Balance Community Prim-40 Kit Review
Cons: Complex set up, expensive for a first slackline, no written instructions
Manufacturer: Balance Community
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Balance Community Prim-40 Kit
|Price||$189 List||$149.00 at Amazon||$60.95 at Amazon||$80 List||Check Price at REI|
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|Pros||Versatile, lightweight, high quality components||Dynamic webbing, long length, easy set-up||Attractive package, beginner friendly||Inexpensive, long length, beginner friendly||Easy to set-up, challenging, long|
|Cons||Complex set up, expensive for a first slackline, no written instructions||Not a great beginner line||Red dye||Minimal features||Not great for beginners|
|Bottom Line||This versatile and extremely high quality slackline is great for beginners looking to learn or seasoned pros who want a bombproof and lightweight travel set up||A long and challenging line that is ideal for dynamic bounce tricks and surfing||A great affordable complete package that has all the features to get you walking the line||This amazingly priced slackline is perfect for those wanting to start walking longer lines||This simple to set up one inch line is great for your first foray into the art of longlining|
|Rating Categories||Balance Community P...||Aggro Line||Zen Monkey Complete...||Base Line||Gibbon Flowline|
|Ease Of Set Up (20%)|
|Specs||Balance Community P...||Aggro Line||Zen Monkey Complete...||Base Line||Gibbon Flowline|
|Width||1 in||2 in||2 in||2 in||1 in|
|Features||Tree pro w/ loops, independent anchor slings, BC shackle, webbing specific carabiners, multiplier kit, BC line locker||slackline, Alpha Ratchet, tree protection and safety backup line||Overhead training line & ratchet, Arm Trainer, Tree protectors w/ loops, Cloth carry bag||Tree pro, carry bag, ratchet cover||Two rachet anchors|
|Time to Rig||10 mins||5-10 minutes||5 minutes||5 minutes||5 minutes|
|Anchor Length||6.6 feet||8 feet||8 feet||8 feet||8 feet|
Our Analysis and Test Results
At its core, the Balance Community Prim-40 is a lightweight slackline kit that comes with a one inch by 130 feet piece of webbing. This kit relies on a "primitive" tensioning system. Primitive systems use the slackline itself and a few carabiners as the tensioning device as compared to "complex" systems that use additional ropes, pulleys, or ratchets. Nowadays many people are introduced to slacklining through two inch wide lines that are set-up with a tensioning ratchet. While ratchet set-ups have their advantages, this set-up will still be beginner-friendly and give you the skills needed to transition to walking longer and variably tensioned lines.
Don't write this product off just because a one-inch line sounds intimidating. Slacklining, as a sport, originated with one-inch lines, as this was the type of webbing climbers had available to them. Nowadays, many slackliners use two-inch lines that are generally stiffer and a tad bit easier to walk on. But half the size doesn't mean it makes balancing twice as difficult. One-inch lines are still popular for practicing yoga poses, highlining, and longlining, and can be more versatile than their wider cousins.
Ease of Set-up
For someone completely new to slacklining, the set=up of this line might initially be intimidating. While the kit, unfortunately, doesn't come with printed instructions you can bring down to the park, Balance Community does have a very detailed and easy-to-follow instructional video on their website. With a little bit of practice, you should be able to get your line up and ready to go in under 10 min.
While setting up a shorter line is fairly simple, setting up 100 ft plus lines will require you to create some extra mechanical advantage to get the line tight enough to walk. The kit comes with the necessary equipment to do so, but the process does add to the learning curve of setting up this line.
This was the most versatile slackline we tested. With the ability to set it up as short as you want all the way up to 115 feet, you have a lot of options. It's also easy to rig this kit to various levels of tension. You can set it up as a loose "rodeo line", a surf line, or even crank it tight enough to start learning tricks. It isn't the best line for dynamic tricks but is a good starting place and certainly good for static poses.
The included piece of webbing is "flat" vs "tubular". Typically flat webbing has less stretch and is stronger than tubular webbing. The foot feel of flat webbing is stiffer and less playful but makes tensioning the line, especially by yourself much easier. With the included components you could tension any piece of one-inch webbing so if you want to try different webbing types, it's not a big deal to buy an additional piece of webbing and experiment. The included gear is also the foundation of more complicated and involved set-ups that you would use for longlining or highlining. Unlike ratchet systems, you can build upon this system to grow with your skills and needs.
Balance Community has been the go-to source for high-quality slackline-specific gear for over a decade. One of the first companies to offer slackline kits beyond ratchet tensioners, these guys know what they are doing. This primitive slackline kit is no exception. The webbing included in this package is some of the highest quality material you're going to find in an intro-level kit. The same can be said for the lightweight aluminum biners, steel shackle, line lockers, and tensioning ring.
While you might not initially think using high-quality gear is all that important for a simple slackline, even short lines can generate huge amounts of force. Over the years our testers have seen carabiners deform, webbing break, and tensioning rings fold in half. If taken care of, the high-quality gear used in this kit should last you for years.
Disassembling ratchet tensioned lines can be downright startling and explosive. Releasing the tension from a primitive rig is much less involved.
You simply pull the webbing back and out from underneath the loop it is trapped under and the whole line will slowly detention. While primitive systems might be more involved in the set-up, the ease of disassembly is a big plus. The carabiners and other components in this kit are smaller and easier to store than large bulky ratchets.
This is the most feature-heavy kit we reviewed. While most intro-level kits come with one or two ratchets that function best at a tighter tension, this kit comes with the tools to rig a highly diverse configuration of lines. This kit also comes with the pieces needed to create more mechanical advantage which lets a single person tension lines over 100 feet long.
The included anchor webbing comes with sewn loops to attach the rigging equipment. This ensures users don't have to tie any knots and that the line will sit flat without any extra effort. The included tree protection is also some of the best we received. The thick foam has sewn in loops that trap the anchor webbing to ensure it doesn't slip off the tree pro.
The quality and versatility of this kit come at a premium. It is possible to source or repurpose old climbing gear to create a similar primitive setup, but it is the small high-quality details that make this kit worth it. The included gear, especially the line lockers, tensioning ring, and shackle are high-quality components that you are unlikely to break. The webbing is also some of the best on the market and should last you a long long time. The nature of the primitive tensioning system is much easier on the webbing whereas long-term use of ratches will lead to significant wear on webbing. While this might not be the cheapest way to build a slackline kit, it's unlikely you will be able to put together a higher quality kit at a better price and for that reason we find this kit to be a worthy investment.
The Balance Community Prim-40 is a versatile and high-quality slackline kit. The setup has a steeper learning curve than ratchet tensioning systems but ultimately gives you more options for setting up different styles of slacklines. This kit is ideal for everyone from beginners to experienced slackliners. The high-quality componentry will last you for years to come and breaks down into a relatively small package making storage a nonissue. Offering an excellent value for what you're getting, our testers found this to be the best primitive slackline kit on the market.
— Buck Yedor