Set-Up a Slackline





Introduction: Set-Up a Slackline

About: my name is Adam!

Slack lining is a very fun and challenging "sport" that requires a lot of skill. However the cheapest slack line "kits" available are around fifty bucks, i made this one for about half of that. This instructable will show you how to set up your own slackline.

Step 1: Supplies

Here is what you will need. I got all of the supplies from REI, but i am sure there are many other places that carry these things.

1 inch tubular webbing- (at least) 70 feet
carabiners - 5
carpet (1ft. by 3-5ft.)

also needed:
2 trees, poles, or any two VERY sturdy upright objects

Step 2: Anchors

The anchors attach the line to the tree or whatever you are slack-lining in between.

so, once you have the webbing, you need to cut of TWO ten foot sections (make sure to burn the ends, so the webbing won't fray). these will be the anchors.

Now, tie a water knot on both ends of the ten foot sections to make a big loop.

you can see how to tie a figure water Here

Step 3: Knots

... well hitches actually
there are only two simple knots that you need to know
these are the Clove, and half hitch

if you dont know how to tie these, look here:
Clove Hitch
Half Hitch

Step 4: Set It Up - Anchors

wrap the carpet around the tree, this will not only protect the tree, but make your line last longer.
then wrap one of your ten foot sections around the carpet and put one carabiner on the ends of the loop

do the same to the other side, but with two two carabiners on this side. make sure that BOTH carabiners go into both loops with the gates facing out

Step 5: Set It Up - Slack Line

now, tie one end of your large piece of webbing to the anchor with only one carabiner, use the clove hitch.

now walk towards your other anchor holding the line to make sure that there are no twists. when you are about 4/5 of the way there tie a clove hitch, put 2 carabiners through the two loops you make in the clove hitch.

Step 6: Set It Up - Slackline

now feed the exces Webbing (the free piece of webbing) through the bottom carabiner on your anchor, going up, then feed it back through the bottom carabiner on the line,going up, then the top carabiner on the anchor, going up', and the top carabiner on the line, going up.

now PULL, this might take more than one person. you want it to be pretty pull until it won't go anymore.

Keeping tension on the line, tie at least three half hitches around the webbing that is in between the sets of carabiners. I recommend tyeing them on a bite, this will make taking down the line much easier.

Step 7: Set It Up - Slackline

now, while keeping all the tension on the line tie 3 or 4 half hitches in front and in back of the lines's carabiners.


now you're ready. this takes a ton of practice, but eventually you can get pretty good, have fun and be safe!!

Note that it will take a while for your line to stretch out, if you notice the line getting loser, it is probably the webbing stretching.



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    "tyeing them on a bite" -> "tying them on a bight" - this took me a while to figure out!

    Surprised I missed that original reply from so long ago, but since we're back on the topic ...

    A proper single-carabiner climbing anchor uses a single sling/webbing loop that goes through the carabiner (don't forget the loop in one section so you stay connected to one anchor if the other fails!) loads the carabiner at only one point. In any setup where you have to use two slings, or have to sling an anchor (such as a tree as in this setup, or around a boulder, etc), you HAVE to use two carabiners for maximum safety. Any setup will load the carabiner(s) in one direction or the other on their minor axes, but the idea is to minimize this as much as possible.

    My slackline method is thus:
    The anchor webbing is folded into a loop and a carabiner clipped into the end of the loop. I feed a bomber rappel ring (20kN, Omega Pacific rappel ring, about $4.75 at REI or wherever else)) over both tails then wrap the webbing around the tree. I Muenter-hitch the webbing to the opposite end of the carabiner, pulling a loop in the tails through the last wrap of the hitch. I can pull out the loop by yanking the tails and slowly ease the tension out of the line if I for some reason can't release the tensioning setup (primitive/Ellington method). The stationary carabiner from the Ellington setup goes into the rap ring and thus lies horizontally flat. The same method is used on the static end of the line, using a flat line-locker hitch through that carabiner.

    As mentioned above, this gives me two locations to release line tension without damaging anything in the case of a long, tight line, or a jammed tensioning system if I botch the release. The rappel rings ensure everything is loaded only along its major axis (every axis is a major axis on a rap ring!), and the line lies perfectly flat with minimal effort.

