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Gibbon Surferline Review

This is a perfect line for someone looking to expand their skill set to include long-lining and tricks.
Gibbon SurferLine
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Price:  $125 List
Pros:  Long, fun for easy tricks, easy set-up
Cons:  Not the most durable
Manufacturer:   Gibbon
By Adam Paashaus ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 20, 2019
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 11
  • Ease of Set-Up - 20% 8
  • Versatility - 20% 8
  • Quality - 20% 8
  • Disassembly - 20% 7
  • Features - 20% 6

Our Verdict

The Gibbon Surferline is perfect for anyone looking to expand their skills from the shorter, more run-of-the-mill lines. The webbing is ideal for tricks, but at 90+ feet in length, this is a line that can be used for a variety of other purposes. The Surferline comes with an extra-long ratchet handle for leverage to crank this 90+ foot trickline extremely tight and offers excellent movement, bounce, and feel. The Surferline can be used in a wide range of situations but most specifically this line is designed for surfing and aerial tricks. The thin trampoline-like webbing and stronger ratchet allow you to rig up a super tight line for getting a great trampoline-like feel for big tricks, and you can also rig it long and slightly loose for a fun surfing challenge. If all this sounds good, but you are even more serious about tricks and line-length, our Editors Choice, the Slackline Industries Boss Line is a powerhouse that should not be overlooked.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Gibbon SurferLine
This Product
Gibbon Surferline
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $125 List$145 List$48.95 at Amazon$80 List$68.79 at Amazon
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Pros Long, fun for easy tricks, easy set-upLightweight, lots of length options, gear is adaptable for progressionAttractive package, beginner friendlyInexpensive, long length, beginner friendlyEasy to set-up, challenging, long
Cons Not the most durableMore complicated set-up than ratchet systemsRed dyeMinimal featuresNot great for beginners
Bottom Line This is a perfect line for someone looking to expand their skill set to include long-lining and tricks.This model uses a traditional rigging technique to achieve a 1-inch line that will help you progress into more advanced slacklining disciplines like longlining and highlining.A great complete package that has all the features to get you walking the line.This affordable slackline is perfect for those wanting to start walking longer lines.This simple to set-up 1-inch line is great for your first foray into the art of longlining.
Rating Categories Gibbon Surferline Primitive Kit Zen Monkey Complete Kit Base Line Gibbon Flowline
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Versatility (20%)
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Specs Gibbon Surferline Primitive Kit Zen Monkey... Base Line Gibbon Flowline
Width 2 in 1 in 2 in 2 in 1 in
Features Thin webbing for bounce, tree pro Tree pro w/ loops, independent anchor slings, BC shackle, webbing specific carabiners, multiplier ring, BC line locker 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 5-10 minutes 10-15 minutes 5 minutes 5 minutes 5-10 minutes
Tightening System Ratchet Primitive Rachet Rachet Rachet
Anchor Length 6.5 ft 8 ft 8.08 ft

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Surferline is a great kit that will please all but the most advanced slackers. The webbing is good for basic tricks and the long length is fun to walk or surf.

Performance Comparison


This was a great line for surfing  especially when set up at its max length!
This was a great line for surfing, especially when set up at its max length!

Ease of Set-up


The Gibbon Surferline, being as long and stretchy as it is, requires a stronger ratchet to tension. Instead of the normal 2" ratchet, the Surfline ratchet comes with an extended handle, allowing for more leverage. The 90+ foot strip of 2" webbing feeds nicely into the ratchet, as with all Gibbon lines, and with this special ratchet, getting a long, tight slackline should be no problem for most.

When setting up the Surferline  we had no trouble getting our desired tension with its oversized ratchet.
When setting up the Surferline, we had no trouble getting our desired tension with its oversized ratchet.

At double the length of its sister product the Gibbon Jibline, it is amazing how easy it is to set up and tension the Surfline with one person at heights only a few feet off the ground. The much-improved ratchet system with an incorporated safety lock makes this line extremely easy to set up and does a much better job of preventing the line from catching and getting torn in the gears of the ratchet than earlier versions of this line.

Versatility


The Surfline was not the most versatile of the lines we tested, but at 90+ feet and with the option to set up short, long, tight or loose, the Surfline does provide some flexibility in how and where you use the line. The webbing has more stretch than the Gibbon ClassicLine, and while not as stretchy as more traditional lines that come with 1" military spec or climbing grade webbing, this in-between level of stretch allows it to be used for walking, static balance poses, surfing and flowing, as well as aerial tricks. Setup from 30 to 60+ feet, the Surfline can be cranked extremely tight, offering a trick line that compares to the Slackline Industries Boss Line our Editors Choice. Setup longer and left a little on the loose side, the Surfline offers a challenging line to walk and experiment with to build core, center your focus, and push your concentration and skill to the limit.

Although good for several things, the Surfline is mainly a bouncy trick-line. One thing that it is especially not is a travel line. With a larger ratchet and such a long piece of 2" webbing, this line is bulky and not easy to travel with. For those on the go, we highly recommend considering a more primitive setup such as the Balance Comunity Primitive Kit.

Quality


The Surfline has about average quality. One of the biggest problems with this and other 2" lines that use a ratchet tensioning system is the tendency for the line to drift to one side when tensioning so when it's released, the webbing can rub on the edge of the metal walls, often resulting in the line fraying. We saw a tiny bit of wear after our testing, but we were also very careful to keep slackline centered in the drum as we tensioned, which worked pretty well.

It was sometimes tricky to keep the webbing aligned in the ratchet resulting in some fraying of the edges of the webbing.
It was sometimes tricky to keep the webbing aligned in the ratchet resulting in some fraying of the edges of the webbing.

That said, overall the Surfline is high quality. We understand that sometimes there is a tradeoff between durability and longevity of a product with performance, and the Surfline provides an excellent example of this. A thicker more durable line would not perform as desired.

Disassembly


Like with any ratchet based slackline kit, disassembly can be a little intimidating. They release with a loud "snap!", sometimes more violently than others, but depending on how tight the line is set, and maybe a little luck, this line can be taken down with minimal pop.

Features


The Surfline is a complete slacklining kit and comes with everything needed to set up and enjoy it. Unfortunately, aside from the basics, the Surfline does not offer much more in the way of features. Other products from Gibbon and other manufacturers offer adjustable tree anchors, ratchet padding, rubberized coatings for more grip, longer anchor slings for larger trees and more. The Surfline, however, is unique in its longer length and extended lever ratchet system.

This kit came with tree pro, but we found the length of 40 inches not long enough for most of the trees available so we borrowed from other kits that had longer pads like the Zen Monkey Complete Kit.

We loved the feel of walking on this dynamic webbing.
We loved the feel of walking on this dynamic webbing.

Value


Gibbon is clearly proud of this slackline, but we think the price is a little high when compared to the Slackline Industries Trick Line that has the same feel of the Surferline at one-third of the price. True the Trick Line isn't as long as the Surferline, but for only a few dollars more, the Slackline industries Boss Line, our Editors Choice, has both more bounce and more length.

Conclusion


Walking the Surferline is great fun. the webbing has a ton of reactivity and feels alive under your feet especially when set up long. Set it up tight, and it's a blast, but start slow because this thing can launch you if you aren't careful. This line is also fairly durable despite having thin webbing as long as you take great care to keep the webbing aligned when tensioning and disassembly.

Damian Cooksey on the Gibbon Surfline Slack Line
Damian Cooksey on the Gibbon Surfline Slack Line


Adam Paashaus