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Posted in news slackpics By Stephan Chudowski

slackline tree protection for whoopie slings It's official now: Dyneema whoopies don't harm trees if they are used with raed TreePRO, the only carbon fibre reinforced tree protection on the market. Read the full study, authored by the International Slackline Association and get the lightest slackline anchor set available today:  Many thanks to Philipp, Lisa, Thomas, Ruth, Bradley, Sonya and Jan for the huge efforts everyone of them put into this study and the ISA in general. You all are really pushing the whole slackline community to an awesome direction.

Posted in news By Stephan Chudowski

Lightweight Slackline Anchors

1/18/2017 5:29 PM

Longline sets used to be heavy and bulky over the last years. But somehow times change and things get better - and lighter. Time for us to take a closer look on slackline anchor systems from the perspective of their weight.

Longline anchors usually work the same way: you wrap some kind of sling around a tree and connect your slackline gear to it. But this is where the similarities end. There are many differences in slackline anchors. Some brands use relabeled spansets that are known from industry rigging, others use modified webbing and a quite new approach is the use of spliced Dyneema rope.

For our comparison we took the most known longline brands and added the weights of their anchor components: the anchor sling itself plus the treeprotection that is usually sold along. Let's keep it short & simple, these are the results, sorted from lightweight to heavyweight:

slackline anchors by weight

  1. raed whoopie + TreePRO (894 g per set)
  2. BC adjustable sling + TreeLite (1024 g per set)
  3. Slacktivity adjustable sling + Treeprotector (1380 g per set)
  4. SlacklineTools Baumschlinge + Landcruising TreePlus (1760 g per set)
  5. Landcruising Spanset + Landcruising TreePlus (2580 g per set)

slackline anchors: potential weight savings

As you can see, there is a very easy way to save lots of weight in your slackline backpack. The difference between the commonly used combination of spansets / TreePlus and whoopies / TreePRO is more than 1650 grams. Thats the equivalent of a 1.5l water bottle!

Posted in news By Stephan Chudowski

tl;dr: Loopies are extremely dangerous. Don't use them as highline/slackline anchors. Whoopies are definitely safer and easy to use, Loopies 2.0 are definitely safer but have high potential to use them wrong.

Dyneema becomes more and more popular among keen slackliners. Many reasons speak for it: It's strong, it's lightweight, it packs small, it's easy to splice. But it has downsides too: Knots reduce its strength a lot and you have to splice it. And this is what this article is about: Dyneema splices for advanced slacklining use. There are several techniques to splice Dyneema ropes to build anchors for longlines or highlines. This article highlights the most common techniques that can be found in the wild nowadays and show their advantages and their flaws.

Some weeks ago i saw a picture of a highline anchor in my facebook feed. Nice, clean, lightweight. But there was one big flaw: There was a loopie sling used in a highline anchor. I studied the picture for some minutes and realized: wow, this is really dangerous (I will point out the reason a little later). I commented on it, there was a little discussion, I forgot about it some days after. During the last days I came across another picture like this: Clean, lightweight, Loopie. And once again: Hell, this is f***ing dangerous. That's why I decided to write about the danger of Loopies and how to avoid it. So here we go:

Hard to recognize but this is really dangerous: A Loopie Sling in a highline anchor. Pic: David Kingston

Why are Loopies dangerous? Basics of hollow braid splicing

A splice in a hollow braid rope always works the same way: The rope is threaded through the hollow core of the rope itself. When the outer braids come under tension, they reduce their volume, the outer braids press onto the threaded rope, the friction keeps the inner rope from slipping. It's that simple. But it's also that simple to misunderstand this: If the outer rope braids are not under tension anymore, the inner rope is completely free to slip again. I'll come back to this later.

left side: rope sections under high tension reduce their volume and produce friction to the inner rope. Right side: No tension means hollow braid without any friction for the inner rope

Whoopie Slings

Whoopies are awesome. They are quite easy to splice and give you a completely adjustible rope with a loop on both ends. The adjustable splice has a huge advantage to any other spliced loop: As long as the eyes of the whoopie are loaded, the splice itself is loaded, so the inner rope is always under pressure from the outer braids and can never slip. There's nearly no way to use a whoopie the wrong way. 2 Loops, adjust the length, ready to go as soon as there's tension. Whoopies are safe.

