Over the past few years slacklining has grown from a popular passtime for sunny days in the park to a massive industry and a sport in its own right, and it looks set to carry on growing for some time yet. In Europe new slackline manufacturers are popping up all the time, creating new ways of tensioning, anchoring and rigging lines, and the rest of the outdoor sports industry is paying attention. 5.10 even make a slacklining specific shoe!
In Britain we have our own homegrown slackline company Maverick who are not only manufacturing some awesome trick lines, but are also involved in the UK Slackline Association as well as organising clubs and events.
Choosing a Slackline
It's important to pick your slackline carefully, as different lines have different properties.
The Slackstar range has something for everyone. All of Slackstar's products are produced to a really high standard in Germany, which really shows. They also make a great range of accessories like line ground anchors and A-frames, perfect for setting up a line anywhere without trees.
The Slackstar range is huge, and includes longline equipment, a variety of different lines available by the metre, and a range of ratchets, ground anchors and A-frames. Check out their website at http://www.slackstar.de and get in touch if there's anything you'd like us to get for you.
The Maverick slacklines here are great for tricks, due to their 50mm width and super springy feel. They also make great beginner lines because they can be highly tensioned, reducing side-to-side swaying.
The Mountain Equipment Passion is less designed for jumping and tricks, but is a better balance workout due to being only 25mm wide. The 'Chill' is a great beginner line at 40mm wide, and also springy enough for tricks. The Mountain Equipment Slacklines also come with tree protectors, which are a must if you plan to anchor you line between trees to prevent damage to your line as well as the trees themselves.
The range of Charko slacklines are great for those on a budget, and there's something for everyone. The SpiderBand is a perfect travel line, with its compact and lightweight ratchet. The BigBand is great for beginners, and is tough enough for sustained group usage. The Waveband is a great trickline, with its ample width and printed non-slip coating. All the Charko lines are 20m long, which is ample for most people.