropes and create a trampoline effect that allows you to move across the webbing while having some slack that makes crossing easier to remain balanced. Some of the slackline pro series will even use the trampoline bouncing effect from slacklines to bounce up and down on the tie down webbing. However, it may take a little bit of time order to get to this level of skill before you will be able to also bounce up and down on the tie-down material.
A little bit of history about slacklining is slackline was created by mountain climbers in the late 1970s. It was used to perform tricks over mountain ranges with a guide rope above the slackline that allowed for easy balance across to the other side or in the center of the slackline to provide the most amount of slack or bounce to perform tricks. Slackline really began to gain attention by gymnastics over the last few years after it was used during the 2016 Olympics, shortly after being used in trampoline parks, water parks, beaches, foam pits, and other areas that may not always require two trees to be used. The most common size of Slackline is 1-inch Slacklines that are 30 feet long on average but may vary depending on the area you plan to slackline in as everyone’s location is different.
Slackline has achieved some pretty crazy records over the years such as the longest in 2006 a slackline was placed over 1,000 meters in the air and crossed. That’s over 3,000 feet in the air. The longest slackline ever performed was in May of 2015 when a slackline pro walked across 2,000 feet of webbing to the other side while being 750 feet in the air. Interested in some of the many other different slackline accomplishments? Click here to see some of the other crazy records for slackliners. A slackline consists of two pieces of tie down webbing, a length of polyester webbing, and a short end that contains a ratchet strap.
What is a Slackline?
A slackline is a rope made from a Polyester webbing blend that is tied between two different anchor points. Traditionally a slackline is tied to trees, however, can be secured to just about any two anchors such as wooden poles. What makes slacklines different than a tightrope for example that although they are both similar are vastly different in the amount of tightening to the rope that is used. Think of Slacklines as more of a trampoline type of webbing that allows you to bounce and move up and down more freely than the traditional tightrope that allows very little movement up and down. Slackline has become great for beginners as well as some of the skilled slackline experts who may be considered “slackline pros” which is the highest title in the slackline community.
Slacklines are made from the same material as ratchet straps that are used in the transportation industry. The material that is used for slacklines comes traditionally in either 1 inch wide or 2-inch wide polyester webbing material based on skill level some slackliners may prefer one side or the other. Beginners may notice right off the back that slacklines may require some time to become a slackline pro but the reward is well worth the time investment. Slacklines are the perfect way to enjoy a family gathering in the park and test family and friends’ skill levels. If you are looking to learn how to slackline there are thousands of internet tutorials around the web such as YouTube that provide tips on slacklining for all levels of slackliners. No matter if you are a beginner or a pro looking to learn a new slackline trick there are levels for everyone to improve with. Below is a video of one of our favorite beginner’s guides for slacklines and how to set up a slackline that has a ratchet.
What is a Slackliner?
A slackliner is a term that has been given to those who love Slackline! Slackliners has become the given term for those who compete in slackline tournaments. Both slackliners and slackline pros have become the official terms for those who enjoy slacklining in their free time. Slackline tournaments have become popular over the last couple of years giving the term “slackline pro” to those who compete in the sport and are experts on the topic of slacklines. Slackline pros are great at doing tricks, as well as doing unusual stunts such as going over massive waves and strong winds while remaining balanced on the slackline.
Slackliners come in all ages and are found to be most commonly used in teenagers. You can find slackliners around beaches, parks, water parks, trampoline parks, playgrounds, and more locations. One thing that really stands out to others at first is the helpfulness that is displayed by other slackliners to help others become better at slacklining. Slackliners can often be found with helmets on for added safety but slackliners tend to learn quickly and will become an expert in no time!
Some Beginner and Expert Slackline Tricks
Did you know that although the objective is to get from one anchor point to another on a slackline that it is also possible to do incredible tricks? Some of the slackline tricks include bouncing off of the slackline webbing back up onto the webbing. Some of the slackline tricks located below show some of the incredible tricks that you can learn from practicing Slackline.
As you can see from the video of the trick even some of the pros have trouble at times so it’s important to always remember to keep focusing on the end goal of slacklining. Slackening can become frustrating at times but with practice, slacklines can become very rewarding to train and work on becoming better. If you want a great workout slackline has many tricks such as the chest bounce and surfing some of the slacklining most popular. One of the hardest tricks for any slackliner to attempt is the double drop knee which the slackliner will drop both knees on the slackline and bounce back up. This is a tough trick to accomplish for even some of the best slackline pros and may take a little getting used to before you are ready to attempt this trick.
