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, it can be hard for a beginner to find the right one for them. That’s why Slackline Shop NZ has created the the Slacklince Consultant – a handy guide to help you find the find right product for your needs.

If you’re still stuck after reading the guide, then please email [email protected] and we’ll do our best to help you out!

The keys things to consider when purchasing a slackline are the length, width, the slackline webbing material and the tensioning system.

The length:

Slackline newbies really can’t go wrong with the one ratchet 50mm 15 metre Slackline Set. An affordable entry point into the world of slacklining, this set is really popular as a birthday present or Christmas gift.

The 25 metre slackline is a natural follow on to the 15 metre set, perfect for those who have started to find their feet – and their balance – it’s also fully adjustable, so you can use the full length or shorten it if need be.

The 30 metre Slackline Set with double ratchets is also adjustable to any length, and will provide added bounce from the extra ratchet. A big benefit to these sets are the anchor round slings and the shackles which hold the webbing flat and help you to get started with jumping on the slackline and doing tricks. The 30 metre double ratchet is definitely for experts! Slackline webbing with a length over 30 metres is also easier to setup.

The width:

The 15 metre, 25 metre and 30 metre slackline ratchet sets all feature the Slackline Shop NZ classic 50mm width webbing, which is perfect for learners and Trickline performers. The wider wedding provides more stability, and more bounce if you put energy in it. The other option that we offer is the 25mm width slackline kits or 25mm slackline webbings. The feeling is really different to a wider webbing and you need a bit of extra training to walk them, especially because most of the thinner webbings feature on longer length slacklines, such as our 30 metre slackline.

The Construction:

There are usually 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 is as it sounds – 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 the round shape, others prefer the stability afforded by a flat surface. Why not try both and find out which you prefer?

The Tensioning System:

The most simple to use is of course the single ratchet. This system is easy to set up and easy to transport given it is only two pieces.

The next option is to use two ratchets with long slings on each end of the webbing. You can make it more advanced by adding a shackle and a round anchor sling to each ratchet and use a shorter sling with the ratchet. This setup stops the slackline from twisting itself, which is really important if you want to do tricks and jumping. The other option is to add tension to the webbing with a primitive pulley.

At Slackline Shop NZ we 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. Meanwhile, a carabiner is easier to setup and lighter. Both do have the same effectiveness to build the pulley system.

If you are a beginner you want to start with a 50mm (5cm 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 to try after mastering your first walks back and forth on the 50mm slackline. The 15 metre Slackline Set with the medium flex and  ratchet is perfect for beginners and trickline learners.

If you want to walk longer distances or prefer an experience more akin to tightrope walking, a narrower slackline webbing, such as 25mm or 35 mm (1 inch or 1.38 inch) is better for you. If you want to walk a distance longer than 25 metres we recommend the 25mm slackline webbing, and a better tension system, such as the 30 metre Double Ratchet Slackline Kit.

Learn more about different slackline systems and slackline gear

 

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 the centre 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

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Relax and Breath. Try to feel whats happening.

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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

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

Here is what you do:

  • Keep them as high as you can
  • Move them quickly 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

 

2 thoughts on “Learn how to slackline

    • 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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