Webbing Construction

Slackline specific webbing has come a long way since the days of only tubular nylon webbing. New weave patterns, materials and performance demands have come along making slackline specific webbing more sought after. There are a few things to consider when looking at webbing construction.

  • Rounded Edges - This gives a softer feel when catching and walking the line. Early webbing did not have this characteristic and it created a “sharp” feel at the edges.
  • Core Construction - Some webbings imitate climbing ropes in the sense that they have a mantle woven in several layers around a core. The mantle (or outer section of the webbing) is far from abrasion proof but it does add a small layer of safety because theoretically the core (inner layer) or load bearing part of the webbing is woven somewhat independently.
  • Resin Coatings - These are applied to webbing to make it more resistant to fraying, reduce the impacts of abrasion and UV while at the same time making the webbing grippy. Resin coatings generally prolong the lifespan of a piece of webbing.
A webbing with rounded edges (yellow and red) next to a more industrial sharp piece (black).

A webbing with rounded edges (yellow and red) next to a more industrial sharp piece (black).

One type of webbing that has never needed much improvement is tubular webbing. Tubular webbing is what slacklining started on and still is very nice to play on to this day, as the edges are very soft when under low to moderate tension. This is especially true when it’s threaded with another smaller piece of tubular or flat webbing. This increases the webbing thickness while adding strength and weight (and difficulty) to the webbing. Climb-spec tubular webbing feels better underfoot than Mil-Spec.

A spool of mil-spec tubular webbing. Great for bouncy short lines.

A spool of mil-spec tubular webbing. Great for bouncy short lines.