Slacklining Information

Slacklining is a balance sport that uses nylon webbing stretched tight between two anchor points. Slacklining is distinct from tightrope walking in that the line is not held rigidly taut; it is instead dynamic, stretching and bouncing like a long and narrow trampoline. The line's tension can be adjusted to suit the user and different types of dynamic webbing can be used to achieve a variety of feats. The line itself is flat, due to the nature of webbing, thus keeping the slacker's footing from rolling as would be the case with an ordinary rope. The dynamic nature of the line allows for impressive tricks and stunts.

A slackline is commonly constructed with three sections of one-inch webbing: a long section of webbing strung tightly and connected to the two shorter sections that are called "tree slings" and are used as anchors on either end. When using trees as anchors, padding can and should be used between the slings and the trunk of the tree to protect the trees and avoid fraying the webbing. The padding usually consists of cardboard, carpet scraps, or branches placed around the trunk of the tree to distribute the pressure of the webbing over a greater surface area. The most difficult and widely discussed element of a slackline setup is the tensioning system. Common setups include simple friction methods, using wraps of webbing between two carabiners, a ratchet, a comealong, a carabiner pulley system, a roped pulley system, or a commercial slackline kit.

A special characteristic of slacklining is the ease with which the dynamics of the sport can be altered. Using narrow webbing will provide for a stretchier slackline. This will allow for more sway in the line and can allow for a short line to feel substantially longer. Wider webbing is much more rigid and has a tendency to twist and decrease the grip of the slackline and the foot. The tension of the line will also increase or decrease the sway of the line. Weight due to the different methods of tensioning will also vary the performance of a slackline. A comealong and a ratchet will both add enough weight to where the feedback from quick movements on shorter slacklines can be felt.

Wikipedia, Slacklining, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slacklining (as of Apr 9, 2010)

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