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  1. #1
    Knotty's Avatar
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    Ridgeline slack...bad idea?

    Been thinking about the oft heard advice that hammocks are most comfortable if the ridgeline has some slack. Been saying and practicing that myself.

    Problem is, it doesn't make sense.

    Isn't the whole idea of the structural ridgeline to allow a consistent amount of sag in the hammock no matter how tight the suspension is hung? If we're using sag in the ridgeline, then that just means it's too long. Best thing to do would be to shorten it so it provides more hammock sag even when the ridgeline is tight.

    An added benefit is that a taught ridgeline keeps the bug netting further away from us.
    Knotty
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  2. #2
    Senior Member opie's Avatar
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    Ill watch this thread... Ive been toying with the ridgeline....
    I am not a gram weenie. , But Im starting to see the merits!!!

    Kris' Splicing

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  3. #3
    Senior Member animalcontrol's Avatar
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    I tend to think of the ridgeline as a flexible measuring stick...
    when as tight as can be...it will always be the same.
    anything less than tight and your changing the lay of the hammock...is that good or bad? depends on you
    personally, I used to stress over the tautness of my ridgeline. Now, it is simply there as a guide that I can hang my glasses off!
    "Every day is a new day to a better future"
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  4. #4
    swampfox's Avatar
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    The ridgeline on my Blackbird is loose enough to bend it 90 degrees with two fingers as long as I'm not in it. When I get in it, it is tight. I like it like this.
    He is your friend, your companion, your defender... he is your dog. You are his life, his leader, and master. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of that devotion.

  5. #5
    Senior Member lazy river road's Avatar
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    Ive only had one chance to really play with my hammock and the few times I layed in it, I liked it a bit taughter then saggier. Interested to hear what people have to say
    Sometimes I like to hike and think, And sometimes I just like to hike.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    The discussion about slack ridgelines goes back to HH's that were being hung much too tightly using either rings or buckles as a tensioning device, without the proper sag angle. There was a series of people that snapped their ridgelines by doing that, in addition to placing undue stress on trees. As a counter to that, the advice-givers of the forum started placing emphasis on a proper sag angle and using less tension on the ridgeline. The thought was not that you didn't want any tension on the ridgeline, just that too much tension was a bad thing.

    I agree with you that a non-tensioned ridgeline isn't accomplishing much for setting sag. But when you have a proper suspension angle from the tree to the hammock I find that the hammock is almost always quite comfortably loose regardless of the ridgeline.

    I treat it like AC says...a flexible measuring stick.
    “I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt.” - Cormac McCarthy

  7. #7
    Senior Member Scratch's Avatar
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    I modified the ridgeline on my BB to a whoopie sling + carabiner. After a period of 'experimenting' to find the most comfortable amount of sag, I leave the whoopie sling ridgeline at a fixed length. When I setup the hammock, I get the ridgeline taut to hold-up the bug net. But it always creates my preferred sag. I use the carabiner to temporarily remove the ridgeline when I just want to lounge in the hammock.
    Dan

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  8. #8
    Doctari's Avatar
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    Empty, mine can be bent at a 90, with about 3" of bend.
    When I'm in it, it is drum tight. I do not snug up my suspension tight enough to tension the ridge line.
    I have even hung with the ridge line totally slack. Not as comfortable, but I can do it.

    "Flexible guide" describes it well! I like that!
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  9. #9
    Senior Member TiredFeet's Avatar
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    A ridge line with sag serves no purpose as far as the sag of the hammock is concerned. Maybe something to hang stuff on, but that's about it.

    As angrysparrow wrote, people were interpreting the Hennessy instructions to pull the suspension piano wire tight, tight enough to get a high note from the ridge line. That led to snapped ridge lines and undue stress on the trees.

    Youngblood educated people about the dangers of pulling the suspension too tight and most (all?) people eased off on pulling the suspension tight.

    So long as the ridge line is pulled snug or a little tighter before or when you are in the hammock, then it is setting the hammock sag angle and serving the purpose for which it is meant.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mustardman's Avatar
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    I can't honestly say I've ever seen anyone suggesting a slack ridgeline while you're in the hammock.

    A ridgeline that isn't so tight you can play the blues on it, sure, but I can't recall a single time where someone said it should actually be sagging.

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