A slackline is a thin elastic cable hung between two anchor points. Unlike most non-elastic tightropes seen in circuses, a slackline isn't pulled completely taut and has a bit of slack as the name implies. The elasticity combined with just the right amount of tension lets a slackline stretch, sway, and bounce, allowing for a much more dynamic experience for the person walking the line. This elasticity causes the line to move along with the user and can be somewhat more forgiving than a static walking surface. The elasticity also allows the line to act as a trampoline at times, making huge jumps and flips possible.

At the same time, walking the slackline is great for building balance and working muscles that rarely get used in normal walking. In less time than you think, you will be able to stand or even walk on a inch wide cable like it's nothing. While building balance in general is great on it's own, the skills you learned on a slackline will lower the learning curve if you're interested in other circus skills that involve balance. If you've worked on your balance with a slackline, learning to walk on stilts or ride a unicycle will come much easier.

Besides building balance and all that, slacklines are a whole lot of fun. In this Instructable, I will outline some of the basics that I discovered while learning to slackline. Good luck...

Step 1: The Line

There are several different slacklines on the market. The slackline that I use was bought from a company called Webster-Maroon. I have a kit that they make called The Highway. It's a 50 mm wide line which is easier to use than narrower lines, although I would start on a 1 inch line if I was to do it all again. I'd rather take a little longer to learn on a narrow line in the beginning rather than relearn how to slackline on a narrow line later on. On the plus side, I really like the lizards printed all over the Webster-Maroon line.

Gibbon is another big slackline company out there that sells all sorts of kits.

Technically, you can make your slackline. Doing it yourself may or may not be cheaper than buying a prepackaged slackline kit and may not be as safe. If you're thinking DIY, here are two other Instructables on putting together your own line:
Funny that I found this instructable on my inbox lol, just made my own kit a week ago. I can walk till the end of the line (aprox. 7 or 8m, kinda short, but yeah) and sometimes make the turn and walk back.<br><br>I think I should focus on my basic balance first, like staying in place for a decent amount of time. Do you have any tips on jumping? I start to bounce on the line, but I backoff when my feet are almost leaving it, cause I have a certain fear of a nasty fall.<br><br>Thanks and great instructable!
what do you mean by &quot;made my own&quot;? i've been trying to DIY a slackline kit for ages and would appreciate any input.
I bought one of those tubular webbing used to hold truck's cargo (not sure if it's called cargo, sorry). It comes with a hook at the ending, so I cut it and sewed a loop base on pics from the internet
I bought one of those tubular webbing used to hold truck's cargo (not sure if it's called cargo, sorry). It comes with a hook at the ending, so I cut it and sewed a loop base on pics from the internet
I love that the sport is gaining some traction. The new flat webbing is so superior to previous generations. Before using a cheap come along, just be prepared to take it out of the system.....
i have been slacklining for about 2 years now on a tubeular webbing setup and some tricks i have found for jumping are shorter line, higher tension, andstarting close to one end. hope this helps.
While I don't think it's for me, I marvel at your skill. Keep up the good work!
This looks fun and would develop your core muscles. My son would probably enjoy it. I voted for it, but know that if I tried it I would end up with a broken wrist or collarbone. If you have really poor balance, I would suggest working up to this by learning to balance on one foot for at least a full minute first.
I've tried this before!

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