Safety Considerations

Slacklining is still a sport in its ‘social’ infancy. Depending on where you practice, the public around you may or may not be familiar with slacklines. It is your responsibility to create a safe environment for your practice and for others sharing the space around you. If your line is less than 50 ft long and approximately knee to chest high these guidelines usually apply.

Plan Ahead

  • Connect with other slackliners in your area, in person or on the web and in social media to find a spot that is suitable for slacklining. Know the rules of the park. Some locations do not allow the use of trees for slacklining or may have limits on height, length and number of lines. Check out with officials ahead of time.

  • Avoid busy parks or parks that are historically used for other purposes.

  • Schedule your practices when the park is least used.

  • Contact officials if you aim to conduct regular meetings or if you will be using a considerable portion of the park.

Protect the Trees

  • Always use tree protection. Outdoor carpet is a great way to protect the tree and your gear from abrasion. Make sure that your tree pro is large enough to cover the entire circumference of the tree and wide enough to protect the tree if the sling moves up and down.

  • Tree protection should not be attached to the anchor or sling.  This will allow the anchor to move without affecting the bark.

  • Choose the right tree and size. Trees should be at least 12 inches in diameter at the height of the sling. If the tree moves, it’s not suitable for slacklining.

  • Look up. Make sure that the tree is alive, the branches are healthy, and that there are no objects that may fall from the tree as you practice. Watch out for low branches.

Choose the Right Spot

  • Stay away from walkways or paths. Do not set up in a high traffic areas, or cut off any obvious paths that bikers or walkers use. This includes worn out paths through the grass.

  • Consider your landing zone. Soft clean grass will be your best place to learn to slack. Sand is also another good substrate. Avoid practicing over rocks, concrete or hard ground.

  • Make your line as visible as you can by choosing a color that does not blend in with the background. You can attach ribbons or streamers to the line to increase visibility.

  • Avoid attaching to poles, statues, benches, or any other human-made structures that are not designed for slacklining. While it may not look like it, these are usually not able to take the loads. If in doubt, don‘t use it!

Practice Responsibly

  • Understand the fundamentals and approach the practice following thoughtful progressions.

  • Never leave your line unattended. When the line is not being used hang a yoga mat/towel in the center to increase visibility or better yet de-tension the line.

  • Be aware of kids playing nearby, and keep and eye out for them. They may not understand that if you fall off the line, the line will rapidly increase in height.  They also may run or ride into your line without much warning.

Take Down

  • Take your slackline down before dusk.

  • Leave your spot cleaner than you found it.

You can find more information on safety protocols in the Slackline US site.

Types of Slacklines

We recommend you start practicing Slackline Yoga on a Garden Line. As you progress in your practice you may want to explore other types of slacklines. Here is a list of the different styles of slacklines available. You can practice different styles of slacklining on all of them.

 

YogaSlackers Teacher Raquel on a chain line in Puerto Rico

Chain Line

We figure we should add chain lines to the list, because while they are not a true slackline – since they are not made out of webbing – chains are the medium that pushed slacklining to become a thing. Plus, if you keep an open eye, you will see chain lines almost everywhere. Before you step on a chain, make sure the attachments are solid.

 

Rodeo Line

Rodeo Line

These lines are usually short, the ends are hung high with the middle hanging low in a parabolic arch. Rodeo lines are not tensioned, and take supreme control from the user to keep them still. Falls from a rodeo line can be surprisingly quick since the line basically disappears from under the slacker. These lines are perhaps the easiest to set up and both challenging and beneficial to practice slackasana on.

 

Garden Line - YogaSlackers Sam Salwei

Garden Line

This is the generic term for slacklining on 1 inch webbing that is close to the ground. Garden lines are typically between 20 and 35 feet long and only a few inches above the ground when weighted. This type of line is where most people develop new skills as there is very little commitment required and falls are generally safe. Most slackasana is taught on a garden line. Garden lines are also known as Park and/or Yoga Lines.

 

Oldschool Longline

Longline

As the length of a slackline increases, the difficulty of walking and practicing poses on the line increases too. This is because of the additional stored energy in the line, the height required to set them up safely, the amount of potential horizontal movement, and the added cumulative weight of the webbing. Today, longlining normally refers to lines that are at least 100 feet long. With improvements in materials, slacklines of up to 2 km have been walked. A good way to challenge your practice is to attempt simple flows and poses on a longline.

