Tips for the first steps on line

Basically everybody can learn how to Slackline. A certain sportiness is definitely helpful, but not prerequisite. Slacklining is highly inviting and attracts all age groups. Especially children and youth become quickly enthusiastic about the sport.

not too long, not too tight

considerations before the mount

For beginners we recommend a Slackline length of about 8-10m. The longer the line the bigger the amplitude (especially in the middle of the line). That makes it difficult for beginners. However the line should also be not too short (meaning the line should not be less than 5m in length), because in that case the amplitude of the Slackline becomes very high which firstly most often increases the random shaking of the legs and secondly will not allow the Slackline typical adjusting/ balance out movements.

NOTE: We recommend helping and supporting one another while taking your first steps on line.

As the term Slackline indicates one of its key features is the slack, referring to the fact that the line will give under the slackliners weight. That means that in contrast to the traditional tightrope walking it is especially that movement, the swinging-through of the line under ones body, which forms the key to this unique form of balancing we call slacklining. As a rule of thumb “normal” slacklines are set up using a midrange tension of about 50-200 daN. One thing that should be considered is that the line should not touch the ground in the middle when balancing. If you tighten a slackline even harder it does not necessarily mean that balancing becomes easier – by doing so – especially on short distances – the amplitude is lowered which will increase the frequency respectively. This first of all limits the movements of the line and thereby directly decreases your options to move and stay on line.

the first mount

getting a feeling for the line

Get in position by standing parallel to the line about one third from fixpoint (1) – preferably facing fixpoint (2) which is further away. Now place your foot – the one next to the line – flat and straight on the line. Then use the leg remaining on the ground to push yourself up onto the line. Stability wise it’s advisable to place the second foot directly behind the first one. By following this tip beginners will avoid the so called “open” and therefore instabil position. When balancing your legs should never be completely straight - have them rather slightly bend at all times.

NOTE: Every beginner will experience the typical leg-shaking at an early stage during the first tries on line. The muscles need to adapt to the unpredictable movements of the line and the forces accompanying it. This should not irritate you – no reason to give up – just a few tries later the shaking will be almost gone already. First of all it is important to get a feeling for the line.  

body`s position on line

hands up, distribute your weight

First of all: When slacklining there is no strict right or wrong. Favourable and good is what works. What we will present in the following and refer to as the fundamental position, works and is the result of many years of experience and has proofed its efficiency in numerous slackling courses. The fundamental position can be described as follows: The knees should be bend slightly, the chest upright, the arms in the typical “Hands up!” position. When standing with both feet on the line the main weight should be placed on the front foot (about 80%). When standing just on one foot the centre of gravity should be located vertically above the foot on the line if possible. By doing so a so called “neutral position” is reached without leaning forwards or backwards.

NOTE: Focus a point with you eyes, preferably at the end of the slackline. Looking down to the ground or watching your own feet when balancing most often results in leaning forward of the whole body as most often the head is not moved solitarily. For keeping the balance our own tests showed that it makes most sense to visually “hold on to” something non moving – therefore not the line itself.

the first steps

feeling into the next step

We also recommend to try the first steps on line accompanied by a helping hand, to get a feeling for the line without. It is important to remember not to fall into the next step but rather feel into it. When swinging your foot slowly forward in order to make a step try to keep the legs close together (see below left) – this will help to place your foot precisely on the line without looking down.

When slacklining all three levels of your body are used for keeping the balance: the shoulders with the arms, the hips and the legs. In contrary to tightrope walking - meaning a steelcable pulled tight which does not give under the body´s weight and therefore does not move at all – when slackling especially the hips´ movement is of great significance.

NOTE: In case of insecurities rather lower the centre of gravity by bending your knees. As an alternative try to press your knees together to avoid the insecure “open position”

Slacklining may cause injury. When you do, imitate or reproduce exercises/ tricks/ rigging options shown shown on, any video or picture by slackline-tools you always do this at your own risk and responsibility. We do not take any responibility for corporal, consequential or collateral damage which is caused by the imitation or reproduction of exercises/ tricks/ rigging options. This only applies if there are no conflicting imperative legal provisions.