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when the slackline breaks?
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ryanhos


Apr 17, 2003, 8:21 PM
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when the slackline breaks?
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For some reason, the guy who I often go to for climbing advice (since I'm a 6 month newbie) sent me some slackline info today. I was familiar with the sport from trying my hand (foot) on the line at Miguel's in Red River Gorge. We then decided we'd both contribute $20 and set up 35-45 ft slackline in my yard between two trees. (He lives right next door.) We were all ready to go to Moosejaw when he called me and said "wait, I have 3 spare 'biners, a sling and 40 ft of webbing that I used up at Devil's Lake last fall!" So instead of making the drive to Moosejaw, we spent the aternoon rigging one up and practicing. I'm no good yet, but that's beside the point.

Do slacklines ever break? It's only 3 ft off the ground so I'm not so worried about the drop, but what if the sling that is girth hitched to the tree breaks? Will I have 3 'biners flying at my head at 60mph? How much potential energy is stored up in these things? If the line breaks on the other side of the rigging, will the line whip back and injure whoever is near it at the time? You see, this line is set up next to my fraternity house and as you can imagine, the spectacle of some guy walking a "tightrope" draws quite a few spectators. I'm just worried for their safety.


beyond_gravity


Apr 19, 2003, 11:30 AM
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Re: when the slackline breaks? [In reply to]
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I wouldn't be worried about it. I highly doubt the sling would break if it is sewen, and if it is tied the knot would slip and just drop you to the ground. Even if it broke i don't think the biners would fly very far because the slackline is reativly static.


ktwo


Apr 22, 2003, 10:47 AM
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Re: when the slackline breaks? [In reply to]
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Two things... first of all, as long as your equipment is relatively new and in decent condition, it isn't going to break. BUT... if your equipment is faulty, and it does break, you are going to have some stuff flying. If you know anything about vectors, by creating a two point anchor with almost a 180 degree angle (with you being the vertex and the trees being the endpoints), there is a huge amount of force on both of the trees, even though there is relatively small weight on the line. If a biner were to snap, you would have quite the shrapnel flying. I don't mean to scare you away from trying though. If the stuff you are using is okay for climbing, it is okay for slacklining, and you shouldn't have to worry about any of this.


klimberbob


Apr 28, 2003, 12:55 PM
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Re: when the slackline breaks? [In reply to]
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YES, slacklines made of webbing do break!! :shock: I had one rigged 5m or so off the deck, and had the safety tied into the line (via a biner which moved along the line as I walked). The problem is cross loading the line when you fall - i thought it would be fine, and it was for a while.... but i soon discovered webbing snaps with a very loud crack :D so the moral of the story is to have an indepenant safety if doing high slacklining... :)


sheldonjr


Apr 28, 2003, 9:40 PM
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Re: when the slackline breaks? [In reply to]
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There's a really great thread on the topic here. I'm such a lightweight that when I figured it, I'm only putting about 500lbs on my anchors!!! :D But I'd still put up a loose backup when highlining.


lifeguard4


May 3, 2003, 6:26 PM
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Re: when the slackline breaks? [In reply to]
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I've often wondered about that same thing. One of my buddies that I slack with will girthhitch a piece of webbing around a branch of the tree and then clip draws into each of the biners so that if something does break there will be something there to keep the biners from turning into shapnel.


neeshman


May 5, 2003, 10:22 PM
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Re: when the slackline breaks? [In reply to]
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Hey lifeguard4, I think your full of crap. :D


greatatlax


Jun 7, 2003, 5:25 PM
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Re: when the slackline breaks? [In reply to]
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Well,
The first slack line I ever set up I broke. The slings didn't break, but the BRAND NEW webbing I had bought specifically for the line did break. I was only mildly injured (my hand was bruised all the way through- I was holding onto the point that broke and the back of my hand was bruised from the shock wave!!) luckily. The lesson to be learned from my experience is to properly load knots. I had tied a water knot (overhand on a bight) where a butterfly knot should have been tied and the knot basically worked to weaken and cut through the webbing right where my hand was. I feel lucky that I was holding onto exactly the point where it broke, and not 2 feet down where the webbing could have whipped back and practically cut my hand off. Point is: think through the forces going on and what you're doing to the equipment. I don't worry about my slack lines breaking, or my climbing equipment breaking because I am very vigilant about properly utilizing it. Slack lining is safe if you don't do anything stupid like use a jeep to tension it, or tie a bad knot. A keeper sling clipped to the biners can't be a bad idea, though it may be overkill since your line probably will never break. Even so, can't hurt, and better safe than sorry. Have fun!!
David


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