Slacklining involves balancing on an approximately five centimetre-wide slackline band that is stretched between two anchor points at knee height. This sporting trend is really popular because, in addition to promoting balance, it also helps with concentration and coordination. The problem up till now has been with the anchor points because considerable forces occur in the slackline.
Thanks to the environmentally-friendly and cost-effective standardisation of the components, slacklines are now conquering our cities – as seating and sports equipment combined.
The driving force of the movement is BLOACS.
The sports and its name come from the American climbing scene of the early 1970s. “Slackline” means a “sagging rope” or “loose line”.
In the related field of tightrope walking, the rope is stretched taut. The slackline, on the other hand, behaves dynamically and requires constant compensation.
Another reason why slacklining is blazing such a trail is that you don’t need any previous knowledge. Balancing on the wobbly bands is great fun for all ages and can be learned quickly and easily. If the system has been installed at playgrounds and other meeting places – which is a logical thing to do – you can give it a go when out and about with friends.
Behind the standardisation of slacklining is BLOACS, a young and innovative provider of trend sports modules for exercise areas, based in Cologne. BLOACS brings complete slackline systems to our urban environment: simple, safe and accessible to everyone.
These systems also include the anchor points for the slackline. So, trees are not needed or damaged, and you don’t need foundations either. They are easy to set up, operate and maintain.
The all-year-round usable SLACK-BLOACS are being developed and updated all the time. For spring 2021, new systems with edge protection, fresh colours for the surfaces of the concrete blocks and slacklines in a variety of colours will be on the market.
The basic version of SLACK-BLOACS consists of two foundation blocks and the slackline band. The two blocks are both an anchor point and a bench. This is extremely practical because, in many cities, the use of trees as anchor points is not allowed.
Thanks to its small footprint, a system like this is an attractive addition to almost any form of public space: playgrounds and sports fields, skate parks, green areas, picnic areas, open spaces, gardens, company premises and derelict land. These systems are also attractive, space-saving and economical for temporary use at events, in marketplaces and in school playgrounds.
The basis of every system is the BLOACS foundation blocks which serve as a safe and permanent attachment option and at the same time as seating.
The basic system consists of two foundation blocks and the slackline band. The foundation blocks measure 1.8 m x 0.6 m x 0.6 m (L x W x H). Each stone weighs 1.5 tonnes. The side surfaces (class 2 exposed concrete) are smooth and grey and the surface of the seat is non-slip. Each block has a shaft with an anchor point for the tensioning ratchet and edge protection on the front edge. The tensioning ratchets with U-lock prevent unauthorised access and unintentional adjustment of the tensioning system.
The slackline cannot be cut and is flame retardant. This makes it vandal-proof and suitable for permanent use in public spaces. Slacklines are available from 3 m to 6 m in length.
Each additional foundation block from the third one onwards extends the system by one section. In this case, the cut-resistant and flame retardant Bloacs slackline can be replaced by wider rubber bands (10 or 20 cm wide), if necessary. The surface of the seat can be made of wood (e.g. mountain larch) or recycled plastic or they can be rubberised for safety .
If additional protection is required, e.g. when used in day-care centres, nursery schools, primary schools or on playgrounds, all edges are given an additional protective covering.
For reasons of marketability and refinancing, it is also possible to design the side surfaces to have Dibond aluminium panels with individual graphics, logos etc. The blocks can be designed in a wide variety of colours.
The foundation blocks are made of high-quality concrete (C30/37, EC class 2 grey/smooth) and are bevelled on all sides. M16 threaded sleeves for screwing in lifting loops make it easy to attach a chain suspension for setting up. Special tools such as precast grippers are not required. The anchor points are embedded in the BLOACS foundation blocks, meaning that they are protected from the weather.
The BLOACS slackline is attached by using a ratchet to the red, heavy-duty ring nut (anchor point) mounted on the front side. The ratchets are secured with a U-lock against unauthorised access and unintentional adjustment. All metal parts are hot-dip galvanised, powder-coated or made of stainless steel.
The maximum construction height is 60 cm. Fall protection measures are therefore not necessary.
The BLOACS slackline systems are sports and leisure equipment and are developed and manufactured according to the following standards:
- DIN 79400: 2012 slackline systems (anchor points, ratchet)
- DIN EN 1176-1: 2017 playground equipment (supporting structure)
- DIN EN 16899: 2018 parkour facilities (concrete element design)
The development of the BLOACS slackline system (foundation blocks, anchor points, ratchets, slackline band) has been accompanied by Martin Zeller, the technical inspection company, through extensive tests and final inspections since 2016. Market readiness has been confirmed.
The costs of this kind of system are pleasingly low and clearly calculable. €3,750 will buy you
- 2 BLOACS foundation blocks
- 1 BLOACS slackline (3 m – 6 m)
- 2 ratchets with lock.
The side surfaces can have individually-designed motifs or advertising on them. For this, Dibond aluminium panels (1.8 m x 0.6 m) with a UV protective coating are used. This extra is available from €125 per panel.
When designing sports and leisure activities in the city, the symbiosis between sporting appeal and quality of experience, on the one hand, and a low space requirement on the other is becoming increasingly important.
Slacklining is an important element in making not only our playgrounds and sports fields but also our urban sites and spaces as versatile and attractive as possible. Slacklining brings a low-threshold and appealing range of exercises to people in the city.
One that doesn’t cost a lot.
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