A high wire act refers to a task that’s arduous and prone to failure. But the literal version of a high wire act doesn’t have to be that difficult given a little training and practice. Of course, there’s a significant difference between a tightrope walk suspended 80 feet in the air and slacklining a few feet above the ground. In this case, we’re looking at the latter. Slacklining can be a great, albeit initially challenging hobby. If you’re looking to get started, consider picking up a slackline kit.
It’s easy to confuse a slackline and tightrope, but they are quite different. The clue is in the name. Simply put, a tightrope is tight and a slackline has slack. That’s why you’ll often see experienced slackliners bouncing up and down on the line, almost like a trampoline. It takes a good deal of skill and practice to even just get started; simply trying to get up on the slackline from the ground can send you flailing. But with practice and patience, you can find a new hobby that’s fun and good exercise.
Slacklines are actually made from the same material as ratchet straps used in transportation. That’s why slacklines are made from thin flat webbing, as opposed to round ropes. Slacklining emerged as a hobby for men when climbers repurposed their gear in an innovative way. These days, slacklining has become a popular enough hobby that you’re much more likely to buy straps that are purpose-built, rather than repurposed.
So what should you look for in a starter slackline? First, a wider line will be easier to work with, which is why most of the options on this list are 2″ wide. Plus, you want a line that doesn’t have too much slack. A very springy line can be great for tricks, but difficult for beginners.
We’ve picked out some popular starter slackline kits that you can buy online.
1. Gibbon Classic Line Treewear Slackline Set
Gibbon is one of the top brands for slacklines, and this kit is a good set for dedicated beginners. The length of this strap is 49′ and it’s 2″ wide. The kit includes wraps to protect the trees, and the ratchet has a safety lock for a secure hold.
2. Slackline Industries 50 Foot Play Line
This 50′ kit is a great option for kids, but with a 300-pound weight limit, it works well for most adults, too. The slackline kit comes with protection wraps, so you won’t damage the tree when you set this slackline up. An overhead line is also included, so you have something to hold onto while you get comfortable. The kit comes with a handy carrying pouch.
3. Slackers 50-Feet Slackline Classic Set
INCLUDES OVERHEAD LINE
When you first learned how to ride a bike, there was a good chance you used training wheels. This kit from Slackers includes the slacklining equivalent of training wheels; there’s an additional 50′ teaching line which you can hold onto as you get comfortable walking. Plus, this kit is designed to be easy to set up.
4. ZenMonkey Slackline Kit
ZenMonkey’s slackline kit is an economical option that comes with what you need for setting up a slackline. The kit includes a 52′ slackline and ratchet, plus extra long wraps to protect the trees. The entire kit comes with a handy pouch for carrying it to and from the park.
5. Flybold Slackline Kit
This kit from Flybold is one of the most economical options on the market, and it includes components that you’d likely otherwise have to buy separately. The kit includes a 57′ kit, one of the longer ones on this list. There are two extra-wide tree protectors, plus wraps for the ratchets to keep your feet safe. There’s also an overhead practice line.
6. Gibbon Slacklines Slackrack Classic
No trees? No problem. Gibbons’ slackline can be used indoors, outdoors, or just about anywhere you want to set it up. It comes at a premium cost, but it’s a great option for a serious slackliner. The slackline kit consists of a powder-coated bar, ratchet with safety lock, protection pad, and a classic line. The feet are padded to prevent scratching.
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