Slacklining was originally created by climbers back in the ’70’s. In between climbs, they would walk and balance on the webbing they had in their kits. As the sport grew it branched into several different specialties, each calling for a different approach and various equipment.
Slacklining used to be an activity reserved for the experts. Nowadays, it is accessible to people of all different skill levels and ages. All you need are two trees, some space, and a good slackline kit.
Slacklining is a great core and balancing workout. It is the perfect activity for the family, or for those adventurers that want to learn aerial jumps or highline walks.
It is also a great activity for meditation and mindfulness. Slacklining allows you to connect with your body, and connect with nature. It is fun and easy for the whole family, a great way to get the kids outdoors and active.
We took a look at some of the best slacklines for beginners on the market and here are our Top 5 Picks.
Our Top 5 Best Slacklines for Beginners
Tree Line Protection
1. Flybold – Best slackline for beginners
The Flybold slackline is great if you are new to slacklining. It’s sturdy and very easy to use. It comes with a teaching line and an arm trainer.
You set the teaching line up above the main line and use it as support before you achieve the necessary balance to slackline without aid. The arm trainer is a little strap that helps to develop correct arm placement and upper body positioning for slacklining.
The set up and take down of the Flybold is made super easy with the use of the ratchet joining mechanism. The ratchet system tightly locks the line into place, making it sturdy and able to hold up to 300lbs.
It also includes tree pads to protect both your line and trees from damage. The pads aren’t the longest, so they don’t fully protect on larger trees.
The Flybold does not offer a longer line, so it is not the best for more advanced liners that would enjoy longer walks.
2. Macaco – Universal Slackline
The Macaco is a popular slackline that is slightly cheaper than others on the market. It has a very easy set up and is quite universal, great for beginners and more advanced liners. However, it does have limited tricking capabilites.
The webbing and ratchet are sturdy, there are just a few areas where the quality doesn’t meet the standards of other slacklines. The ratchet is only metal, there is no grip on the handle.
This does not change the quality of the locking function, it just makes manipulation a little less comfortable than other brands.
Overall, the Macaco is a very universal line. It is stable enough for beginners, yet still offers enough flexibility for a few jumps and tricks.
The green color does offer a bit of a challenge with certain aerial jumps as it can be difficult to spot over grass. It does not use the TrueLength concept, so the usable length is actually shorter than the advertised length.
3. Slackline Industries Baseline Slackline – Most comprehensive kit
The Baseline is one of the most versatile slacklines on the market. It’s perfect for beginners, kids, and advanced liners.
The Baseline also uses the ratchet mechanism for locking in the line. It’s a very smooth ratchet that is easy to crank and comes with a rubber grip on the break release.
The biggest advantage to the Baseline is the universal design. It’s the perfect option for a family or group of friends that has slackliners of all different levels.
The low-stretch polyester makes it very easy to walk. It’s not designed specifically for tricks but does have enough slack to handle various bounces and jumps.
The Baseline has two sizing options, so longer walkers can enjoy this line as well. It also utilizes the TrueLength concept, so the advertised length is the actual walk length.
4. Goodtimes Slackline – Lowest Priced Slackline
The Goodtimes line is designed for the beginner as well as intermediate liner. It is custom designed with trampoline style webbing that promotes stability and the perfect amount of spring.
It also utilizes a locking ratchet mechanism, though it is primarily metal so it’s not the most comfortable. However, the set up is pretty quick, taking roughly 10 minutes to put up and take down.
The set includes one slackline that is 48” long and 2” wide, so it’s a great starter kit for beginners or kids. The 2” width provides extra surface area to walk on and the length is a great starting point.
You can also set the distance shorter when first learning to make it a bit easier, and gradually walk it out further as you progress.
The Goodtimes is a very basic kit, as the price reflects, so you have to purchase tree protection separately. There are also no longer length options, so if you’d like to eventually walk longer distances you may want to consider going with a longer line.
5. Slackers Classic Set – Great for kids and beginners
The Slacker is another great choice for beginners as it is easy to set up and comes with a training line. As with many other lining kits, this one comes equipped with a ratchet locking mechanism.
