Fire Slackline

I had this idea that slacklining would be more fun if the line was on fire. I googled it and couldn’t find any references to people trying it before, so I decided to experiment.

Kevlar wick is used to make fire toys like staffs and poi and I thought this should be pretty strong. I mentioned this to Greg, who just happened to be ordering some wick. It was obvious we had to try it.

A slackline needs some bounce though and wick is not stretchy, so we took my slackline and tied the wick to it with a tape knot. The wick then went through a ratchet to tension the system. The line made concerning creaking sounds as it was tensioned. We poured paraffin on the middle of the line and water on the ends.

By this point we had quite a crowd standing around. We got the line lit and I prepared to walk it.

Attempting to ignite with a lighter

Decided to get a torch


We debated what to wear. I wasn’t sure which would be better: bare feet and shorts or relatively fire resistant natural fibres and leather boots. I can touch burning wicks without being burnt so I think it would be ok barefoot as long as one does not hang around for too long. I decided though to try it with boots and denim trousers first. I also had someone on each side standing by with fire blankets.

As I stepped up onto the line, it snapped. :-( Interestingly it did not break at the ratchet, but in the middle where it was burning. It seems it may have been weakened by the fire, because I could stand on it before it was lit.

Burning remains of fire slackline

Examining the break in the wick

I need to work out some way to make a system like this which is strong enough. Otherwise I might need to try the fire unicycle idea. Hm.

I entertained myself for the rest of the night by juggling flaming torches and spinning things.