Slackline Academy is proud to stock Elephant Slacklines. Between varying line lengths, widths, anchoring systems and the like, there’s never been more variety in the market – a good thing, for the most part – though this variety can make choosing the right line difficult. Contrary to what many people think, there is no single ‘best’ line. Each has its positives and negatives. In this article, I’ll discuss the variables that make each line unique: length, width, anchoring system and crank size, to hopefully streamline your decision process and ensure you get the right line for you.
Let’s start with the easy one: length. Excluding the Horizon (which we’ll come to shortly), Elephant lines come in either 15m or 25m lengths. You can always set up a 25m line over a shorter distance, so this version is more versatile. On the down side, it’s also heavier, and feeding excess webbing through the crank initially can get tiresome. Keep in mind it is difficult to get sufficient tension on a line beyond 15m for big tricklining with a single crank, so if tricklining is all you’re interested in, strongly consider going for the lighter, cheaper option.
Elephant lines now also come in three different widths: 25mm, 35mm and 50mm. The right width for you depends very much on what you want to do with your slacklining. If you’re keen to get into longlining or highlining, 25mm is a clear choice. If you want to do big tricks, complete with butt bounces, chest bounces and plenty of shin work, then the wider lines can provide easier tensioning, and a larger area over which to distribute the larger associated forces. The 35mm lines are more versatile – the width can be used for longlining, highlining or tricklining, but may not be optimal for any.
As for anchoring systems, there are two common types: hitch-based systems, and sling-based systems. Hitch-based systems are the epitome of simplicity – the crank tail is long enough to be able to wrap around most trees, and you simply hitch the crank/line around your anchor point. The sling-based system, as the name implies, employs slings to wrap around the anchor point, which attach to the crank and main line by way of shackles. The advantages of a hitch based system are the reduced weight, lower cost, and simplicity. On the other hand, sling-based systems result in less wear and tear on both the line and tree, result in a more horizontal line (less side-to-side tipping) and have a significantly higher breaking load. Personally, I much prefer sling-based systems over hitch-based systems, and consider it a must for any tricklines or longlines. If you’re just starting out though, and/or want a line to take travelling without much weight, then a hitch-based system may be appropriate for you.
The last main variable is crank size. A larger crank allows for more tension, and is required if you want to do longer lines, or do large dynamic tricks. Note that tighter lines have greater risks associated with use, so the inexperienced slackliner would be advised to start out with a looser line.
Slackline Academy now stocks all the Elephant lines below. All lines excluding the Rookie come with two tree skins – essential for protecting both your line and your anchor point from damage. Tree skins are also sold separately for $20 a pair.
|Name||Colour||Width||Length||Anchor system||Crank size||RRP|
|Rookie||Pink or yellow||50mm||15m||Hitch||Standard||$109|
|Freak||Pink (25m/15m) or yellow (25m)||50mm||15m/25m||Sling||Large||$159/$209|
*The 15m Wing 3.5 has hitch-based anchors. The 25m Wing 3.5 has sling-based anchors.
The Horizon line deserves a explanatory paragraph all for itself. All other lines achieve their tension using a crank. The Horizon, however, is an all-in-one longline kit, and a crank simply isn’t appropriate for tensioning a line up to 100m long. The setup is considerably more complicated and involves a lot more equipment – pulleys, a break, connectors, slings, static rope etc. If you’re just starting out slacklining, ignore this product. If you’re interested in this product, please contact us for details.
Summary / TLDR
If you’re looking for a line to do basic stuff on, go travelling with, or as a present for someone without much experience, the Rookie is your best choice. If you want a work-horse for a trickline, the Freak is the line for you. On the other hand, if you’re keen to get something to hone your skills for longlining and/or highlining, go for the blueWing. Only time will tell exactly what niche the Wing 3.5 fills, but if you’re looking for a trickline, but don’t like the 50mm lines (and don’t think that all tricklining is done on 50mm lines by any means!), or want a more all-round line, consider grabbing yourself one of these.
Having said this, use the above as a guide only. Remember: there’s no ‘right’ line for everybody, and a lot comes down to personal preference. One of the great things about slacklining is that nobody can tell you what you can and cannot do on the line – not even me.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. Hope to see you all out in the parks!