A trendy activity: slacklining
Slacklining is growing in popularity amongst boulderers and climbers. Not only can you practice just for fun on a camping ground, but it can even be a useful training component or a sports discipline in itself. In addition to being fun, balancing on a slackline is also an excellent way for you to prepare and train for climbing. The very first climbers began experimenting with tube straps and pulley systems in the early 1980s in Yosemite National Park.
Modern day slackline sets are nothing like those early systems anymore. Slackline straps are now designed specifically for their particular purpose, and setting up the system is really easy with a little practice.
We offer a great range of slackline sets from well-known manufacturers, including Slackline Tools, Mountain Equipment and Gibbon, as well as the up and coming Elephant Slacklines.
Various types of slacklines
There are various types of slackline sets from different manufacturers. So, here are the most important features to look out for:
- Width: despite what you might think, the width of a slackline doesn't determine how well you’ll be able to balance on it. Of course, it’ll be much easier to walk on a tightly stretched 50 mm strap, but the main purpose of these types of slacklines is doing tricks. These slacklines are often called tricklines.
Most slacklines for people who aren’t focused on doing tricks are between 25 and 35 mm wide because they provide a smoother feel.
- Ratchet vs. pulley: today's ratchet systems allow you to set up your slackline much faster and easier. Pulley systems are a little more complicated to set up, but are also a lot lighter and offer a better swing behaviour. You’ll find slacklines with lengths up to 30 meters, so the choice will be based on your personal preference. Models over 30 meters only come with pulley systems because they require a lot of resisting force.
- Tree protectors: due to the high forces acting on the anchor points, you should use tree protectors. These will help protect the bark of the tree against abrasions, and are either already included in many slackline sets or can be purchased separately. If you don’t have one, then you can also use an old piece of carpet and wrap it around the tree underneath the slackline.
Slacklining as a training tool for climbers and boulderers
Balancing on a slackline trains your balance and significantly increases your body awareness and coordination. You will also need a lot of muscle tension to balance on the slackline, which additionally trains your passive muscles.
Slacklining is therefore considered an ideal exercise for climbers, and it’s affordable.
Slackline sets for on the go
Slackline sets are super compact and easy to transport, which is perfect for those days you don't want to train at home.
Whether you practice in the park or in a remote climbing area, you use it as a longline across a river or even as a highline, slacklining is fun and is a great activity for winding down after a long day of climbing.