Splice section of a whoopie sling

Loopie Slings

Loopie splice section.

The left part of the splice can easily be undone even under load because the loose tail doesn't carry any load at all Loopie slings are even easier to make than whoopies. You splice the rope to a loop and bury both loose ends. That's it. And there's another thing that seems to be a huge advantage on first sight: Loopies always carry the load on 2 strands, so they should be twice as strong as whoopies in theory. But they aren't. Loopie slings are extremely dangerous as an anchor slings for slacklines. Here's why: The splice section of a loopie has one loaded end (right side in the picture) and one end, that's a loose tail (left side in the picture), which is completely unloaded. This unloaded tail moves freely when the sling shakes. These shakes can easily be caused by wind or leashfalls for example. As soon as the loose tail moves, the splice opens and the inner rope is not under pressure anymore. The inner rope slips out and the whole anchor fails.

There are several strategies that try to avoid the loose end to move freely: 1.: Whipplings. This seems to be an easy method to keep the tail in place. I tried it, it still moves and it slips. 2. Bend the splice section through a shackle or a basket hitch: This works well in arborists' configurations. They have low loads and none to little movement in their setups. Slacklines are the exact opposite: High tensions and lots of movement, caused by wind, surfing, bouncing, leashfalls, some children touching the anchor sling and move the splice section, you name it. The result: The shaking makes the bent splice section move forth and back in the shackle or the basket hitch. This can move the splice section into one direction, what opens the splice completely. The result: the anchor fails in a split second. I tried it. I used it in a 60m Longline in the park. Suddenly I stood on the ground and didn't even realize how quick it became undone. So you can learn from my mistakes: This is dangerous! It will become undone under several circumstances. Loopies should never be used in a highline rig!

Loopie Sling 2.0 a.k.a. "Pirate Loopie"

Concept of the improved Loopie Sling, called Loopie 2.0 a.k.a. "Pirate Loopie"

There is an advanced loopie sling method. It's more complicated to splice it and more complicated to use it. Keen users might like this but it's neither foolproof nor safe for novices. So please be aware: If loopie 2.0 is used wrong, it's just a simple loopie sling with all its risks of failure! The trick of Loopie 2.0 is an additional loop splice in the loose tail, where the loopie part is threaded through once. If both eyes are loaded, both parts of the splice section are loaded and the splice can not become undone. PROs: Reduces rhe risks of a Loopie Sling. CONs: It still has a potential of failure when used the wrong way. Maybe a thimble is needed to reduce friction and abrasion in the spliced eye.

ToDo

* comparison of breaking strength Whoopie vs. Loopie 2.0

Splicing Knowledge: Straight Bury vs. Brummel Lock splice

Some customers asked us what kind of eye splice we use for our Whoopie slings. There are 2 possibilities to splice an eye: The straight bury and the Brummel Lock Splice. We use the Brummel Lock for a very simple reason: The straight bury is very unsafe in conditions where load appears in cycles. There are cases known from climbing slings where simple straight buries became undone just by handling the sling. The Brummel Lock Splice prevents this effectively. Even if it becomes opened it will be fixed in its former correct position when being under load again.

upper row: straight bury being unloaded and loaded again will increase eyesize aka the splice will fail - Lower row: brummel lock splice unloaded and loaded again: Everything is in correct position

Credits

Philipp Gesing: For very inspirational input about splicing techniques of the Loopie 2.0 and other good talks, David Kingston for a very nice chat about Loopies vs. Whoopies, http://Hammockforums.net/ for being another inspirational source on splicing techniques, Gleistein Ropes for their awesome Dyneema ropes, Selma ( http://www.selma.no/ ) for their convenient splicing fids.

Posted in news By Stephan Chudowski

Spliced Dyneema becomes more and more popular among enthusiast slackliners. It's one of the easiest ways to save lots of weight in a backpack full of gear. Check out our Dyneema Whoopies as slackline anchor slings and our incredibly strong soft shackles. You will love them, promised!

