Jul 30

Thanks to Martin for putting this together.

There are nearly as many ways to rig a slackline as there are slackliners. This is the way I do it to keep the line as flat as possible while using a small number of biners to keep the system nice and light.

DON’T make a highline with this

Basically, this is an Ellington system with a secondary 3:1 pulley. With the combined systems — and an added trick — I can setup a line between trees 50′ apart on my own. Here’s a gear list.

  1. Make an anchor by wrapping your loop of webbing (made with a water knot) around a tree and clipping a carabiner through the two ends.

    An anchor

    This is not the best anchor, but it gets the job done. Here is an alternative.

  2. To connect the main line to the anchor make a line locker by passing a loop straight through the chain ring then passing it through again.

  3. Clip this in to the anchor.

    The line attached to the anchor

  4. Walk the webbing towards the other tree ensuring that it remains flat with no twists. Put a second line locker in the line leaving a space the size of about 20% of the total distance between it and the other tree. The tail end of the webbing should hanging down from the locker.

    Continuing the line

  5. Make another anchor, then pass the line up through the biner.

    Coming up for air

  6. Now run it back down through the first carabiner. Don’t pull the line tight just yet — just enough so it’s off the ground and doesn’t flop around like a wet noodle.

  7. Start a second loop by going under the webbing on the other end. This can be accomplished by giving a slight pull on the outer loop while sliding the webbing of the inner-loop-to-be along the spine of the biner.

    Second pass

  8. Now finish the second loop by going under the webbing on the first biner. This is the completed tensioning/cam system.

    Second pass

  9. Pull the line somewhat tight, but leave plenty of slack to adjust your anchors to your desired height (and so they lie flat) and put in tree protection.

    Always use protection!

  10. Now pull with all your might, but keep a steady tension and don’t jerk it. When you’ve done all can, set up a second anchor to add more mechanical advantage. Girth hitch a biner (see insert) on the the line as close to the camming system as you can. This will be the moving biner.

    Girth hitch a biner

  11. Run the line through the secondary anchor,

    Line through the secondary anchor

  12. then through the girth hitched biner.

    An extra 3:1 mechanical advantage! (in theory)

    Now the pulling will be much easier. Pull what you can and when the two biners touch, take out the girth hitch and put the `moving’ biner back in the line next to the camming system. Repeat to your heart’s content.

  13. To make the pulling even easier, girth hitch a rap ring (or biner) in the the line, and pass a sling through to make a double handle.

    Get a handle on it


  1. After removing the 3:1 pulley system, fold the tail end of the webbing down right next to the caribiner. Then pull back to get the webbing out from the camming system

    Releasing the webbing from the camming system

  2. If you have serious tension in the line, you will likely not pull the webbing all the way out. Next, take a loop of webbing and pass it up through the biner (this will save your fingers in case the webbing decides to pop out all of a sudden!). Now you’ll be able to pull it out the rest of the way.

    Though it's a sport about your feet and balance, you may as well protect your fingers!

    Repeat with the other side.

29 comments so far...

  • Ben Said on August 4th, 2008 at 12:32 am:

    This was really helpful, but I am having trouble understanding what is happening in stages 10-13, if you could explain it that would be phenomenal. Thanks you

  • Scotty Said on August 4th, 2008 at 1:11 pm:

    Hey Ben,

    Stages 10-13 are applying a multiplier to the system. The standard 3 to 1 system is difficult to tighten by yourself, especially with all the friction induced by the tension knots. In order to get the line really tight by yourself, you can add a multiplier to double your pulling force. In step 10, after you can’t pull the line tight anymore, add a girth hitch or another line locker at that point and attach a carabiner, run the line to a second tree anchor below the first, and then back to the girth hitched carabiner as you can see in photo 12. Then pull in the direction shown in the picture and you can get way more pull out of the line, and get it tighter by yourself. It isn’t a mandatory step, especially if you have lots of people there to pull, but if you’re by yourself it will help a lot. You can keep moving the girth hitch or line locker until you pull it to the desired tension.

    Slack Hard.

