Slackline 101 how to set up a slackline

This guide is meant to help people new to slacklines learn the different methods of setting up a slackline on trees

Don`t let the process of setting up a slackline scare you away from getting started in this fun activity because Gibbons and few other brands sell slacklines ratchet systems that are quick and easy to set up.

Additionally, i cover the basics of setting up a slackline with a primitive rig.

"Primitive rigs" is a term used my the slackline community referring to setting up a slackline with basic rigging equipment.


The three most common ways to set up a slackline for beginners is to use either a sing ratchet systems, double ratcher system ora primitive rig.

I discuss the pros and con of each method below.


Setting up a slackline without trees can be a bit more involved, if you are interested in learning how to set a slackline up without trees check out my guide. I show all the ways a slackline can be set up without trees.




slack line ratchet photo credit: michael pollak via photopin cc

Single ratchet vs double ratchet slackline rigging


Single ratchet systems are the quickest to set up.

Double ratchets allow for greater and evenly balance tension to be put on the line. This makes them best for people into trickling

Double ratchet systems allow you to change out the webbing easier than with a single ratchet system because a lot of single ratchet slacklines have the sling built into the ratchet.

Prosoff setting up slacklines with ratchets

Quick to set up.

Can be installed by one person.

Easier to setup them primitive rigs or pulley systems for beginners

Cons of setting up slackline with ratchets

They are cumbersome and bulky so they can be a pain to travel with.

If slackline webbing is not aligned perfectly in the ratchet, it can be damaged.

Ratchets can have mechanical failures.

Setting up a Slackline with primitive rigs.


Pros of setting up a slackline with a primitive rigs

They are easier to travel with because they are lightweight and don't take up as much space as large rachets.

Can cost less then ratchet rigs.

Don`t have to worry about mechanical failure and maintenance of ratchets.

Don`t have to worry about slackline webbing getting damaged from a ratchet.

Cons to setting up a slackline with primitive rigs.

Take longer time to set up for most beginners.

There is a bit of a learning curve to learn the rigging skills necessary to set up the slackline correctly.

Primitive rigs are not good if you are going to be using a line primarily for tricks and bounces.

It can be harder to set the proper amount of tension on the line if you are setting it up by yourself.


setting up Slackline Pulley systems

Another type of rigging systems uses pulleys they are mostly used for advanced level longlining, highlining, and trickling.

I'm not going to cover pulley systems in this guide because they require advanced rigging knowledge and skills to set up correctly that is best to learn in person.



 How to Set Up a Single Ratchet Slackline.


Additional video on how to set up a single ratchet slackline



How to set up a Double Ratchet Slackline


How to set up a primitive rig.

I would strongly recommend you stay away from trying to set up a primitive rig if you are completely new to slacklining for some reasons listed below.

 First off buying all the supplies needed for a primitive rig might end up end up costing around the same price as a gibbons slackline.

Additionally they take much longer to set up when someone with rigging experience is not guiding you, I know with me, the longer it takes to set something up the least likely I will be using that thing often.  

Finally, slacklining is dangerous enough as it is if you mess up the rigging you could get seriously hurt.

I am not against primitive rigs at all, but I think beginners will have more fun using a slackline line without having to learn a ton of rigging skills.

Their are many different ways you can set up a primitive rig; the videos below will give you an idea of what is involved in setting up a slackline with a primitive rig.


How to set up the top of the line YogaSlackers eLine slackline by Trango. A true slackline. Able to be setup easily and quickly with one person without a ratchet. eLine sets up loose and slack. No need for extra tightening.


Check out my guide to slackline safety to learn all the most common ways people are injured on slacklines so you can avoid them.

I have also put together a few guides for how to get started in the most common types of slacklining

Guide to getting started trickling

Guide to getting started yogalining

Guide to getting started longlining


Do you have and tips and tricks your share for beginners looking to set up a slackline please share them in the comment section below.


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