“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.”
– Abraham Lincoln
Longlining is an extension to traditional slacklining in that the balancing sport involves walking on a line of at least 30-40 m in length, ranging up to hundreds of meters. With longer lines, the idea with longline slackline is to step up the difficulty level as you try to stay upright while walking the greater distance. Movement on the longline is determined by higher tensions and a comparatively larger sag in the middle. These dynamics create a seesawing motion between the principles of balance and stability.
By working with the swing and strain along the line, different challenges can be accomplished to help beginners move towards athletic competence. The longline slackline compass points to gravity, and longliners get to choreograph their movements in sync with the magnetic pull that draws in longline slackline communities around the world.
Longlining essentials and prerequisites
The branch of longline slackline activities is not the same as basic slackline endeavors. Longlining is a more specific outdoor recreation that focuses on gear requirements and environmental aspects. The webbing needs to have a certain length to be considered a longline, which is why dedicated brands work to deliver specialized, industrial-grade equipment to support longlining. Proper anchoring, knowledge of longline accessories, and terrain familiarity are crucial factors that optimize the overall experience for beginners and professionals alike.
The longline slackline webbing must be at least 30-40 m long and can extend to hundreds of meters for competitive pursuits. It is generally 1-inch wide to accommodate tension levels ranging from 0 to 15 kilonewtons, depending on individual preferences. The longline slackline equipment is assembled at heights of 1.5 – 2.5 m for adding an element of challenge that is not found in typical slacklining activities. Longlines have a breaking strength of around 30-70 kilonewtons. The overall load on the line takes the terrain shape, longline slackline height, and your weight into the equation so that you buy proper accessories to meet your expectations.
Longline slackline kits have different tensioning systems for assembling and dismantling stages. These often include Tie-Down Ratchets, Rope Pulley Systems, Carabiner and Webbing Combo, etc. Considering the longer lengths of such lines, adequate tensioning equipment is necessary to take away the manual input and strength in setting up a safe and workable longline slackline. With suitable longline kits, you can speed up the rigging process by ensuring that everything is aligned securely to prevent accidents and injuries.
The vast stretch of a longline slackline combined with its height from ground level introduces one unavoidable effect – the swinging phenomenon. As you walk along the line, it begins to swing and sends the gradual wave back and forth, requiring this swinging motion to be managed for effective longlining. The resulting sag in the middle makes it more challenging to stay upright and balanced. By learning to minimize the swinging, longliners get to practice different safety tricks and techniques to regain their balance on the line. The greater sag demands more room so that the line does not touch the ground, and this is why longlines are installed higher up from ground level. Alternately, this also means that there is always the risk of falling from a greater height.
Athlete safety is a primary concern in all slacklining pursuits. When it comes to longlining activities, the added lengths and tensions increase the danger for kinetic mishaps along the way – with all the laws of inertia and potential energies waiting to be unleashed. Novice longliners are required to work with professional coaches and communities in order to maximize their learning experience. Proper rigging, backup systems, safety tricks, first aid, and drills are all essential parts of the sport. Apart from protecting you, they also ensure the safety of those around you.
By collaborating with experts and watching tutorials, you can learn more about choosing the right locations and protecting trees. This gives a better, environmentally-friendly approach that keeps you safe and also protects nature through Leave No Trace outdoor ethics. When you practice under professional supervision, you receive more hands-on training for the dos-and-don’ts of longlining. This includes the dimensions of your anchoring materials, the types of trees and terrains to avoid, local bans, recommended gear, and de-tensioning precautions.
Longline Guinness World Records
Governed by the International Slackline Association (ISA), the longline slackline sport has stretched globally to round up followers in its wake. With slackline enthusiasts competing to walk over longer lines, these communities have earned a spotlight in the Guinness World Records as well. The longline slackline records are authorized by the ISA in terms of updated rankings as well as transparency in the system to promote fair and square victories.
Combining both female and male longliners, the longline slackline anchor-to-anchor lengths range from 100 m to over 600 m! As of the year 2019, the longest longline traversed without any safety harnesses was accomplished by Joshua Leupolz in Switzerland. He walked over the 615-m long slackline in an ISA-verified competition. On the ISA Difficulty Scale, Joshua scored a 7 out of 10 to mark his unprecedented longline slackline distance – literally walking right into the Guinness glory!
Basic longlining tricks
The art of longlining raises the bar – not to mention, the line itself! – for standard slacklining tricks. You need to practice rigging technicalities for independent longlining, and this process requires a lot of exposure to longline slackline communities, recreational parks, local events, etc. Since the major focus is on the longer stretch of fabric compared to traditional slacklines, there is always the pressure of falling too early, falling a lot, falling just when you are about to reach the end, and so on. It can be quite intimidating at first, and that is why it is absolutely imperative that you work with professionals and have longliners around you as a beginner. Not only does this give you a helping hand, but it also allows you to catch different tricks and stunts performed by experts.