 

YogaSlackers Teacher Malory Danger Paige Highline

Highline

At one point in slackline history, highlines were defined as a line that is setup at a height that is greater than the length of the line. But now a days highlines can be much longer than higher. Therefore you can define a highline as any slackline set dangerously high from the ground or water. In truth, a highline is any line where a fall from the line would result in a long and fatal drop. Most people walking highlines use a leash to keep them from hitting the ground if they fall. Safety and redundancy are the most important aspects in highlining. All components are backed up to reduce the danger due to gear failure. These lines take supreme focus and determination to both set them up and to slack on them.

 

Slackline Yoga on a Trickline

Trickline

The trickline is a relative newcomer to the scene, but currently one of the most popular slacklines in the market. Mainly because of the incorrect notion that having a larger surface to practice is easier for beginners. Tricklines are highly tensioned 2 inch wide slacklines. These lines allow the slackliner to perform many trampoline-like stunts. Most trickliners use shoes and perfect the art of using the energy stored in the line to propel them through space and land back on the line.

 

Start Waterlining

Waterline

Waterlines are lines set up over a body of water, creating unique challenges for balance and focus. They are great for working on new moves that require a softer landing and practicing for higher and longer lines.

 

Humanline YogaSlackers Teacher Raquel Hernandez-Cruz

Humanline

A slackline supported and anchored by people. This form of slacklining emphasises – quite literally – the support provided by the larger community to a slackliner.

 

Important Slackline Terms

This section should help you understand the terminology used by the slackline community. We added here the most common terms that you will need to understand the rigging and use of a slackline.
Rigging: Conglomeration of gear and the act of setting it up.
Tree Pro: Carpet or other material used to protect the bark of the tree from pressure and abrasion.
Tree Pro
Tree Pro
Slackline Components: The parts of a slackline setup. On the next session we include information about our prefer setup: gardenlines using a primitive tensioning system.
Primitive Tensioning System: A simple self locking webbing system that utilizes two carabiners and friction to secure the webbing, and mechanical advantage to tension it.

Most primitive systems have:

1) Webbing: the slackline or a strong fabric woven as a flat strip or tube of varying width and fibers.

 

eLine webbing
eLine webbing

2) Anchor or Sling: A piece of webbing or strap that connects the webbing to a solid object.

 

Anchor or Sling
Anchor or Sling

3) Fastening System: The parts that attached the webbing to the sling.

 

  • Shackles: u-shaped piece of metal secured with a pin or bolt across the opening. Shackles are the primary connecting link in all manner of rigging systems, from boats and ships to industrial crane rigging, as they allow different rigging subsets to be connected securely.  They are great for tri-loaded scenarios.
shackle
shackle
  • Carabiner: a specialized type of metal connector with a spring-loaded gate used to quickly connect and/or disconnect components.
Carabiners
Carabiners
  • Line Lock or webbing anchor: A component utilized to create a movable and impermanent knot. Knots typically reduce the strength of webbing by 40%. Webbing anchors allow a non-permanent “anchor” to be placed anywhere along a line while retaining over 70% of  the strength of the webbing.
Line Lock
Line Lock
4) Tensioning System: System utilized to add or remove tension to the webbing.
5) Sag: The distance the line sinks when a slacker is in the middle of the line.
Image from Landcrusing Slacklines
6) Knot: A knot is used to join two ropes or webbing together or to itself. If done correctly a knot will hold shape regardless of it being fixed to something else.
7) Hitch: a knot used to fix a rope to another object.
8) Girth Hitch or Choker: the most common way to attach a webbing or anchor to a carabiner.

Tying Instructions:

Pass the loop of the strap around the harness, strap, or rope. Thread the other end of the strap through the loop. Make sure the strap lies neatly and then pull it tight. The Girth Hitch weakens a sling, particularly if two straps are directly knotted to each other.

Girth hitch (top) vs Basket (bottom)
Image from Slackline US
Girth hitch (top) vs Basket (bottom) Image from Slackline US
9) Basket:  an anchor wrapped around an object with a shackle connecting it together, this will effectively double the strength rating of the anchor webbing.
10) Daisy Chain: a hitch sequence designed to shorten long cords or webbing for storage and easy management.
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp