Hands-on Gear Review

Slackers Wave Walker Review

B4 Adventures Slackers Wave Walker
Price:  $68 List | $59.97 at Amazon
Pros:  Beginner friendly, includes a hand line for learning, slightly bouncy webbing
Cons:  Unattractive, confusing graphics, no tree protectors
Bottom line:  An beginner line plus an overhead hand line to facilitate learning, but delicate webbing.
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
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  • 4
  • 5
Width (inches):  2 in
Tested Length (feet):  50 ft
Features:  Carrying bag, hand line, ratchet
Manufacturer:   B4 Adventure

Our Verdict

The Slackers Wave Walker is a novice-friendly line with the clever addition of an overhead hand line to facilitate learning. While the hand line is an extremely valuable tool, this model, unfortunately, scored poorly across the board. Its webbing is thick and soft underfoot, but those same qualities make it difficult to tension safely. It's also prone to fraying and catching inside the ratchet during take-down. For a more versatile version with the same bonus features but superior quality, check out our Editors' Choice winner, the Flybold Complete Kit. If you are looking for a traditional 1-inch set-up, check out our Top Pick for Traditional Slacklining, the Balance Community Primitive Kit.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Leslie Yedor

Last Updated:
Tuesday
May 22, 2018

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The Slackers Wave Walker is a ratchet-based 2-inch line. It's 50 feet long and comes in blue. There is also an overhead training line and carrying bag included in this kit.

Performance Comparison


This model is a novice-friendly line that is comfortable to walk on with or without shoes.
This model is a novice-friendly line that is comfortable to walk on with or without shoes.

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 plastic 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.

The handle on this ratchet was our favorite to tension. You still need to be careful so that the line doesn't catch in the side of the ratchet.
The handle on this ratchet was our favorite to tension. You still need to be careful so that the line doesn't catch in the side of the ratchet.

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.

Versatility


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 Flybold Kit.

Soft and bouncy but not a trampoline  the weave of this webbing is forgiving on beginner's feet.
Soft and bouncy but not a trampoline, the weave of this webbing is forgiving on beginner's feet.

Quality


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 rain storm!). Unfortunately, the end 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.

This line showed fraying where it rubbed on the ratchet after its first use.
This line showed fraying where it rubbed on the ratchet after its first use.

Disassembly


Taking down the Wave Walker is, once learned, a simple and quick process if the setup is done correctly. 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. If the line was over tensioned, however, the thick webbing caught in the ratchet giving us a bit of a headache to get it free.

If the line is properly aligned while rigging  disassembly is simple  but any bunching will cause it to bind up in the ratchet.
If the line is properly aligned while rigging, disassembly is simple, but any bunching will cause it to bind up in the ratchet.

You have to pay attention when de-tensioning a slackline and be sure to keep the webbing in proper alignment while running it through the ratchet. If the rigger is not careful, the line can catch and get jammed in the ratchet.


Features


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 Editors' Choice, the Flybold 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. Tree protectors are also an essential part of any set-up, but in this case, you're on your own as this model doesn't come with them.

One of our favorite things about this line is that it works for both a novice and budding professional trickliner  thanks to the overhead hand line.
One of our favorite things about this line is that it works for both a novice and budding professional trickliner, thanks to the overhead hand line.

Best Applications


This line is best suited for beginner slackers looking to learn how to walk with the assistance of an overhead hand line. While suitable for such undertakers, Our Editors' Choice, the Flybold Kit, excels as a novice line, but also provides room to grow and superb quality.

Set up long and loose  the bounce and flow we got out of this line felt great while trying to hold some static poses.
Set up long and loose, the bounce and flow we got out of this line felt great while trying to hold some static poses.

Value


Priced in the higher range of all the beginner lines we tested, this line has a poor price to performance ratio. If you are looking for a line with better quality webbing, the Baseline is a cheaper option, and while the Flybold Kit took home our Editors' Choice award due its outstanding scores across the board, it's also our Best Buy due to its exceptionally low price.

Libby Sauter leaves the hand line behind and surfs the aptly named Wave Walker.
Libby Sauter leaves the hand line behind and surfs the aptly named Wave Walker.

Conclusion


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. For superior quality and a line that supports the novice through intermediate user, opt for our Editors' Choice, the Flybold Kit instead.
Leslie Yedor

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Most recent review: May 22, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
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  • 4
  • 5
 (2.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 100%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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