Whoopies: https://raed-slacklines.com/slackline-hardware/slackline-anchor-slings/l/dyneema/

Soft shackles: https://raed-slacklines.com/slackline-hardware/slackline-soft-shackles/l/dyneema/

 

Spliced eye of a Dyneema Whoopie Sling Dyneema Soft Shackle Dyneema Whoopie Sling Splice
Posted in news By Stephan Chudowski

Some months ago we introduced TreePRO to the awesome slackline community. TreePRO is some kind of new school tree protection that allows you to use Dyneema whoopie slings as anchor slings on trees, as shown in our famous PRO Longline Set for example.

We recieved tons of feedback about the TreePRO concept. The feedback included many suggestions on how to further improve the protection of trees. So we tried lots of smaller and bigger changes on the design. In tis article we want to show the state of the evolution of TreePRO and highlight the PROs and CONs of the designs.

DESIGN 1
The first design was quite simple. We took some Cordura nylon, folded it in half, some pocket seams were sewn in and the carbon plates were put in.

the first design of TreePRO

PROs: easy to produce, lightweight, needs only Cordura and carbon fibre plates,
CONs: no possibility to fix it to the tree during setup, the anchor sling can not be fixed to prevent abrasion, the carbon plates have 'unprotected' space in between, where traces can occure under circumstances of very rough bark, no soft padding of the carbon plates against the bark

DESIGN 2
The second design was a unique prototype that became deprecated quickly

The second design of TreePRO

PROs: nice look
CONs: all of design 1, harder to produce, not robust enough

DESIGN 3
Design 3 tried to avoid many of the CONs of design 1. We added some very flexible but robust memory foam with cordura cover as base layer, the red cordura was sewn onto this base layer to create the pockets. Velcro patches were attached to the red Cordura. The velcros should create the ability to fix TreePRO to the tree and to fix the anchor sling to TreePRO.

Third design of TreePRO

Have a closer look at the sandwich structure of this design. A base layer of Cordura, memory foam and Cordura again, carbon plates in the middle and Cordura on the outside:

Cross section of TreePRO

PROs: ability to fix it to the tree during setup, ability to fix the anchor sling

CONs: velcros can't keep the whoopie in place when using saggy lines, unprotected space between carbon plates

DESIGN 4
When introducing design 3, some people's feedback was that the concept may be right but to get it done perfectly we most propably would have to make it even heavier and more bulky. That's why we did exactly the opposite: We designed it smaller, lighter and nevertheless with lots of more tree protection and usability than in version 3

Design 4 of TreePRO

PROs: Same load distribution area like the bulkier versions before, Nearly no unprotected space between carbon plates, memory foam base layer, friction protection by Cordura nylon, velcro straps to attach it to the tree during setup, velcro straps can be threaded with anchor sling for protection against slipping when tensioning saggy,
CONs: velcro straps are too wide, under some circumstances the anchor sling can put pressure below the carbon plates

DESIGN 5

Design 5 is a small but important change of design 4. The pockets for the carbon plates are 15% longer for even more load distribution area and the velcros are attached a little higher on the outside cordura. This prevents the anchor sling to slip below the carbon plates. This makes sure that the anchor sling always lies on the carbon plates for full load distribution.

Design 5 of TreePRO
TreePRO is shown here in use in a bad angle configuration. The anchor sling is kept in place by the velcros nevertheless.

