When You ask yourself how to choose a slackline there are many things that you may want to consider.
There are many options regarding the lenght, width, material of the webbing, tensioning systems and price.
So, what kind of slackline do you need and what is the right choice for You?
The answer is mainly depending on the goals that you have on the slackline and how much you are willing to train.
Each model has advantages and disadvantages. We will try to explain which and help you to get an answer to the question: How to choose a slackline on which you will keep having fun for a long time.
If, despite all the tips below, you need assistance to chose your slackline, then simply contact us.
How to choose the width of the slackline
You might think that a wider slackline is easier to walk on. However, this is not true. A wider slackline simply tilts more and therefore offers no advantage to support your balance. In contrary – on a 5cm wide slackline you will only develop a bad foot placement (the foot should always be placed straight on the line when walking!) as you cannot feel the edge of the line when placing your foot in a straight way.
Btw, the standard width for highlining is 25mm. The reason highliners use such narrow lines is not to impresse the specators by balancing on something narrow. But simply, because it is about the easiest width to walk on while still having a nice support surface under the foot.
- This said, we recommend a width of 25-37mm for beginners. The Allround or Experience Slackline are a great choice for the first steps.
- If you want to walk longer lines (30m+) or highline, a 25mm wide lines is to be preferred.
- For tricklining and jumping, a width between 30mm and 50mm will feel better than a narrow slackline. With the superJumpline we have a line that is amazing for huge jumps but still nice to walk on.
How to choose the length of the slackline
When you choose your slackline you should be aware that a slackline with a length of e.g. 30m can be rigged on any length up to 30m.
If you choose a slackline that is too short, you will be limited in the choice of spots and will have troubles to proceed working on your walking skills. On the other hand, longer slacklines are heavier and bulkier to carry around and also a bigger effort to coil and pack. And of course also more expensive to buy.
This said, we recommend a length around 15m for slackline beginners. If you are sporty and ambitious, go for 30m. Longer lines can only be recommended to beginners if your preferred spot allows nothing shorter or if you’ve lost a bet and need to prove your friends that you’re able to send a 50m line…
The same goes for intermediate to strong slackliners: Do not buy extremely long webbings, except if you know that you need a certain length to rig your spot. It doesn’t make sense to own a 200m piece to repeatedly rig a 50m. Nowadays longer slacklines often have sewn loops so you can also connect several slacklines with one another. With this, you can still upgrade your length by connecting 2 webbings..
How to choose the webbing material
There are 2 main materials of slackline webbings: Nylon and Polyester. Nylon has 3-4x more stretch than polyester. Polyester is easier to rig and nylon feels more flowy to walk. But for a beginner, nylon also feels more challenging to do the first steps. Here some more knowhow:
- Most ratchet slacklines are made of polyester. This material allows, to rig a slackline up to 50m+ with 2 ratchets. A good example for this combination is the Expert slackline. The combination of nylon and ratchets is also possible, but you will be limited to about 20 or 25m length when tensioning your line with 2 ratchets.
- If you love flowy moves and do not mind to fall many times as a beginner, go for nylon. This choice is not typical for beginners but will offer you long-term fun and a better flow. But you’ll also have to fix your lines a bit higher compared to polyester lines.
- If you want to rig long slacklines in the park, you are clearly better off with polyester as it is much less of an effort to tension such a line. The 2Faces webbing is a great choice for it.
- If you want to learn highlining, you should absolutely learn to walk on nylon! Nylon will be much softer when leash falling and is clearly the only right choice for highlines below 50m length. Leash falling on a polyester highline will have a much higher impact on your body and the peak forces in the slackline. Our webbings pinkTube and redTube are both ISA certified. Make sure to join book a highline course or join experienced people before rigging your own highlines!!
- If you want to trickline, polyester is mostly the right choice. Only very few people trickline on nylon. A nylon trickline feels really flowy to jump but also stores more energy and is therefore more dangerous when doing a mistake. The normal choice to trickline is the superJumpline. But a 20m long redTube rigged with a rope pulley system can also feel super sweet and make you fly high!
Beside Nylon and polyester, there are also some more expensive high tech materials. Those have a much higher breaking strength and an extremely low stretch. Therefore they are great for extremely long lines and should be used by rather experienced people. In our assortment we have the Y2K-webbing which is a core-mantle construction with Dyneema and polyester and has been used to rig a 2’800m long highline in 2018 – still the longest highline ever rigged worldwide. So the right answer on how to choose a slackline to break world records.
How to choose the tensioning system of your slackline
When it comes to choosing the tensioning system, things get a bit complicated.
- For beginners, ratchets are mostly a good choice to tension the slackline. They are not too expensive but rather heavy. With ratchets you can rig rather short slacklines to pretty high tensions. Therefore they are a good choice for beginner slacklines, tricklines or short longlines. Just be aware, that ratchets are only good to rig wider longlines of 37mm because the spindle would fill up too much if rigging long lines of 25mm width. 37mm width is not the standard for longlines but a good compromise to rig your first longlines.
- If you intend to rig highlines in future and already want to acquire some of the gear, you should clearly go for a HangOver pulley. The PINKPARK, LSDPARK or the REDPARK set are a perfect choice to start. Most highlines up to 500m length are nowadays being rigged with this tensioning system. It is light weight but rather expensive. However, it is a long term investment if you’ve really fallen in love with this sport. In parks it is a good system to rig lines of up to 50m – you will not be able to reach huge tensions with the HangOver pulley. More information about the use of HangOver pulleys can be found in the following video:
- Rope Pulleys are heavy, bulky and rather expensive. But they are the best way to rig long longlines of 50m+ in the park. Some people also use a rope pulley system to tension their tricklines. Rope pulley systems are nowadays mainly used in flat areas where there is no possibility to rig highlines.
- Primitive systems are the very oldschool tensioning systems but they are still often being used. They are rather cheap and light weight. However, you can not reach high tensions with this system and you should also not use such a system to rig your highlines. Solutions as our Primitive Slackline Kit are a good choice if you want to rig park lines of 25mm width to a length of up to 40m.
If the weight is the most important factor…
The last factor that we should consider about how to choose a slackline is the weight, often neglected until the first trip we do after buying a slackline set. If you choose your slackline on a weight based reason because you always want to have it in your backpack then you ideally get a Traveler line. This one weights only 1kg and still offers tons of fun because it is really stretchy (made of nylon) and super fast to rig. However, slackline beginners will find it a tough challenge until they manage to even stand on this line. If you are a beginner you should not go longer than 3-6m with the traveler line as otherwise you’ll be kicked off hard. But once you’ve had the endurance to learn walking on it, you will already be a decent slackliner ????
I started slacklining 2012 and was mostly into trickline for around 5 years. Right now, my slackline days are split between rodeo and longline. In 2013, my enthusiasm for slackline led me to open Monkeybiz, the first Portuguese slackline shop, through which i started to work with Slacktivity, Samuel and Tobias, as a customer. In 2019 I decided it was time for new challenges and closed Monkeybiz, but created the All About Slackline Blog as the slackline professional life drift way. Recently after a challenge made by Slacktivity, I could not resist coming back to slackline and took over the Slacktivity.com international operation. Feel free to reach me if you need any help on the website, or even for a slackline session, in case you are passing by Porto, my hometown.