Though they may seem naturally effortless when demonstrated by professional longliners, these tricks do require a series of techniques, repetitions, practice sessions, and improvement before they can pass as second-nature habits.
In Walking a Longline, you can exert more movement through your lower body weight as you try and balance yourself on the line. Compared to shorter lines that require one free foot for counterweight balancing, you can use both feet in this trick to accomplish balancing maneuvers. By focusing on your lower body weight instead of your shoulders, you can concentrate on putting one foot ahead of the other and walk the longline slackline successfully.
During a Chongo Mount, the challenge with longlines begins when you need to mount and rise into a standing position, considering the greater heights of longlines. By placing your foot perpendicular to the longline slackline, you can balance on your heel at first. With your other foot placed ahead, you can distribute your weight in this sitting position and gradually use your hands and arms to help you stand up on the line.
For a Sit Mount, the trick is to sit and balance on both feet and use one hand on the line to push yourself into a standing position. You can begin with both feet placed parallel along the line and then alternate between sideway switches on your feet until you achieve a confident equilibrium. It also helps to synchronize your mount to the swinging effect of the longline slackline, going with the dynamics to rise and stand as the line moves upwards.
The Back-bounce Mount starts with lying on your back. The longline should not be highly tensioned as this trick requires the easy-flowing freedom of a loose longline. Following the movement of the line, you can time your arm and leg maneuvers so that they match the rise and dip of the longline. You will then be able to spring to a standstill by pulling your body weight upwards.
To Surf on a Longline, you really need to go with the flow of the line instead of opposing it – just like you would on a surfboard. You begin by sitting sideways and building the surf momentum while you are still seated. Then, by mounting into a standing position, you can achieve surf-like movements by keeping your arms opposite to your legs’ maneuvers to remain stable.
Longline brands and products
We explored different longline slackline brands that have left a popular digital footprint for slackliners to follow. These online stores around the world are known for their industrial-scale products and all-in-one kits that help you carefully tread the vast progressive learning curve. We took our tentative steps on the virtual longline slackline that stretches worldwide to discover the fine line between a good product and a high-quality product. Here are some of the top brands and longline slackline features that caught our attention, and we have combined them to help you with essential starting points to consider before adding longline slackline products to your cart.
Longline slackline kits at Balance Community are designed for all-in-one convenience and user-friendliness. The high-quality products have been built with industrial standards to ensure durability and athlete safety. Balance Community has instructional videos to accompany the longline slackline kit descriptions so that you can set up your own equipment. The collections stand out in their competitive technical specifications as well as accessories; these help you achieve more streamlined assembling and dismantling stages. Generally, the minimum breaking strength (MBS) of these longlines ranges between 27.0 – 42.0 kilonewtons, whereas the working load limit (WLL) lies somewhere between 6.7 – 8.4 kilonewtons.
The BC Classic Longline Kit is available in webbing lengths of 60 m and 90 m. The brand’s TreeHugger Cosmic Tree Protectors are also included. Ideal for beginner longliners as well as traveling slackliners, this kit offers on-the-go versatility to suit your nomadic pursuits. The gear add-ons deliver a long-term promise and compatibility with longer lines. Pulleys, anchor webbing straps, aluminum carabiners, MightyLocks, and BC shackles act as supportive gear to simplify the rigging process.
Similarly, the BC Classic Longline Kit – Jybn version has longline slackline webbings of lengths 60 m and 90 m. The kit has been designed for a special discount on the original Classic Kit. It combines everything you need into one-stop portability, so your longline activities go wherever you go.
The Lightweight Longline Kit is also available as 60-and-90m longline webbing lengths. It comes with all the essential accessories needed to kick-start your longlining sessions, including double pulleys and multipliers. You get to choose your own webbing from Balance Community. The longline slackline assortment features a MadRock Safeguard Belay Device, adjustable anchor straps, BC TreeHugger Cosmics, bow shackles, and oval carabiners.
At GIBBON Slacklines, the products have an elite reputation for their ergonomics and sustainably-productive applications. The website displays tutorial videos to support beginner longliners, and there are various therapies, communities, and fitness options to choose from. GIBBON longlines might seem shorter than the desired average of 30-40 m in length, but this is what makes them more promising for entry-level recreation. The short lengths give beginners a good starting point as they are still longer than traditional slackline webbing – so you get to practice smaller distances before covering longer traversals.
