Learn how to slackline

Read a bit about slacklining and slacklines first:

Slacklining is a practice in balance that typically uses nylon or polyester webbing tensioned between two anchor points. Many people suggest slacklining is distinct from tightrope walking in that the line is not held rigidly taut (although it is still under some tension); it is instead dynamic, stretching and bouncing like a long and narrow trampoline. The line’s tension can be adjusted to suit the user and different types of webbing can be used to achieve a variety of feats. The line itself is usually flat, due to the nature of webbing, thus keeping one’s footing from rolling as would be the case with an ordinary rope. The dynamic nature of the line allows for tricks and stunts. Slacklining has quickly become popular due to its simplicity and versatility and its ability to be practiced in a variety of environments. Those who participate in slacklining are often called “slackers”. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slacklining

There are so many different slackline sets out there. Its very hard for a beginner to find the right slackline. That’s why you might ask yourself these questions. Well, in this blog post I try to answer this questions for a couple of you. If you can’t get you questions answered feel free to send me an email to patrick@slacklineshop.co.nz with your specific enquiry and I’ll give my best to help you out!

But anyways, here I tried to create a table which gives you an rough overview for whom our main products are made for, I call it the Slackline-Consultant.

At first we have the most significant difference in length of the slackline webbing and then in the width of the slackline webbing, the slackline webbing material and the tensioning system.

The length:

Slackline Newbies or Slackline Learner really can’t go wrong with the one ratchet 50mm 15 meter Slackline set. This one is also really popular as a birthday present or christmas gift. This set will just get you guys started on a really fair price! The 25 meter is just the following up version of the 15 meter and the good part about it is you can of course set it up as short as you want. With the 25 meter slackline set you’ll probably have a long time fun with it! The 30 meter slackline kit with the double ratchets is also adjustable to any length, but you really want to go over 15 meter at least to feel the extra bounce put on from the extra ratchet. Also a big benefit are the anchor round slings and the shackles which hold the webbing flat and helps a lot to get started with jumping on the slackline and do tricks. The 30 meter double ratchets is definitely for experts or those who want to become one! Slackline webbing length over 30 meter are better to setup and carry with a 25mm wideness. Read about that in next paragraph.

The width:

The 15 meter, 25 meter and the 30 meter slackline ratchet sets are all with the 50mm width slacklineshop classic webbing which are perfect for learners and Trickline performers. Due to the good width it is really stable and bouncy if you put energy in it. The other option is the 25mm width slackline kits or 25 mm slackline webbings. The feeling is really different to a wider webbing. You need this extra bit of training to walk them, especially because most of the thinner webbings are set up to walk longer distances over 30 meter.

The Construction:

There are mainly two different shaped slackline webbings, which are flat construction or tubular construction. Tubular means the slackline webbing is build like a hose and the inside is empty – you could look right through it if its short enough. Flat webbing means its what it says. Flat and solid. Here it is really up to you and what you prefer. Some people say they love the tubular feeling on their feet, because it is closer to tight rope walking due to it’s more round shaped character. Flat webbing is probably more direct due to its flat foot feeling. Try and find it out!

The Tensioning System:

Most simple is of course the single ratchet. Easy to set up. Easy to transport only the two pieces. The next option is to use 2 ratchets with long slings on each end of the webbing. You can make it more advanced with adding a shackle and a round anchor sling to each ratchet and use a short sling with the ratchet. It stops the slackline from twisting it self, that is really important if you want to do tricks and jumping. The other option is to put tension to the webbing with a primitive pulley. The technique comes from Jeff Ellington, more about him in the wikipedia article about slacklining in the section ”history”. We at slacklineshop.co.nz give you the option to set up a pulley with shackles or carabiners. The main difference is the setup comfort and price. If you don’t mind the extra weight and the two-hand twisting technique of a shackle you will save some money. The other option are the carabiner: easier to set up and lighter. Both do have the same effectiveness to build the pulley system.

Hope you know more about the different systems and webbings now and I also hope you can’t wait to get on a slackline and get hooked to this amazing balancing and mind acrobatic sport. Trust me it will take your body-mind experience to another dimension and makes you better sportsman and balanced out person!

If you are a beginner or learner you want to start with a 50mm (5 cm or 2 inch) slackline webbing. This width is also good for walking and jumping or tricklining. Tricklining is a more advanced style of slacklining and is something for you if you did your first walks back and forth on the 50mm slackline. The 15 meter slackline set with the medium flex and complete with the ratchet is perfect for beginners and trickline learners.