  • ryan Said on August 6th, 2008 at 5:19 am:


    thanks for the helpful step by step. A friend showed my at work one day, but had not gotten the line locker thing figured out. after seeing that elsewhere in this site, and after seeing this, we had a line up in a flash. now we’ve taken it a couple of places and have really started to get it sussed out.

    ‘preciate it.

    until such time…

  • Luke Said on August 17th, 2008 at 10:47 pm:

    this looks fairly similar to my setup. I use 4 biners (1 anchor and 3 for the pulley system), but yours looks like it might be easier to pull tight. Mine takes some effort and usually 2 people.
    Good stuff.

  • Phil Said on August 24th, 2008 at 11:41 am:


    This is by far the simplest setup i have seen online.
    I run my line at about 7 meters walkable length and it works perfectly. Only needs tightening with the extra steps if you are jumping up and down on it lots.

    Cheers you for the info.

  • Kevin Said on October 15th, 2008 at 9:14 am:

    I have a question about rap rings vs. chain link for line lockers. Can I use a rap ring as a line locker? Omega pacific makes one that holds 20kN (4,496 lbs of force). I’d love some clarification on this point.

  • Scotty Said on October 15th, 2008 at 4:32 pm:

    Hi Kevin. You may definitely use rap rings as line lockers. Some people actually prefer the OP rap rings to chain links as they do not have the weld (as the chain links do) which can tear up the line under tension. I’ve been using OP rap rings for the last several years and they work marvelously. Check out the forum section for more information.

  • Matthew Said on November 20th, 2008 at 11:15 am:

    This was really helpful. I will definitely use this set up from now on.

  • Slackline.com: Leading the Balance Sport Revolution - 10 things you need to bring when slacklining Said on April 10th, 2009 at 12:05 pm:

    [...] different rigging methods. When I’m cruising the beach-side on my bike, I prefer to bring the minimalist’s rig. It’s light and simple. Other times, when I’m rigging lines over 20 meters (65 feet) I [...]

  • RT Said on July 4th, 2009 at 11:45 pm:

    Hey great instructions! I just started slacklining today and it’s been a challenge so far! Got a question regarding #10-13. I’ve got a setup where I’m using a rappel ring and a biner in a line locker for my anchors. In my case I’m attaching the main line to the rappel ring. Can I use the biner attached to the anchor as my “second anchor” even though it’s just a different point on the same anchor?


  • Robin Said on July 6th, 2009 at 1:53 pm:

    Yes, you may use the same anchor as your secondary anchor. This is ok on short lines, but this system is not suitable for long lines.

  • MTL Said on August 19th, 2009 at 9:53 am:

    Great instructions - Thank you!

    I use this exact same setup with my 50footer. In my experience I have found that steps 10-13 are only required for lines longer than 40-50 feet. I set up my line (~40 walkable distance 50′ total main line length) with steps 1-9 and it works just fine when I tension by myself. It does help to tie a loop to pull with in the tensioning side of your line so you can lean into it a bit without wrapping it around (and crushing!) your hand.

    Safe Slackin’ Everyone!

  • morgan Said on September 3rd, 2009 at 1:58 pm:

    the gear list wont come up and that is the only thing keeping me from slacklining right now so it would be apreciated if i couls get that,
    thanks :)

  • Tom Said on September 10th, 2009 at 4:35 pm:

    this is about the same setup as i have, it rocks! never thought about setting up another pulley with the secondary anchor. i tried something new today that you guys may know how to help out with. basicly, i have a 100′ main line, but i want to use my 40′ piece of old line for the pulley system. i am using a rappell ring for the lock off on the main line and i attach 2 carabiners through the lock. i meunter-half hitch the pulley line to the carabiner on top, then run it to the anchor and back to the lower carabiner by the rappell ring. problem is, when i pull everything tight, it pulls the top carabiner into the rappell ring and stick it up at a 45 degree angle from the main line. i havent been able to figure out how to do this setup with the first 2 carabiners laying flat when hooked in the rappell ring lock off. this is probably very confusing, im making a video for youtube soon. any ideas, email me at; rockinrex@sbcglobal.net

  • Benjamin Said on September 12th, 2009 at 2:52 pm:

    I’m having the same issue. Gear list anyone?