    There's a billion ways to rig a line. As long as you're safe and having fun, anything goes!

    A worthwhile consideration on this setup: these carabiners are tri-loaded. In a shorter line as in this Instructable, that's probably not a problem, but consider other methods when rigging a longer line. Carabiners are rated to be loaded axially on their major axis (along the spine from end to end) and a tri-loaded 'biner will fail at a lower load. Again, probably not a problem here.

    2 replies

    These are loaded in the same way you would rig an anchor for climbing. the biner is only being loaded at two points even though it is connected to three things.

    Flamekiller is right. There are *three* loads on the 'biner, not two.

    There's one load to the line and two off-axis loads going to the tree (one each side of the anchor loops) they pull at a slight angle whereas the line itself pulls along the axis of the 'biner. If you're having a hard time picturing it, imagine it was anchored to a HUGE tree, the straps would be almost perpendicular - though the tree won't ever be quite that wide the forces are still off-axis and the 'biner is still tri-loaded.

    Come on people. Other than the use of a water knot for webbing this is a great instructable. Give me a break on tri-loading the carabiners. The tree's shown in the picture are not wide enough to worry about tri-loading. In theory a tri-link would be better but the carabiners have plenty safety factor. Also the suggestion to use ovals instead of d-links. In this application it doesn't make a bit of difference.

    As far as the guy claiming to be swift water certified and is there fore qualified. All that means is you went to a weekend class somewhere and the instructor told you how it has to be done in rescue. Go spend a saturday climbing with some experienced climbers and you'll see how this gear is really used and used safely. Lots of rules in rescue don't apply in the real world. Real world doesn't need a 10 to 1 or 15 to 1 safety margin. Your 2 ft off the ground here, you'll be fine.

    Now if you start high lining or going longer distances than you need to change your setup and even the techniques suggested here aren't going to be enough.

    Just for clarification, could you add more photos? This does not look like a figure eight, and the one on the next page looks to me to be more like a girth hitch than a clove hitch. More photos would be excellent, but this looks great, I am definetly going to try it at camp.

    2 replies

    ok, well, a figure 8 looks funny in webing, but you shouldn't use it. use a water knot in your anchors also, that is a mistake, that is a girth hitch on the next page. they work the same.

    i am fairly sure that this is a critical load bearing "sport" if that is the case this should be a double figure 8 or figure 8 bend according to the website you referenced. i use them ALOT when repelling.

    Whats this? just use a friction knot with two biners. Much easier.

    An easier way (but probably not instructables-worthy) is to just buy a ratchet strap and wrap one end around the tree and attach the other end to an anchor around the tree.  It makes it very easy to tighten, too.  They only cost about $15.

    1 reply

    I use a ratchet for my slackline it is very quick and easy to set up but i don't trust it for long/high lines

    Rather than using 4 carabiners here, use three and thread the piece you currently have going through the 4th biner back underneath the strap at the 2nd biner. Tension alone will hold the line secure and you'll be able to get it a lot tighter.


    I use line lockers in my kit, they are rappelling rings, solid cast aluminum rings about 1.5 inch diameter. using these with a carabiner allows you to put 0 knots in your main line and it gives you a perfectly flat surface to walk. They are available from REI.

    Will this webbing work? Also, is there an advantage of having the four-carabiner tensioning system versus a two-carabiner system?

    1 reply

    I wouldn't recommend that webbing. As I said in the instructable, I recommend 1 inch military spec. tubular webbing. You can get this easily at a local climbing or outdoors store.' 4 carabiners will give you a greater mechanical advantage than 2, I find that 2 is enough, but 4 is better for longer lines.

    How long did it take before you could walk without help?
    It seems like you would need immense concentration and superior balance to walk on one of these.

    1 reply

     about 3 weeks of trying every day.
    anyone can get good at slacklining, that's why it's so great.

    How is this $25?
    5 good biners cost $25 (total) + 70 feet of webbing costs $25 =

    This costs just as much as a kit.

    1 reply

     did I say $25?
    haha, well let me say this.
    Since making this a few years back i have realized that 5 biners is quit excessive. you really only need 3.
    and yeah, webbing would be 25 dollars.
    sooooo that's 35.

    I really dislike the kits though, like those gibbon lines, those suck, i would not recommend them.