Proper Park Practices
Longlining takes up a lot of space in public parks and you should always respect the rules set up by park managers. If managers and policies are too restrictive, try to establish friendly contact with the managers and figure out a way to work within and around the restrictions.
That being said, here are some things that you should do
to represent a friendly, informed community:
- USE TREE PADDING – The most common slackline anchor in any park is a pair of burly trees. When trees are used, they must be protected from the anchoring material (slings and spansets). This can be done by putting a buffer between the tree and sling. Materials commonly used are carpet, cardboard, burlap, yoga mats, commercial slackline tree padding, etc…we think you get the idea. If you’re using an especially soft bark tree such as redwoods, it’s also wise to place sticks between the slings and carpet. This keeps the sling from actually touching the tree, maximizing protection.
- USE BIG TREES FOR ANCHORS – Use anchor trees that are at least 1 foot in diameter. Smaller trees have less secure root structure and significant loads may damage or uproot the tree. Also, DO NOT attach your slackline to buildings, benches, bike racks, handrails, art objects, fencing, playground equipment, signage, tables, utility poles or light poles. Some cities have actually established slackline parks with permanent anchors sunk into the ground. These are great for beginners and trickliners, but for longlining we need height and length, so burley trees are the best option.
- MAKE IT VISIBLE – When setting up any slackline regardless of length, it’s use needs to be made known to every user group in the park. There are cyclists, runners, dog walkers, friz-bee players, ball throwers, drunks and children all using the park. Be sure to use flagging, cones or some brightly colored material to let people know that you have a slackline set up.
- BE AWARE OF THE FLOW OF PEOPLE – Don’t set up your slackline across a road, sidewalk, or common pathway. Take the time to observe how people move through the park. Try not to set your slackline perpendicular to main routes of traffic or close to it. Be aware of unmaintained pathways as well, routes people take for the "path of least resistance." This will reduce the chances of someone accidentally running into your slackline.
- DON’T LEAVE YOUR SLACKLINE UNATTENDED – The easiest way for people to see that there is a slackline up is to see someone on or around it. Do not set up your slackline and then walk away from it. Doing this increases the risk of someone accidentally running into the line.
- USE GOOD EQUIPMENT – Don’t use sketchy equipment. It’s common for by-standers to approach slacklines in order to ask questions and potentially try the slackline. It would not be good for your equipment to break while they are trying the slackline for the first time.
We encourage open communication with anyone that approaches you and your slackline. This holds true for friendly and not so friendly people. You can get a long way with a smiles and positive discussion.
- LENGTH AND HEIGHT RESTRICTIONS – This is the hardest limitation for many slackliners to get over. Many municipalities set the allowable length at roughly 100 ft and no more than 36” - 48” off the ground. With the popularity of longlining and hard core tricklining becoming more popular we need greater height and greater length than what many municipalities are suggesting. *Slackliners need to fight this one!* We need space with hundreds of feet between trees for longlining. The danger zone for by-standers is between 36” from the ground to about 72”. This is neck and chest height for most people, including children and cyclists.