Where to buy a Slackline
There are many different slackline companies on the market that may attempt to assure the quality is there on their products. While this may be true for most of these slackline suppliers or manufacturers lack the knowledge to make a safe tie-down strap in order to slackline on. Our company Ratchet Straps USA has over 75 years of combined experience in making tie-down straps for the shipping industry, mostly for professional truckers and professional movers that are known to keep very large cargo secured. Our tie down webbing is made from industrial grade polyester webbing mesh that prevents excess stretching from occurring as well as providing working load limits that will tell you how much weight that your slacklines or tie down products can handle before the ultimate point of breaking.
Make sure to check out our 2 inch Standard Pro Series Slackline in numerous different colors to get you started on your journey to becoming a slackline pro. You can check out our 2 inch Standard Pro Series Slackline here.
Some Basic Slacklining Tips and Tricks
A few important slacklining tips to remember for any beginner slackliner is to focus forward. Looking down will hinder your balance and make you unable to remain on the slackline more often than not. Another important tip for any level of slackliner is to focus on looking forward. Looking left or right will move your focus toward that direction which could easily result in you falling off the slackline on either side of the tie down webbing. Another useful tip is to keep your feet pointed straight. One of our gut instincts is to move your feet toward the direction you are moving as you work your way down the slackline. Keeping your toes pointed straight will help keep you balanced as you move down the slackline as well as prevent you from needing to correct to gain your balance back.
Lastly and the largest tip today is knowing how to balance. It’s a common theory to use your arms to hold your balance on the slackline, but time has proven that this method is not always the best for most users. The best way to remain balanced on the slackline is to go lower slackline while using your elbows to hold you upright on the slackline. The closer you remain to the slackline the more that you will resist things like wind and movement from the slackline from going in different directions. Remember that slacklines work differently than tightropes. The tighter the webbing of the slackline the stiffer the line is and usually the harder the slackline is to use.
If you have any questions about any of our slackline products give our slackline experts a call at 800-483-2189 and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have about any of our product lines. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you with your slackline needs.
Frequently Asked Slackline Questions
Can you use a Ratchet Strap as a Slackline? – Yes, we highly recommend the strap that is being secured by an endless loop ratchet strap that has extra webbing to ensure the strap can reach the distance between the trees. You can also check out our Pro Series Slackline Kit HERE.
How to make a Slackline with Ratchet Straps – You can view our suggested video above for a visual on how to set up a slackline with a ratchet properly. We highly suggest that when using ratchet straps you do not use end fittings such as s hooks, wire hooks, or equivalent. This could cause potential accidents or injury if they were to become unsecured while in use which is why we always suggest endless loops and ratchet hardware.
Can you use Cam Buckle Hardware for Slacklines? – We highly urge customers to use Ratchet Hardware to tighten the slackline strap to prevent any potential chances of injury. Cam Buckle Hardware is unable to be tightened as tight as a ratchet strap can be tightened as they use hand strength to tighten the strap. Although once tightened it may be safe to use we can’t say for certain and will never recommend this hardware doing such.
How Tight Should my Slackline Be? – Your slack on the slackline is based on personal preference but it should allow a slight amount of slack in order to accommodate for the weight of the user. If you are unsure of the safety of the tightness of the strap you should immediately stop using the strap and inspect the setup before continuing use.
How Long is the Normal Length of a Slackline? – 30 feet is the standard kit size for our pro series slackline kit. However, depending on the trees in your area they can ideally be made in just about any length of webbing from 30 feet to 100 feet or longer depending on your setup. If you don’t see the length of webbing you are looking for you can give our experts a call at 800-483-2189 or by using our online contact us form located at the top of the website.
How do you become better at Slacklining? – We always recommend to users who are starting off slacklining to use our pro series assist strap that is mounted above the head of the user to hold on to while getting the hang of the slackline. This helps to provide extra balance as well as wiggle room for any errors that you may encounter while learning. This is also a great way to help improve your balance when starting out and is included in our pro series slackline kit.