After overcoming the challenge of choosing our first set, a second one appears: how to setup a slackline.
The good news is that setting up a slackline is not a very complex process, although it might seem like the first few times we do it. With some practice it becomes a quick and simple process, and to help you get to the fun stage, meaning over the line, let’s shed some light on the different types of setup. But first…
How to setup a slackline safely: What can not be missing on your slackline kit?
Regardless of whether they are included or not in the kit you purchased, you should always use tree protections and a security backup.
Tree Protectors: are usually strips of some robust textile, which are placed between the tree and the slackine element that serves as an anchor, be it a sling or the slackline itself, as in girth hitch sets. Some tree protectors include loops which ensure that slings stay in the correct position on the tree protection.
Security Backup: having a backup is simply making a second anchorage of the locking/tensioning system, be it a ratchet, a pulley system or a weblock. Just tie the element to the tree with a rope or with the leftover of your slackline, if you are not using the full length of it.
How to setup a basic, girth hitch slackline set:
1 – Place the tree protectors;
2 – Wrap the ratchet belt around one of the trees and then pass de ratchet inside the loop. This loop should be centered and aligned with the other anchor point. To ensure that the slackline does not slope sideways, you should fold it into a “V” form just before passing in the loop, so that it leaves the loop in that same position. Do not forget to backup before you start to tension it;
3 – Repeat the process with the main line, passing it around the tree and then inside the loop and then adjusting in the same way;
4 – Take the slackline to the ratchet without any twisting and pass it through the ratchets lot from top to bottom. Then pull the tip of it by applying some pretension and, holding the line relatively straight with one hand, use the other hand to unlock the locking tab (which is in the handle and opens with your fingertips) and tension it. When the slackline is tensioned, close the ratchet completely until the locking tab engages in the safety slot and its ready. Than adjust the backup and make sure it is tight.
5 – To disassemble the slackline we have to open the ratchet. To do this, open the ratchet arm by unlocking the safety tab and then, keeping the tab open (pulling it with your fingers), fully open the ratchet until it clicks and loosens the slackline.
How to set up a slackline with slings and schakles/carabiners:
In slackline systems with slings and shackles there are few things that change. The slackline loop is connected to one of the slings through a schakle or carabiner, and with the loop of the ratchet belt the same happens. Otherwise the process is the same as the setup of a basic slackline.
1 – Place the tree protectors;
2 – Pass the slings around the anchor points and use the schakles to connect the slings to the slackline and ratchet end loops. Do not forget to backup before you start to tension;
3 – Take the slackline to the ratchet without twisting it and pass it through the slot from top to bottom. Then pull the tip of the webbing by applying some pretension and, holding the line relatively straight with one hand, use the other hand to unlock the rachet locking tab (which is in the handle and opens with your fingertips) and tension it. When the slackline is tensioned, retract the ratchet arm completely, until the locking tab engages in the safety slot and it is ready.
4 – To disassemble the slackline you have to open the ratchet. To do this, open the ratchet arm by unlocking the safety catch and then, keeping the tab open (pulling it with your fingers), fully open the ratchet until it clicks and loosens the tape.
We remind you that a soft release and an extra shackle/carabiner makes this process much simpler, more enjoyable and safer.
Ho to setup a primitive slackline, with carabiners:
Primitive slackline sets are tensioned using carabiners and chainlocks. Check out on the next two videos how to setup primitive sets.
How to setup a slackline set with a HangOver Pulley
This is a very popular system for longer lines and highlines, it is light, efficent and easy to use. The system requires elements as HangOvers, a grip and softrelase. Check how it is done on the video bellow.
How to setup the Traveler set
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.