If you want to walk longer distances or you just like the closer feeling to tight rope walking a more narrower slackline webbing like 25 mm or 35 mm (1 inch or 1.38 inch) is better for you. If you want to walk a distance longer than 25 meter we recommend the 25mm slackline webbing, and a better tension system just like the 30 meter double ratchet slackline kit.

Learn more about different slackline systems and slackline gear

Basically there are 4 different main slackline tension systems:

 

1. Ratchet (single or double)

2. Shackle or Carbiner primitive pulley tension system

3. Wheel Pulley System

4. Gibbon PittPull

Learn more about slackline tension system

 

 

Learn How to Slackline in 12 easy steps:

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Start with a short slackline. The shorter the distance between the two anchor points, the more stable the slackline. As the slackline gets longer, a few things happen:

  • The tension in the line increases, making dismounts more dangerous due to the extra force;
  • The height of the line off the ground increases to allow for greater sag when weighted;

It requires more force to tighten it, which can be difficult with some tightening systems.

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Put your foot lengthwise onto the slackline webbing. Leave the other leg of the line first and just stand there and feel the slackline. Later you can play around with having your foot across the line, because it is harder if you start like that.

Here is what you do:

  • Foot lengthwise
  • Find center of your foot and slackline
  • Try barefoot first and with shoes later
  • Try to get the slackline under your big toe and second toe
  • Try to step on it in one line with your two toes and your heel

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Ready for Take-Off?!

Here is what you do:

  • Open shoulders to the end of the slackline
  • Push your ground standing foot up
  • Balance with only one leg on the slackline
  • Look toward the end of the slackline
  • Just stand there and balance using the arms and other leg

Learn-how-to-Slackline-part-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Relax and Breath. Try to feel whats happening. And only exercise will stop you from shacking. And believe it or not: Everyone is shacking with it foot and leg like a lot.

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Now find your focus point.

Here is what you do:

  • Look exactly at the point where the slackline webbing is going into (or coming out) the webbing eye
  • have a straight and upright body position
  • Bend your knee a little bit
  • Just stand there and balance with your arms and other leg
  • Change leg after a while

Learn-how-to-Slackline-part-6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use your arms. They are you most importance balance keeping instruments.

Here is what you do:

  • Keep them as high as you can
  • Through them fast into the positions you need them
  • Watch how strong your arms will get through practicing slacklining

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Smooth motions. It’s not about speed it’s about balance!

Here is what you do:

  • slow movements
  • try to be really smooth
  • be bouncy
  • be ready for reaction
  • use your powerhouse and your core muscles

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Move your free foot for balance.

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Bent your knee to be more flexible for reaction

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Move your arms and legs.

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Now balance on each foot for 15 secs before you start walking many steps. From easy to hard. Standing then walking!

 

Watch this video to learn how to Slackline:

 

 

Learn how to Slackline better

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Get a Beginner Slackline Set

 

Check also the Wiki-How to learn how to walk a slackline online tutorial for more information: http://www.wikihow.com/Walk-a-Slackline

 

Gibbon Slacklines Products Overview:

Which_gibbon-slackline_is_the_right-one-beginners-advanced

Get a Gibbon Slackline set

 

Elephant Slacklines Products Overview:

Elephant-Slackline Consultant

Get an Elephant Slackline set

Made in New Zealand Slacklines Overview:

 

Which slackline to buy

Get a made in NZ slackline set

 

Slackline Shop NZ
4/109 Majori Banks Street WellingtonWGT6021 New Zealand 
 • 022 389 7489

2 thoughts on “Learn how to slackline

    • Patrick Stern
      Patrick Stern says:

      Hi Del,

      thanks for your comment! I am pretty sure a 9 year old can learn how to slackline anywhere in New Zealand! :) No seriously, I think best is to get a slackline starter set for yourself and your youngster. At this moment there are no slackline park or other public facilities like skate parks offer, but we work on pubblic slackline parks for New Zealand. So either find friends or relatives with a slackline or get one you guys. I recommend this one here: http://www.slacklineshop.co.nz/product/25-meter-slackline-set/ you can start with 7-8 meter and work your way up to longer distances time by time up to 25 meter. If you not sure you could test a slackline from us in Wellington at ferges kayaks or in Raglan at the backpackers for free. Or if you order one from us and for some reason it doesn’t work for you guys, you can return it any time for a money refund, but you would be the first one doing that! :) let me know if that answer helped you! Thanks, Patrick

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