PROs: huge load distribution area, nearly no unprotected space between carbon plates, memory foam base layer, friction protection by Cordura nylon, velcro straps to attach it to the tree during setup, velcro straps can be threaded with anchor sling for protection against slipping when tensioning saggy or in bad angle conditions

CONs: no cons known at this moment

Results when using TreePRO

TreePRO design 4 & 5 are in use for some weeks now. We had lots of internal tests. After these tests we were confident to show this update to the public and went to several slackline festivals, like the TüTü-Slack in Tübingen or the Slackline Festival NRW (thanks for the awesome time to both festivals b.t.w.). We believe that most slackers will agree that slackline festivals can be seen as an ultimate gear test. Dozens of slackliners walking, bouncing, jumping around on your gear for many days in a row. That's why we don't want to keep the results of those heavy use installations from you:

Results of TreePRO usage on a very soft and wet bark
The result of 100 m Parsec line with about 3.5 m sag, rigged at Roßberg during the TüTü Slack on a tree with a very wet and therefore soft and moss-covered bark. No visible traces beyond some greener moss because of keeping the bark wet unter the TreePRO. No traces of load, no traces of Dyneema rope in the bark.

Results of 3 days continuous TreePRO usage on a very rough bark
The result of anchor 1 of 70 m Parsec line with 2 m sag, rigged on a birch tree with quite uneven bark at Slackline Festival NRW. Time of load to the tree: 3 days. Visible traces: None

Results of 3 days continuous TreePRO usage on a smooth bark
The result of anchor 2 of 70 m Parsec line with 2 m sag, rigged on a beech tree with very even bark at Slackline Festival NRW. Time of load to the tree: 3 days. Visible traces: None

ARE THERE NEUTRAL TESTS OF TREE FRIENDLINESS?

It's official: The International Slackline Association made some very technical and insightful tests to find out about the forces of different slackline anchor slings on trees. They found: Dyneema whoopies don't harm trees if they are used with raed TreePRO, the only carbon fibre reinforced tree protection on the market. The forces even stay below the threshhold of none damaging loads of permanently installed rigs. Read the full study, authored by the International Slackline Association. As the study tested a worst case scenario with a very small diameter tree, we put up some calculations about higher loads you can put on whoopie slings at larger trees without going beyond the threshhold of tree friendliness. These calculations are based on a worst case scenario, so the values will most likely be a little below. But we believe it's worth protecting our trees a little more. So these are the numbers for your orientation:

 

HOW HEAVY, HOW BULKY IS TREEPRO?

TreePRO weighs 297 grams each. Rolled together it's smaller than a hand. See the pictures:

TreePRO weight: 297 grams

TreePRO is very small packing

It's really small, huh?

 

HOW DOES TREEPRO + WHOOPIE COMPARE TO OTHER SLACKLINE ANCHOR SETS?

For our comparison we took the most known longline brands and added the weights of their anchor components: the anchor sling itself plus the treeprotection that is usually sold along. Let's keep it short & simple, these are the results, sorted from lightweight to heavyweight:

slackline anchors by weight

  1. raed whoopie + TreePRO (894 g per set)
  2. BC adjustable sling + TreeLite (1024 g per set)
  3. Slacktivity adjustable sling + Treeprotector (1380 g per set)
  4. SlacklineTools Baumschlinge + Landcruising TreePlus (1760 g per set)
  5. Landcruising Spanset + Landcruising TreePlus (2580 g per set)

slackline anchors: potential weight savings

As you can see, there is a very easy way to save lots of weight in your slackline backpack. The difference between the commonly used combination of spansets / TreePlus and whoopies / TreePRO is more than 1650 grams. Thats the equivalent of a 1.5l water bottle!

So: Get the lightest slackline anchor set available today, protect your trees and and save lots of space and weight in your slackline backpack. It's a win win. 



TreePRO by raed slacklines is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://raed-slacklines.com/treepro

Posted in news By Stephan Chudowski

Soft shackles are awesome. You can open and close them, so you can use them like a shackle or a carabiner. But at their given strength they only weigh one seventh of a steel shackle coming with same strength. Soft shackles are made of Dyneema, an extremely strong fibre that is as strong as a steel cable the same size but at way less weight. It is so lightweight, it even swims in water! 

Ou 50 kN raed soft shackles with are made of 6mm DynaOne which is known for superior strength and durability in many conditions due to its innovative coating. You can use them as replacement for your steel shackles and save lots of weight in your backpack. We promise: once you experienced a lightweight rucksack full of gear you will never want to go back to the heavy stuff ;)

Posted in news By Stephan Chudowski
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