GIBBON’s FLOWLINE TREEWEAR is available as a 25m set that is suitable for longlining contexts. It has a 1-inch-wide webbing that optimizes energy transmissions along the line for novice users who need the comfort of shorter lines before moving on to longer ones. Ratchets and tree trunk protection gear help you achieve maximum flexibility on the longline slackline while staying environmentally-aware of your surroundings. Reinforced loops and Velcro straps create added protection, both for the longline equipment and the trees. The flat polyester webbing achieves a trampoline effect and is designed to hold tensioning strengths and improved orientation.
The CLASSIC XL YELLOW TREEWEAR and CLASSICLINE RED XL TREEWEAR sets also offer 25m-long webbings. They are equipped with ratchet protection (RAT PAD) features that meet the industry standards of optimum slacklining requirements. With tree-wear support, setup guides, and safety lock systems, these slacklines have a breaking load of 40 kilonewtons. They are developed for nomadic ease to help you switch between anchor points through hassle-free installation and disassembling. These kits allow beginners to expand their spatial awareness by learning the ropes to momentum and equilibrium on the line.
Slacktivity has a vast collection of longlines and add-on gear to support DIY rigging and safety practices. Its Experience 30m – 70m version has a width of 37 mm, and it is quite robust for longline rigging stages. Using just two ratchets, the Experience Longline can be used for both tricklining as well as longlining sessions through versatile tensioning. Its weave structure supports the perfect bounce for superior balancing along the line.
Slacktivity’s REDPARK longline set features a simple HangOverPulley tensioning system. The included accessories are compatible with other slacklining pursuits like highline and surf-line. The REDPARK 50m-long nylon webbing is very flexible and comfortable for practicing longline tricks. Web locks, chain locks, T-Grips, aluminum shackles, connection loops, soft-release gear, and tree slings are available – along with a portable bag for easy storage and transportation.
The Y2K-Webbing from Slacktivity is ideal for longlines that are longer than 200 m. At every 50-m interval, the main lines are connected by quick lines. The same principle applies to the backup longline. This creates the combined effect of a fully-functional backup system throughout the polyester webbing. The durable design can withstand heavy winds, so your longlining experience stays undisturbed. Since the overall longline is actually fragmented into individual 50-m pieces, the maintenance and repair aspects become quite simple. In case the longline gets damaged, only that particular 50-m piece needs to be replaced. The Y2K product can be purchased as a main line, a backup line, and a bundle to include both.
Apart from longline webbing and kits, Slacktivity also provides stand-alone gear and devices. These range from carabiners, ratchets, and locks to tree slings, range-finding devices, and Bluetooth dynamometers.
Spider Slacklines has a range of beginner and expert level longlining products. With a whole spectrum of carabiners, longline kits, webbings, pulleys, quick links, weblocks, tensioning systems, and slings, you can browse through curated suggestions for your beginner or professional pursuits on the line. Spider Slacklines offers polyester webbing materials with improved weaving structures that promote anti-twist installations. They are also abrasion-resistant and have adequate stretch to help you achieve just the right amount of flexibility and bounce. The longline fabrics have been designed to ensure product durability through UV resilience, consistent weight, thicker edges, and high breaking strengths. With various tubular, flat, and woven materials, Spider Slacklines keeps athlete safety at the nucleus of all of its product designs.
Some of the top 25m-long webbing materials for beginners include the brand’s Edge, Jumbo, and Zao Longline versions. Kits such as the LONGLINE KIT – FLY LINE 35 come with 35m-long webbing with backup options and tree protection gear. The LONGLINE KIT – PRIMITIVE 50 has a 50m-long webbing that is around 1-inch wide. You can customize your buying choices by selecting tree anchorages and webbing materials to receive suitable recommendations. Therefore, the Primitive series is ideal for choosing your own slackline to make the best out of every session. By navigating between different longline options, you can choose to have more light-walking results for beginner, tentative steps – or aim for dynamic possibilities with hybrid webbing. These kits ease your transition into more advanced longlining with power ratchets for personalizing the tension levels. They are often integrated with removable spacers.
The brand’s catalog displays sling bags, backpacks, and haul bags for portability. The padded interiors and travel ergonomics allow for organized storage during your outdoor excursions. You can also purchase replacement hardware such as extra spacers, pulleys, line locks, soft-release belts, and aluminum carabiners.
“The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.”
The longline kits and accessories from different brands, like those discussed above, are not just used for outdoor recreation. Longlining has been adapted into various training regimens and physiotherapies to assist people in overcoming physical obstacles. The sport requires every single body cell to join the balancing orchestra, thereby stimulating every nerve and muscle to wake up. By helping people move from point A to point B, longlining sessions have really established the shortest distance between motor limitations and independent moving – under the watchful guidance of professional coaches.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
– Albert Einstein