Holiday Orders

All I can say is Wow! My production crew and I just pulled 3 days of 16-20 hour shifts over the entire weekend. At this point nearly all of the orders that we said we could ship by Christmas have been shipped. There are a small number that are going out tonight and can still make it, but unfortunately there will be a few that simply cannot get there in time, which were mostly international orders as we simply can’t get items through customs fast enough no matter what we do.

Huge props go out to Justin, who just pulled the longest graveyard shift we’ve never done. The sewing machines stayed busy from 6am until 6am, our first 24 hour day in the history of the company. Justin, if you’re reading this, name the place, I’m buying because you totally deserve some recognition bro.

I’m now at my day job after having only a few hours sleep, so I appologize if my post is spacey, but I wanted to take the time out to let our customer’s know that we understand and appreciate how much thought and effort goes into making a great holiday for your loved ones and we especially appreciate that you guys gave us a chance to be part of making your holiday special. We’ll continue to do our best to keep everyone happy and I’ll be back to whipping the elves as soon as I catch another short nap after work.

In the mean time, from all of us at Slackline Express, Happy Holidays!

Joe Kuster
Slackline Express

Update from SlacklineJoe

Hi all,

It’s been a bit since I’ve posted much on our Slackline Express blog. Some astute people may have noticed that our order delays went up quite a bit over the last month or two and I figure that it’s only fair to say why. The short story is, I got another job. The long story is well, a bit longer.

You see, we managed to move to a larger facility and makes some big investments in growing our little eco-friendly, made in the USA sewing shop right before the economy decided to fall in the crapper. This isn’t an unusual story and I know we weren’t the only ones who saw a lot of pressure from the recession. Frankly, I should be happy our doors are still open judging from the evening news. Small business loans and lines of credit are nearly impossible for emerging companies right now, so it left us in a bit of a lurch (understatement of the year). Trouble is, when all of our funding dried up, that meant no inventory unless it was in very small batches, and often only once the orders were placed.

Adding insult to injury, all of our shipping carriers raised rates a substantial amount, same with several of our materials providers. We had offers from Chinese manufacturing companies to produce our slacklines at what I can only assume is slave level labor prices, but having seen the quality control as well as the ethical dilemmas involved, we had to take a different route than some of the other slackline companies out there are currently doing.

Since I refused to lower our quality on slacklines, we had to make a few price adjustments (yes, I can hear the moans now) and push back our response time (again, more moans). We won’t be doing super-duper-absolutely-insane sales this holiday either (but there will be some good deals). I picked up a technology job here at University of Colorado Boulder and handed off the company’s reins to our longtime production manager, Teale Niemeyer. I’m still around for design and long term planning, but as an owner’s role rather than a general manager’s role. This wasn’t my long term plan to say the least, however, by doing so, it moved us from shaky ground where I honestly thought we were going to have to sell off the company to a more stable situation to ride out the economic downturn.

I’m also currently looking for another investment partner to help us continue to grow as we’re on the cusp of a very large opportunity that will continue to be delayed until a better foundation for our company’s future can be laid. We’ve looked at some options, but taking on someone who is willing to have an active role in the company is by far the ideal solution.

Hopefully, these problems will be continue to be improved and we’ve already had response times lowered significantly. We expect to be back to more reasonable time from order to ship within the next three weeks, just in time for the holidays.

Best Wishes,

Joe Kuster

Slackline Express

October is a Pink Month

Happy October, blog readers! It’s time to smell the crisp air and appreciate the changing colors. Think about your Halloween costume and then… Put on your pink. Why wear pink? Well, as some of you may know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Thousands of people are teaming up for Lee National Denim Day and Race for the Cure. If that isn’t something you would like to get involved in, you should bid for a slackline. No, I haven’t gone crazy (although some would argue that there is no going crazy for me). We have specially made two Pink Series slacklines, one Intro 30 and one Primo 50, for this October. We’d like you to bid on one of these two lines to help us raise money for a donation at the end of the month. 100% of the profits from this auction will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

To bid on a Pink Series slackline, we will be putting both kits up on ebay. The auction will open tomorrow and go until October 31.

We are also making ribbons out of pink webbing, up for donations of $2, $5, and $10. These will be up for sale on our website with our regular products sometime tomorrow, October 2.



Drunk Drivers

Last night at 9pm, my wife’s car was hit by a drunk driver while she was coming home from work. A car turned against the light and T-boned into the engine compartment. We spent all of last night in the ER, but we think things are going to be OK. She was released this morning, but still has some injuries to deal with (mostly an extreme case of whiplash and blunt force stuff from the seatbelt and airbags). Luckily, the Catscans didn’t show any internal damage and no broken bones.

As such, we’ll be closed this week. I’ll try to do my best to get what orders I can out, but I’ll need to stay close at hand for the next several days. No word yet on how this will effect our upcoming competitions. Bare with me while I get things situated.


Joe Kuster

Owner – Slackline Express

Always Use Protection

note: this post contains reference to dinosaur violence and barely contained dirty jokes. May not be suitable for all.

Did you ever see some weirdo in the park wrapping cardboard around a tree and wonder just what the hell they were doing and why? Well, in their own cheap kind of way, they’re taking care of the trees. clip_image002

Did you know that a tree and a slackline can be as damaging to one another as a zombie raptor and a dude with a shotgun? Take a moment and visualize this. While the slackline is rubbing some of the bark off the tree, the tree’s abrasiveness is ripping at the weave of the webbing and the stitching if there is any. Unless there’s padding.

Believe it or not, cardboard is one of the more popular options for padding a slackline. There are many other ways as well: carpet scraps, old towels, old t-shirts, fun noodles, and probably a lot more that we’ve never even heard of. But my young grasshoppers, there is another way.

We, Slackline Express, sell several different kinds of padding to protect your wood. They are specially made to work with a slackline, unlike those options mentioned above. Oh, and we are the ONLY slackline company that designs padding for trees. Maybe it’s because we actually care rather than just providing lip service to the masses. Not that I’m bitter. *mumble mumble eaten mumble velociraptors mumble grrrr*

paddingOur longest running padding type is the webbing sleeves. These are one foot long segments threaded on your tree slings. They basically act as a barrier between the bark and your webbing. Instead of sliding down the tree, the webbing sleeves allow the slings to roll.  foam

Some months ago, the boss-man came up with a new option: foam. It isn’t exactly suitable for hard-barked trees, but it does marvelously with the softer varieties.

gympadding On Monday, 24 August 2009, we will release the Simply Marvelous padding. It’s a more dense variety of foam, very sturdy. From LOTS of experience, it’s the best protection available. Words can’t even describe how amazing it is. If needed, it could probably save you from a T-rex. Well, maybe not, but it’s pretty badass in spite of that.

So what I’d like you to do is protect your wood. And eat your veggies. Or the dinosaurs will eat you.image