Last year I got hooked on Slacklining after stumbling across a documentary called ‘I Believe I can Fly ( flight of the frenchies)‘, it’s worth a quick look if you havn’t already seen it (no affiliation), here’s the trailer:
Anyway, after I’d calmed down and shopped around I was quite surprised at the price of a basic system, so decided (in the spirit of it’s pioneers *thumbs up*) to construct my own. So after a year of Slacklining (not constantly) and with my setup still going strong here’s my build-your-own-slackline-for-under-£30-plus-p&p-which-made-it-just-over-£30 guide.
Most Slackline setups consist of:
- The Slackline; 25mm-50mm nylon or polyester webbing you walk on.
- Tensioning system: Either a suitable ratchet (low lines only) or pulley system.
- Anchor system to attach the line to the anchor points (in our example, 2 trees).
Below is my DIY setup, I went for a 12m 25mm line (many commercial lines come in both 25mm and 50mm widths), the purple slings are used for anchors (i.e. wrapping around trees), the 2 carabiners secure the anchor slings to end of the ratchet strap and the main line.
The DIY Slackline Parts List
(we do not have affiliation with these suppliers, do shop around)
A quick word of warning: Although my line has not failed over a year of abuse the safest option is always to go and buy a purpose built and tested Slackline, also if your a climber we’d reccommend that you do not mix your climbing gear and slacklining gear as the loads on slacklining gear are very high.
Setting up the line
1) It’s generally good practice to use tree protectors when anchoring to a tree, having said that the slings on this setup are pretty chunky and distribute the load over a wide surface area so we don’t always use them, but if you do, slip your Borris mat behind the sling like so:
2) Pass one end of the sling through the sewn loop of the other end, and create a ‘bite’ in the sling by pinching it and twisting the end 90 degrees, this will assure that your line remains level, do this at both anchor points:
3) Attach the free end of the sling to the main line with a carabiner ensuring the gate is securely closed, with our DIY line the ratchet strap and main line have a hook sewn into the end, don’t use this as it could pop off, instead hook the carabiner into the sewn loop:
4) Connect the ratchet strap (tensioning system) to the other anchor point (as above). Assure the main line isn’t twisted before putting the free end into the ratchet and tightening:
That’s all for now, we will put together a video tutorial on line setup and learning to walk the line very soon, in the meantime goodluck and remember to take your keys and phone out your pocket before you start.
If you’d like some more info on Slacklining, Wikipedia has a fairly comprehensive guide and there’s also some really friendly Facebook groups, websites and communities around!