The Slacker is a great line for beginners of all ages. The webbing is stiff yet bouncy, making it easy for those wanting to learn to walk but also fun for those that want to jump around a little.
This isn’t the best choice for liners wanting longer walks or the ability for technical aerial jumps.
Set up and take down is super easy and user-friendly. The ratchet on this line has a comfy handle so setting up is a bit more comfortable than metal only ratchet systems.
Further Reviewing the Slackers Classic Set
The Slacker has a width of 2” and is weaved with protective webbing for added durability over time. The training line provides extra stability for beginners and also teaches correct upper body form. This is a perfect line for teaching correct balance right away. As you improve, you can begin removing the aid of the teaching line.
Tree and lining protection is sold separately. You definitely want to utilize tree pads as it will increase the duration of your lining as well as protect trees from line damage.
Choosing The Best Slacklines for Beginners
There are many things to consider when choosing the right slackline. The type of activities you want to utilize your slackline for will determine the materials that you should look for in a line.
Do you simply want to walk the line? How long do you want to walk? How high? Will you be doing jumps or any sort of tricks?
These are all things to consider when you start your slacklining search. Once you know how you want to use your line, you can then begin to choose the right materials for your slacklining adventures.
Slacklines are made of webbing that is designed to both stretch and change shape as needed but still provides strength and stability for walks.
There are a variety of materials that can be used, but most slacklines are made with nylon, spandex, or rubber-like material.
The webbing can be designed in different widths depending on what you’re looking for. The one-inch version is often viewed as harder to use, but also more traditional. The two-inch version is wider and; therefore, easier to use.
In addition to width and material, you also want to consider the length of the line. Slacklines are often seen in lengths, rounded up, of 25, 50, 100, and 200.
The longer lines are more challenging when it comes to walking, turning, and balancing. Shorter lines are perfect for beginners and kids. It is important to keep in mind that you can always set up a line at a shorter distance than the advertised length.
If you know you’d eventually like to be able to walk longer walks but are just getting started, go with a longer line and gradually set the distance greater as you progress.
The most common tensioning system is the use of a ratchet mechanism. This provides additional tension on the line, more than the traditional method of tightening the line with carabiners and wrapping the line itself.
Some lines utilize a pulley system that allows the tension to be adjusted as needed for finite control and a more challenging walk. This system is rarely used, simply because of the weight of the equipment and it is not the easiest to use.
Ease of Setup
Most slacklines are fairly simple to set up; simply attach to one tree or post, roll it out the desired distance and attach to the other tree or post. The actual tensioning process is where most people see complications.
Make sure the ratchet system is easy for you to use and can easily maintain the tension you need to walk the line. Most of the slacklines on our list are pretty simple to set up and use.
The grip of the line refers to the ability to hold onto the line with your feet. Much of this comes down to skill, but the texture of the webbing can also play a part. The more textured the line is, the more your feet or shoes can grip the line.
The texture itself is a product of both the materials used to make the webbing as well as the weave used to create the slackline.
For some people, merely walking a line from one end to the other is enough. Others prefer to have a little more fun with their footwork, playing with their balance while altering the positioning of their feet in complicated ways.
Some liners even do tricks and aerial flips, much like a gymnast. Trickliners often prefer to go with a wider line for better support on their jumps.
Get a Slackline to Build Your Core, Meditate & Improve Balance
Using a slackline is a great way to improve balance, coordination, and overall core strength. You can perform tricks, concentrate more on complicated footwork, or simply walk across them. The choice is yours and the options are endless.
If you are new to slacklining, go with a beginner line that is easier to walk on and gradually build your way up to more complicated lines.
At first, you’ll want to walk shorter distances while you are learning. However, as you improve you might want to consider walking longer distances.
If so, keep in mind that you can purchase a longer line but only walk it out to short distances while you are learning.
As you progress, you can gradually walk the slackline out longer distances until you are able to walk the entire length of the advertised line.
The universal slacklines are great for families, as they are suitable for various skill levels. This is also beneficial as some members of the family may progress quicker than others, so those versatile lines will suit all your needs.