Slackline Express - Balance In LifeOuray Highline

While you are killing time waiting for us to get our new look rolled out, perhaps you'd enjoy checking out the new Slackline Express Blog.

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Choosing a slackline

Choosing a kit to suit you depends a lot on how much you estimate you’ll use it, how long of a line you think you’ll be setting (longer usually means harder to walk) and preferences on tension and such. If you are choosing a kit for someone else, there are some great tips on the Parents and Gift Givers page.

If you want to keep it bottom dollar as something to put some kids or a few adults on who may or may not get into slacking then the Intro Kit is great since it’s pretty cheap (less than a video game). It doesn't offer the heavy duty tensioning system, but it still is a lot of fun.

If you want a robust rig that will last you for years, our classic or primo design fits the bill. They both offer a longer line, more durable tensioning systems and such. The classic can be optioned down to around $45, but those options can be really handy depending on your use. The classic is mostly for those who want something durable and higher performance, but want to cut costs wherever they can by choosing their level of upgrades/downgrades (this requires knowing your exact needs though).

If you aren’t sure how you’ll end up using it (preferences on tension and length), what options to get and want something durable the primo is great – it’s got all the options built in and it’s wonderfully simple to rig and it isn’t that expensive. It is important to note that the Primo kit out performs all of the other lines in all areas with the exception that the classic allows a little easier use of alternative anchors such as expansion bolts. Since it is such a solid performer, we almost always recommend the Primo kit.

The 100 footer is just a primo with a longer line and included padding, so the same concept applies. It is only for those who have outgrown a 50 foot slackline.

It's perfectly fine to set a 20 foot line using our 100 foot kit. All of our kits will adjust down to a few feet, and up to their maximum advertised length. Custom lengths are available, but for beginners we highly encourage you learn on a 20 to 30 foot span, which is supported by all our kits.

Choosing padding

Placing some form of padding between the tree's bark and the tree slings is highly recommended. While any old t-shirt or cardboard padding will do, we do offer some nice heavy duty, compact and easy to use padding with our kits as an upgrade. Including our padding will ensure that the kit is complete out of the box and will increase the longevity of your slackline system. If you are picking this kit up for someone else, it is often a nice added touch.

Picking between the Classic and Primo Kit

We occasionally get asked the difference between our Primo Kit and our Classic kit if the classic has every upgrade. It's actually quite a bit. The Primo is by far the best setup we've got going. It's also a lot less confusing to buy.

The slings are significantly differently designed which means:
The Primo has easier to use slings as the system zips snug against the tree so setup is easier with nothing flopping around The Primo puts the tensioning system weight closer to the anchor which minimized feedback and gives a better feeling main line.

They have different methods of modifying how the ratchet gets used:
Resetting the "throw" in the tensioning system is easier to use on the Primo If you want, you can slackline without the ratchet in place at all with very, very little effort.

Other stuff

The primo is lighter since it uses no carabiners and less hardware (but still has no nylon on nylon contact) We stock Primo kits pre-made so they usually ship faster - classics are always custom so they take a little longer Fully optioned out - the Primo is actually cheaper

Stuff that is the same
The tensioning system ratchet is now the same across both - very effective system The main lines are identical in length and material Everything is very heavy duty sewn Both support from short lines like 10 feet up to a full 50 foot line with ease

Ratchets versus Carabiners

There are lots of ways of setting up slacklines. Most of our systems are designed around using ratchets for tensioning systems. If you are looking for a lightweight and compact slackline system and are willing to sacrifice ease of use, pulling power and efficiency there are techniques that allow lightweight carabiners to be arranged as though they are pulleys to create mechanical advantage. This is often dubbed the "primitive" method (not something we made up). We offer a do-it-yourself primitive kit to get started. Just be aware that there are trade-offs regarding this type of setup. You will likely run into problems trying to set anything beyond 40 feet long slacklines solo and depending on how it is rigged you could be facing dreaded nylon-on-nylon friction that can lead to a much shorter lifespan for the kit.

What about real pulleys?

Full fledged pulley systems will work just fine for setting slacklines. The trade off there is that they are often very expensive, sometimes very bulky and require rigging knowledge to make the most out of them. While we don't sell complete kits with pulleys on our e-commerce store, we do sell pulleys such as the Single Sheaved CMI Micro Pulley and Double Sheaved CMI Micro Pulley which are both excellent small pulleys that are fairly economical. While these systems are much more efficient than carabiners you should note that that they do not necessarily provide more mechanical advantage than ratchets unless you do more advanced rigging techniques and have several of them at your disposal. If you need help putting together a pulley system or want a custom slackline built around a specific tensioning system please feel free to contact us.

Child walking a slackline

"This hobby is one of the most awesome things I've ever done. Your kit made set up so easy." - Heather M. More Gear Reviews