  • Andy Said on September 29th, 2009 at 2:04 pm:

    I don’t have a line lock apparatus for my slackline. A buddy of mine was able to do some sort of knot with the line biner that was really successful. Is there another way to do it without the line lock?


  • Robin Said on September 29th, 2009 at 3:22 pm:

    Hi Andy,
    I recommend going to any hardware store and buying some burly chain links. These can be used as line lockers. Or - rappel rings can be purchased at nearly any climbing store. (steel is always better)

    A clove hitch can be used in place of a line locker, however, it can be EXTREMELY difficult to undo once tensioned.

    Better yet — use a munter hitch finished with a half hitch or similar knot/hitch. The idea of the half hitch is to stop the munter hitch from sliding down the webbing.

    Please see our forums for more information on rigging and setting up your slacklines.

  • jon kane Said on November 22nd, 2009 at 7:28 pm:

    Hey is that webbing from slackline express(2”). Do any of you guys recommend that over the 1 inch webbing, is it harder to pull?

  • Cralls Said on February 21st, 2010 at 8:12 pm:

    WOW Thanks so much. Everywhere else I looked required at least 5 carabiners but this way works perfectly! Save me $5-$10 and some extra weight.

  • Sam Said on April 20th, 2010 at 4:13 pm:

    A lot of the links on this page are dead. Is there anyway you could update them? Specifically the gear list.

  • Josh Rumble Said on May 27th, 2010 at 6:28 am:

    This works great, BUT and a very large BUT that is. This thing is a monster! I set one up with a friend, but we generated so much tension, that we were unable to take it down. When we slid the line back under the biner to take it down the friction was still held by the first pinch. When we undid that it snapped with such ferocity that it took off my friends FINGER!!!!!!!!!!!! Be careful this thing is a gnarly bastard!

  • Grant Said on May 28th, 2010 at 7:39 am:

    I’m not quite sure how the loop saves your fingers on the deconstruction. My friend and I set this system up and when we took it down the tension took my finger with it. it was no where near any pinch points. Just a cautionary tale. Be safe out there.

  • Robin Said on September 7th, 2010 at 10:59 pm:

    HI everyone, there is a lot of stored energy in the system. be careful. The “bite” or fold in the webbing makes it so if it should, yank, it slips out, and does not take your hand with it.

  • Greg Said on September 16th, 2010 at 9:15 pm:

    Instructions were great. Set was a snap. Thanks!

  • Pedro Andrade Said on November 8th, 2010 at 4:59 pm:

    Hey man,

    Do you know how are the slings sewn together. What is the machine they use, and how are the strings sewn together. Is it overlock? interlock?

    And do you know of any system that has somewhat like a moving linelock? How can I design something that moves around the string so you dont have to have to take the line lock out once you missed what you wanted to pull. Something like the Mammut system but diferent?



  • Rae Said on February 6th, 2011 at 7:33 pm:

    How long should the webbing be for the anchors?

  • scott Said on July 19th, 2011 at 10:24 am:

    I’m new to this and have one question: what is the advantage of using a line locker? (versus, say, a munter hitch on the first anchor and a clove hitch on the second anchor) Is it just cleaner, or easier to undo, or what?


  • Juanvi Said on January 30th, 2012 at 7:28 am:

    Why not use this sistem for the highline??

    When you finish tightening the line, parabolt fixed to a belt and so there is no risk of loss or slacken the rope. all that we use are carabiners locked. In addition, we back up with a static string. All materials used heavy loads to 22kN

  • Daniel Nilsson Said on July 13th, 2012 at 12:27 pm:


    Please do not use this system for highlining! I don’t want to see you dead! A highline generates a whole different magnitude of forces and jumping, surfing or falling on one can generate enough forces to break carabiners, fresh 3/8″ bolts, and roll huge boulders that seemed like solid anchors. Especially if you put knots or kinks in the webbing, or load a carabiner across the gate. And using a static line as a backup is reckless, as it shock loads the anchors if the webbing were to break, putting even more stress on the system.

    If you are going to highline, get a mentor that is extremely safe and experienced, has rigged for years, walked hundreds of gaps and backs everything up, including anchors. Please. Life is too good to die.

leave a reply