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mrcoolshoes1105


May 31, 2006, 12:45 PM
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Newbie Slackliner
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OK. So i got all my webbing yesterday in the mail, 3 biners, and i had bought 2 heavy duty ratchets at walmart the week before. Went to Messiah College campus to set up my first slackline... and failed miserably.

I have 2 10' sections of 1" webbing to use for my anchors, and they proved to be too short to girth hitch around the trees, so i was forced to just loop them around the tree and tie a water knot afterwards. I then tied a figure eight in each anchor and clipped a biner through the loop. From the same biner, i clipped a ratchet, one on each side. Then i pulled the line tight and ratcheted it down on both sides. I got it pretty tight, although the ratchets made the line twist, which annoyed me. The big problem i had was that when i put considerable weight on the middle of the line, the anchors wanted to slide down the trees. This could have been because the tree was a little crooked, but it looked like it shouldn't slide with that much weight.
I was hoping the ratchets would work for a quick and easy setup, but it doesnt look like they will, plus they sketch me out. I have three oval biners to devote to the slackline... is there a way to setup using 3 biners and 1 or 2 slings for anchors? I looked over all the other posts, and i got some ideas, but i'm a little hazy on the details.


veganboyjosh


May 31, 2006, 1:48 PM
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three biners is about all the hardware you need to get started. you can of course upgrade, and i give it a day before the major players post to the thread selling their wares.

anyway, dig thru the threads in the slacklining forum. there's a great tutorial for how to set up a primitive system. this is how it's known when you use not much more than biners to tighten your line.

or if you can find a website that talks about how to rig a 3 to 1 pulley system, like in a rescue situation (i believe freedom of the hills has diagrams), this is what you're making.


Partner slacklinejoe


May 31, 2006, 2:32 PM
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Well there is certainly room for improving your setup by the way it sounds. Check out Cold Climb's Article on biner based tensioning systems. I'd say use what you have for now, if later you feel the need look into investing in a nicer setup.

Also, it sounds like your method for using slings isn't working so hot. Could be your just not getting the slings sized right or the tree is just too slick and / or angled but either way water knots are a pain to undo after loading. Slings slip more when the slackline is pretty loose too.

Check the article above for some slinging methods or if you want to use the ratchets there are tricks to getting them to lie flat. You should be able to tie a bowline on each end of the 10 foot segments, clip the biner in the loops and clip to the webbing on the ratchet (probably where it has an S-clip, but ignore the S-clip and clip direct to the web). If the sling using bowlines is too long, make an extra wrap around the tree. That should make it lie perfectly flat. A BIG note on ratchets, make sure they are rated for that type of use, anything rated below 2,200 lbs is probably too light of duty. Not all ratchets are junk(some may argue that point), but most from Wal-Mart are.

Now for the rest of the ratchet rigging you've got several options. You can go with two sets of bowline slings w/ ratchet's on each end and the main line independant in the middle (tighten one some to lock the line in place, then thread and tension using the other - try to split the slack into each ratchet). You need extremely heavy duty sewing to avoid all twists in most setups but this one using two slings will lay perfectly flat.

OR you can tie a 8 on a bight on one end of your main line, use that end of the main line to make a slip knot around the tree and use 1 sling & 1 ratchet. This only works if your ratchet can pull enough slack out of the system before filling up and your main line is long enough to double as the sling and the line. One important note though, slip knotting the main line to the tree will put a half twist in the line.

If you have more biners you can make adjustable slings by only having the bowline in one end, then tie a clove hitch with the other end into 2 biners (1 doesn't get used other than to pry the knot apart later) and clip the bowline's loop in 1 of the biners, then hook the ratchet or main line into that.


mrcoolshoes1105


Jun 2, 2006, 5:11 AM
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Alright, attempt # 2...i got the line set up about 10 minutes before a massive thuderstorm came through for the night, but it worked really well, and i can already tell i'm hooked. Heres what i did differently:
I decided to scrap the walmart ratchets, one: because they looked ugly and twisted the line in odd ways, and two: because i'd rather not trust my health and well being to anything that walmart ever made, and they sketched me out big time. I took Coldclimb's advice and just tied a bowline in the end of my main line, girthing that around itself for the fixed anchor. For the anchor on the working end, i used one of my 10' pieces, and tied a bowline in each end, making a pair of "bunny ears". From here, it took me some time to figure out how to go about it, but i ended up making a pulley system with three black diamond ovals. I tied a clove hitch (i think) (the webbing threw me off on my knot tying skills) to one end of a biner with the main line, leaving about 2 or 3 feet between this and the anchor. I clipped my other two biners in to my bunny-eared sling, running the webbing first to one and back to the clove-hitched biner, then to the other and back. With this system in place, i simply put my feet to the tree and pulled away from the main line. It worked b-e-a-u-tifully. When i had it tight enough, i wrapped around the tree 4 or 5 times, and tied off to the anchor with a half hitch. :D
Comments? Suggestions? Improvements? Good setup or bad? This was probably a 20ish foot line...would this same setup work for a longer line? Would another biner in the pulley help for longer lines?


