Slackline Soft Release
If you do not have a LineGrip, but still want to softpoint your slackline you can work your way around the device by creating a soft release. A soft release looks similar to the primitive system but operates differently. It consists of numerous wraps of a separate piece of webbing through the weblock connection point and anchor point connector (this can be a rigging plate, rings or shackle) then tied off at the end. The SlackTech Genesis rigging plate in combination with the RamLock lends itself to this application very well. To configure, attach the rear of the pulley system to the Genesis and have the RamLock connected to the front of the pulley system, almost as if you’re hardpointing the slackline. Start pulling tension and when you have reached your desired walking tension thread the soft release webbing through the rigging plate and RamLock with at least 5 wraps of webbing. Then tie off securely. This will look weird but you’re essentially transferring the load of the slackline from the pulleys directly to the rigging plate.
Once the soft release is constructed you need to transfer the tension from the pulleys to the soft release. Slowly release tension from the pulley system while tending to the soft release as it takes the tension. Once the load is transferred you can remove the pulleys from the slackline. This can sometimes get tricky, spacewise, if there are a lot of component in your tensioning system.
To release, simply untie the webbing of the soft release and slowly start removing wraps. The tension in your slackline will determine when the soft release starts to slip and elongate. The tighter the slackline the sooner it will start to release. Typically, movement occurs after the first or second wrap is removed. Take it slow and be careful not to get your fingers mixed up with the release. It’s also important to remember that longer slacklines rigged with stretchy webbing will need more soft release webbing than a short, static slackline. If you’re not interested in using the soft release method to remove tension from the slackline you can also just reattach the pulley system, take up a little tension, and untie then remove the soft release. You can then detension the slackline like normal.
The soft release can also be used to pretension or even just tension slacklines in a similar way to the Ellington method. You can add wraps as you go and then tie off the end of the webbing after at least 5 wraps. This creates a simple form of mechanical advantage. It’s not super efficient but, if minimal tension is needed, this can be a good option.