How To Set Up a Slackline

Before you start walking, it is necessary to set the line up properly. At this section, we will go through all the main rigging methods you may come across, and use videos to explain the setup techniques.

Basic tips:

  • Find two strong and healthy trees, greater than 12" in diameter and about 10-15 feet apart – you want to start with a shorter line as it is more stable and easier to walk. If there are no trees available in your location, read how to set up the slackline without them.
  • There shouldn't be any dangerous object on the ground, like sharp rocks for example (particularly when walking barefoot). A lawn, sand or similar soft ground is perfect. If there is no other possibility, you can cover the harsh ground with old mattresses or similar stuff.
  • Set the line low to the ground (knee height) and very tight – hard lines are better for beginners as they are easier to walk than loose slacklines.
  • Don't forget the tree protection. Also take the line down after each session, don't leave it up for more than a few hours for example – that not only protects the vascular system of the tree under the bark, but also helps to preserve your slackline's condition.

ratchetRatchet Setup   (Slackline Industries, Gibbon etc.)

Difficulty:  5 stars Extra easy

The ratchet system used by most manufacturers of basic slackline kits is the easiest one available today – the only thing you have to do is anchor both parts to the trees and join them with the ratchet:

Base Line | Beginner | Slackline Industries

And the releasing is also quick and easy – you just release the handle by pulling up the safety lever and fully open it. You can see it in a video here:

How to Loosen a Slackline or Zip Line Ratchet

For: Baseline, Play Line, Trick Line, Aggro Line, Gibbon lines, Slackers line, Macaco

carabinersPrimitive Setup

Difficulty:  3.5 stars Slightly difficult

The original method of rigging a slackline with climbing gear – it is more difficult, takes longer time and it's not easy to achieve a high tension. However, everything you need is a webbing for the line, two loops of webbing for anchors and a few carabiners – and also, it is the old school method :)


Difficulty:  3 stars Slightly difficult – Difficult

As the length of the line gets longer, the needed tension increases and the basic setup methods become useless – so it is necessary to use some kind of mechanical advantage, mostly in the form of pulleys.

We talk about these rigging systems thoroughly in our longlining guide ;)

Pulley system 5:1

Mammut logo

Mammut Slackline Setup

Difficulty:  3 stars Slightly difficult

The Mammut setup is one of the more complicated and less frequent methods, we mention it just to make the list complete. Its advantage is that the ratchet never comes in contact with the walking line (so there is no danger of damaging it) and can be even removed after setup.

For: Mammut slackline set

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