Partner slacklinejoe


Jun 2, 2006, 6:55 AM
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Comments? Suggestions? Improvements? Good setup or bad? This was probably a 20ish foot line...would this same setup work for a longer line? Would another biner in the pulley help for longer lines?

There are always debatable fine points about any rigging system. Basically if it works for you and it isn't unsafe - go for it. Overall it sounds like it will work out but here are a couple suggestions:

I couldn't tell from your post if you put 2 biners in the clove hitch - it's pretty common for a clove hitch to get welded tight on biners so a 2nd one is often used to help pry the knot apart later.

20 foot isn't too hard to rig regardless, it's actually possible to use no mechanical advantage at all and get one tight enough to walk. Granted, it's not going to be super tight or anything, but it'll work. It is however a PITA to tie off.

Will that work on a longer setup? Depends. Some folks have astonishing abilities to get longer / tighter lines setup with that method however a large number have issues trying to get beyond say 35 or 40 feet by pulling by themselves on similar rigs. At that point you may need to add additional "pulleys" to the system, use piggy backed tensioning systems and things like that.


mrcoolshoes1105


Jun 4, 2006, 12:49 AM
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I couldn't tell from your post if you put 2 biners in the clove hitch - it's pretty common for a clove hitch to get welded tight on biners so a 2nd one is often used to help pry the knot apart later.

Thanks joe, i had forgotten about that. I used the same setup, with a 3:1 pulley, and i stuck an extra carabiner in the clove hitch.

Question: I didn't feel like buying another 5 dollar biner (i'm a poor college kid), so i just stuck a keychain biner in the clove hitch, since it is not load bearing, and is simply used to pry the clove apart, i figured it would be fine...sound like a bad idea to anyone?

I trashed my nuts pretty bad tonight on the line...and i probably will never have kids...but i'm definetly hooked.


mrcoolshoes1105


Jun 4, 2006, 5:19 AM
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I couldn't tell from your post if you put 2 biners in the clove hitch - it's pretty common for a clove hitch to get welded tight on biners so a 2nd one is often used to help pry the knot apart later.

Thanks joe, i had forgotten about that. I used the same setup, with a 3:1 pulley, and i stuck an extra carabiner in the clove hitch.

Question: I didn't feel like buying another 5 dollar biner (i'm a poor college kid), so i just stuck a keychain biner in the clove hitch, since it is not load bearing, and is simply used to pry the clove apart, i figured it would be fine...sound like a bad idea to anyone?

I trashed my nuts pretty bad tonight on the line...and i probably will never have kids...but i'm definetly hooked.


Partner slacklinejoe


Jun 4, 2006, 8:39 AM
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Question: I didn't feel like buying another 5 dollar biner (i'm a poor college kid), so i just stuck a keychain biner in the clove hitch, since it is not load bearing, and is simply used to pry the clove apart, i figured it would be fine...sound like a bad idea to anyone?

Well, it'll work until it doesn't. Those keychain biners would probably be fine under load but might break as you try to pry the knot apart.

Might as well keep using it as such but expect to pick up a different biner if it breaks - besides since that biner is never being loaded it doesn't have to be dedicated to your slackline; just be damn sure to mark it to seperate it from the rest of your slackline gear. Never use any biner for both life saving / climbing use and slackline use (where it is under a load anyway).


mrcoolshoes1105


Jun 5, 2006, 5:42 PM
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Ok, so i've got my setup pretty down now...i'm using a 3 carabiner pulley with an extra biner(actually its a rap link that i had) in the clove hitch to keep it loose. I can get it just right for a 25-30 foot setup. I'm thinking eventually i'll either buy a few more biners to make another of the same system, or a pulley or two.

I sent my first 25 footer today, and it felt sweet. I'm definetly addicted, i can't stop. I noticed that its easier to stick to the line if you keep moving along. Do most of you move steadily accross the line, or stop and chill out alot?


veganboyjosh


Jun 5, 2006, 6:00 PM
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is untieing clove hitches really that hard?

i've cranked down some lines, but never had one i couldn't untie with more than a moderate amount of working back and forth...


Partner slacklinejoe


Jun 5, 2006, 8:15 PM
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is untieing clove hitches really that hard?

i've cranked down some lines, but never had one i couldn't untie with more than a moderate amount of working back and forth...

Depending on the carabiners - yes. I've damaged webbing trying to pry some of them apart. I seem to have worse luck with ovals than D's, especially for jump tight lines.


mrcoolshoes1105


Jun 6, 2006, 8:00 PM
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I find that i am running out of mainline that could be walkable, because it eaten up by the girth on the fixed anchor. What is the simplest way to get the fixed side to lie flat while softpointing?


Partner slacklinejoe


Jun 7, 2006, 6:59 AM
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What is the simplest way to get the fixed side to lie flat while softpointing?

From context I'm not sure you are actually softpointing - even if you are the fixed end is irrelevant to soft pointing. Soft pointing is the process of removing whatever tensioning system you are using from the main line. The fixed end is the end without the tensioning system.

If you are just needing to have a flat lying main line clipped to some sort of sling the best solution involves having a main line with a sewn loop on the end. If you tie any sort of knot on the end of a main line and clip that to a sling or any type you'll have at least a partial twist.

