The Slackers Wave Walker is a novice-friendly line with an overhead training line. This model, unfortunately, scored poorly across the board. Its webbing is thick and soft underfoot, but when tensioning, it's difficult to keep the webbing from drifting into the wall of the ratchet, so when you release the line, the webbing ends up rubbing on the hard edge, causing the line to wear. If care is taken, you can avoid this, but the tighter you go, the more it wants to drift. Sometimes you will have to release the line to start over so you can get a better alignment. This line is best suited for beginner slackers looking to learn how to walk with the assistance of an overhead hand line.
Slackers Wave Walker Review
Cons: Poor ratchet, delicate webbing, no tree protectors
Manufacturer: B4 Adventure
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Slackers Wave Walker
|Price||$35.00 at Amazon||$145 List||$48.95 at Amazon||$49.99 at Amazon||$67.46 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Slightly bouncy webbing, training line||Lightweight, lots of length options, gear is adaptable for progression||Attractive package, beginner friendly||Inexpensive, long length, beginner friendly||Easy to set-up, challenging, long|
|Cons||Poor ratchet, delicate webbing, no tree protectors||More complicated set-up than ratchet systems||Red dye||Minimal features||Not great for beginners|
|Bottom Line||A full featured beginner slackline that lacks durability due to its loose weave knit, and a ratchet that doesn't keep the webbing aligned well.||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||Slackers Wave Walker||Primitive Kit||Zen Monkey Complete Kit||Base Line||Gibbon Flowline|
|Ease Of Set Up (20%)|
|Specs||Slackers Wave Walker||Primitive Kit||Zen Monkey...||Base Line||Gibbon Flowline|
|Width||2 in||1 in||2 in||2 in||1 in|
|Features||Carrying bag, hand line, ratchet cover, NO 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 minutes||10-15 minutes||5 minutes||5 minutes||5-10 minutes|
|Anchor Length||6.92 ft||8 ft||8.08 ft|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Slackers Wave Walker is a ratchet-based 2-inch line. the main line is 50 feet long and it has a 6.5' ratchet. There is also an overhead training line and carrying bag included in this kit.
Ease of Set-up
As is standard, the Wave Walker uses a 2-inch webbing with a ratchet for tensioning. While the ratchet itself is made with strong components, the thick and stretchy webbing consistently bunched up while tensioning. To achieve significant line tension, it was difficult to stay below the recommended number of three or fewer wraps inside the ratchet. It also took fewer wraps to cause misalignment within the ratchet's inner moving parts due to the thickness of the line. The line can only be safely tensioned to the point that the locking mechanism can still be completely engaged. In this case, that means for a fairly loose line.
Fortunately, the handle offers a high amount of comfort. The main grip point consists of a soft rubber that fits snugly in your hand while tightening. To ensure adequate tension, you must crank down on the rachet with a fair amount of force. In these instances, we appreciated the comfortable handle.
This kit also comes with the option of putting up an overhead hand line. This training line uses the same ratchet method as the slackline itself and is quick and easy to set-up.
With an overhead hand line and 2-inch wide webbing, this line is appropriate for never-evers through beginners. It's easier to begin walking on and less intimidating than the traditional 1-inch lines which help the novice slacker to overcome one of the largest hurdles to slackline success — self-doubt. The overhead hand line is also a great safety net in those early stages and helps remove some of the fear while learning to balance. The webbing's special weave gives a little bit of extra bounce when compared to other 2-inch lines, like the Slackline Industries Base Line, but is still stiff enough that a novice wouldn't have any extra trouble learning. If you are looking for a line geared towards the novice but with room to grow into an intermediate check out our Editor's Choice, the Zen Monkey Complete kit.
The webbing on the Wave Walker is thick and wide and will withstand a lot of use with proper care. Despite two months of constant use, this line maintained its bounciness. The graphics did fade rather quickly, but the integrity of the line was maintained despite a lot of use in the California sun (and a week-long rainstorm!). Unfortunately, the end of the line fed into the rachet was prone to fraying unless extreme care was used while tensioning and the line was left fairly loose.
The little hand-line ratchet is also a bit awkward to de-tension, as the release brake sometimes catches, but we attributed this more to it being high overhead than to an actual structural problem.
Taking down the Wave Walker is, once learned, a simple and quick process if the setup is done correctly, though it did have more "snap" than many others. We attribute that to the thick stretchy nature of the webbing. The molded plastic handle of the release lever was one of our favorites of all the ratchets we tested. The angle of the molding made it easier for small hands to get enough grip to begin the de-tensioning process.
The one standout feature of this product is the overhead hand line that comes standard in all Slackers' kits. The 50-foot long, 1-inch wide line and small ratchet can be rigged up over the main slackline to encourage and assist new slackers. Our Best Buy, the Zen Monkey Complete Kit also includes this great beginner feature and, unlike the Wave Walker, significantly outscored its competitors in every category.
The kit comes with a low-quality transport bag that was nice for containing everything, but it quickly fell apart. There was also a basic slide-over ratchet cover. Tree protectors are an essential part of any set-up, but in this case, you're on your own as this model doesn't come with them.
Priced in the higher range of all the beginner lines we tested, this line has a poor price to performance ratio.
While the Slackers Wave Walker was once one of the best lines on the market, as the slacklining industry has charged forward, newer models have taken a good thing and made it better. With more beginner-friendly features than the original 2-inch lines, like the Gibbon ClassicLine, this model is an okay option for the novice slacker.
— Adam Paashaus & Leslie Yedor