Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Solid construction, long lasting kit. Great for beginners and long-line enthusiasts.
Cons: Sharp on the feet. Double ratchet makes kit heavy.
Best Uses: Beginning practice for walking longer and longer lines
The Gibbon 1" Flowline Kit is most similar in feel to the Gibbon ClassicLine, but at only 1" in width and 60 feet in length, offers a line that is more versatile and in our opinion more fun. This line was our 2013 Editors' Choice winner. The Flowline is a little more difficult to setup than other single ratchet systems, but can be rigged up to a length of 60 feet (at longer lengths it's nice to have two people). The flat webbing is a bit sharp on bare feet and provides limited stretch, making it most ideal for beginners or those learning to walk longer lines. For traditionalists you might be better served by sticking with tubular webbing (15-20% stretch) if you enjoy a line that gives and stretches in harmony with your movements. For those aerial liners we recommend sticking with a 2" Gibbon Jibline or Gibbon Surfline which offers more surface area on which to bounce and play.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
Ease of Set-up
The double ratchet system that comes with the 1" Flowline Kit results in a slightly more complicated setup than a typical ratchet system, but does allow the line to be rigged at longer lengths. Because the Flowline has thinner webbing when compared to the Gibbon Tubeline, it is a bit easier to rig this line at 50-60 feet.
We really like the addition of spacers to the 2" ratchets to help keep your line away from sharp metal edges, likely meaning the webbing will last a lot longer than other ratchet systems that tend to fray in a short amount of time.
Disassembly is easy, although we have noticed that the rubber coating tends to "melt" the line together. It has been no problem to separate the line when this happens but we do wonder how this will affect durability and performance in the long term.
The Gibbon 1" Flowline is a great line for a beginner aspiring to walk longer lines (a necessity for having the opportunity to walk high lines as well). This line can be rigged from 10-60 feet, is fun to walk, can be setup low for beginners and has some bounce for those delving into aerial play. For those specializing in aerial tricks you would be better served by a 2" Gibbon trick line that has a bit more bounce and quick recoil. For those that have a traditional yoga / balancing style of practice we recommend sticking with the feel of tubular webbing with a little more stretch.
Additionally with two ratchets and 60 feet of webbing this kit is not light-weight or compact for portability.
Gibbon continues to improve their ratchet technology and, due to the spacers in the ratchet system, have created a kit that should last much longer than other ratchet based systems on the market. When taut the Flowline is a bit sharp on the feet, making this a more appropriate line for shoes. Finally the rubber lettering provides a little extra traction for more dynamic tricks.
Overall the Flowline offers a great value for a beginner looking for a slackline that will develop their long line skills. For more advanced practitioners we recommend you seek out a line that is more specific to your style of practice.
For a less expensive slackline, check out the Gibbon ClassicLine. For balancing tricks on a thin and bouncy line, consider the Gibbon Surfline. For tree protection, check out the Gibbon Treewear.
— Brian Blum
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: March 28, 2015
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