I will say this, partial twists only bothered me during my learning curve - after that compensating for it wasn't a major deal.

If your serious about wanting a perfectly flat line, send it to someone to have it sewn or buy a pre-sewn one. Considering shipping cost and the cost of webbing it might actually be cheaper to just buy a 2nd main line pre-sewn. If you want yours sewn or a different pre-sewn one, I'd be glad to do it - either way it isn't that high.


mrcoolshoes1105


Jun 7, 2006, 8:27 AM
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good call good call, i was obviously throwing around terms and trying to sound cool... :-P

I'm acually thinking i'll just buy a 100 foot line sometime soon, so that i have enough line to do whatever i want with, and it sounds like a logical choice to get a pre-sewn one. I'll look you up when the time comes Joe.

Thanks


mrcoolshoes1105


Jun 19, 2006, 6:23 AM
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I've gotten the 25 foot down pretty well, i can walk across and back pretty easily if i concentrate. I've even gotten the turnaround in the middle of the line a few times. I'm definetly hooked.

Just to try it out, i set up a 50 foot line yesterday(in the 98 degree humid weather). I knew i'd never tension it by myself with my beaner setup, so i whipped out a comealong that i had in the shed. I anchored off of my jeep hitch, up and over a saw horse, then ran the line out to a clove hitched biner about 6 feet from a tree. I wrapped a 2" tow strap around the tree a few times, hooked the comealong to that, and clipped my biner into the other side. I also backed up the comealong on a few different points with a separate piece of webbing. The comealong was a big pain to use by myself since it was so akward and big, plus it was real sketchy to release tension on.

I ended up getting it pretty tight, with a few inches of clearance in the middle, and the ends being about 3 or 3 and a half feet up.

That said...i sucked at walking on the thing. I didnt get a long time to slack, but i could only ever make it about 1/3 of the way. I didnt really like the feel of the line though, and i think the comealong had a big effect on this. I would never haul that thing around with me either, its a monstrosity.

Is it possible to tension a 50ish foot line with one person and five beaners? Is it possible with 2 people? Any input would be appreciated. Eventually i hope to get a system that will be good enough to tension a 100 foot line, but im mucho poor right now, so it'll wait.


Partner slacklinejoe


Jun 19, 2006, 6:38 AM
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Well, at a full 50 feet part of what may have been an issue was your prefered tension. 3 feet high at 50 feet long is very tight - you simply might not be used to it. Also there is a major difference in the skills between the two lengths.

If your worried about the come along in the system soft point it out. Tension the system a couple inches more than where you want it, then tie a piece of web from where the front hook connects to your anchor - you can then remove the come along releasing the tension onto that webbing.

For using biners at that distance some people have said they can do it with a normal 3:1. No harm in trying it before giving up however I'd be looking at the 9:1 style setup instead or some other piggy backed system if you want to stay with biner based systems.

If you are that hooked it may be time to look into more powerful / flexible tensioning systems. They aren't all expensive and they do make life much easier.


mrcoolshoes1105


Jun 20, 2006, 9:45 AM
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the 9:1 looks like a sweet setup...is that static rope being used as the tensioning system, or webbing? How much static line would one need to tension 50-100 foot lines with a similar setup, or one using pulleys in place of the beaners? the release hitch looks confusing to me, is there anywhere online with a more distinct diagram?


mrcoolshoes1105


Jun 20, 2006, 9:47 AM
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the 9:1 looks like a sweet setup...is that static rope being used as the tensioning system, or webbing? How much static line would one need to tension 50-100 foot lines with a similar setup, or one using pulleys in place of the beaners? the release hitch looks confusing to me, is there anywhere online with a more distinct diagram?


Partner slacklinejoe


Jun 20, 2006, 10:18 AM
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Well, I can't say for THAT one using static but it is prefered for any hauling system.

Keep in mind, if you don't already have gear to do the 9:1 it may not be worth the $ invested given the level of friction in the system. There are also ways of doing the exact same thing using webbing. Technically speaking you want the lowest stretch possible in the tensioning system for better efficency but you also want lowest friction too.

Gear Express usually has short ropes you can buy for such abuse without ruining your dynamic climbing rope. For 100 feet you'll need at least 30 feet but I'd go for closer to 50 just for the extra utility. You could probably get by with less but it's damn annoying to run out a few feet short and you never know what sort of elaborate pulley system you might want to try in the future. If you can get a static rope for it. Gear Express usually have decent prices on accessory cord too but you can probably get that at your local gear shop.

Any releasable hitch will work fine - what you want me to do all your research for you? ;)

(I'll try and avoid making this look like a sales pitch) It's also worth nothing there is some nifty professionally made slackline tools that my company makes (among others out there) that can replace a lot of DIY stuff and may work better for many applications.

Cam buckles can work like prussiks or knot replacements in webbing - auto locking & adjusting as you need without melting or warping the webbing, we make pre-made releasable hitch systems & softpointing gear, pulley systems, adjustable auto locking slings that lie perfectly flat --- yadda yadda --- not saying anyone needs any of that stuff to get it done, but it might be worth checking out if your interested.


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