EQB FLASH – Cutting edge technology tested!

Today was our last encounter to finally conclude our epistemic study on the Czech’s new 1″ polyamide webbing. This is only a small portion of our great venture to create a catalogue of all commonly used polyamide webbings, full of questionably useful information, inaccurate measurements and endlessly subjective reviews. Due to some unexpected problems (changing humidity and temperature, major knee injury, memory-effect, work, major knee injury again and many more..), the completion of said catalogue will be delayed for a little while. Nevertheless, I do have some free time now (THANKS knee injury!), so let’s get started..

First things first, what are we talking about? The webbing in question is the Flash by EQB and it can be found here:
http://www.slackshop.cz/en/webbing/162-eqb-flash.html*
*It is recommended, that you read the shop’s entry on the Flash before continuing with this article.
Flash_1

Instead of just rambling on and on about our impressions, we’d like to take the time and look at what EQB is trying to sell here (yes, slackline companies try to sell you things and sometimes they manufacture/distort reality a little in order to do that). An example:

Flash is a 3ton webbing with very high stretch – ideal choice for highlines up to 60m long and for longlines, that are rigged for bouncing and dynamic tricks.“

Let us translate for you:

Flash is a 3ton webbing with moderately high stretch – ideal terrible choice for highlines up to 60m long (unless your fingers are made of steel cable or you don’t mind having them chopped off occasionally) and for longlines, that are rigged for bouncing and dynamic tricks.“

Now, this might sound a little harsh at first, but let us be clear: This webbing is sharp. Very much so. If touch or feel are in any way important to you when deciding what webbing you want to go for, you can stop reading here. This is not for you. If, however, you aren’t entirely dependent on the cuddliness of your gear (unlike me, who favours savours cuddliness over everything else!), keep on reading, because from here on out it only gets better!

A quick look on the few other alterations we made should demonstrate that this webbing delivers a lot of what it promises! It is bouncy, not frighteningly so, but still pretty powerful. It packs quite some punch even at low tensions (which is a rare feature for webbings in this price range), ensuring an amusing, sometimes challenging, yet still forgiving walking experience. The weight is optimal for entry level longliners and for everyone learning bouncy tricks. Surfing is very enjoyable at lower tensions (4kN on 60m was our favourite configuration for surfing, 6kN on 60m for bouncing). We found that different tensions have a huge impact on how this webbing feels. Higher tensions tend to ‚kill‘ the liveliness and make it rather disappointing to walk on, whereas lower tensions give the webbing some room to breathe and reflect your inner state back to you in a rather direct but never intrusive manner. It remains friendly even when you go waaaay of course, whilst it isn’t indifferent as some of the other ‚easy to walk‘ webbings are. The stretch has not been reliably determined yet, but our (fairly used) piece required the same tensioning way as our (very very used) Type-18 MKII and a little less than Darrick’s (new) Sonic 2.0. Assuming that all were new, I would locate it just underneath the values for those 2 webbings.

Flash_3

There is more to slacklining than just walking, in fact, practicing slacklining often leaves you with very little time to walk, since you spend most of your time setting up, tearing down, taking pictures of your gear, discussing the latest developments in the tricklining scene, juggling, explaining to strangers that „as long as you don’t set it ablaze, NO, it won’t murder every tree in sight“ and on and on and on. So, how does the Flash fare in dimensions that are frequently forgotten or neglected when talking about the quality of webbing?

For one, it makes a weird ‚CLONG‘ sound when you drop it. It is very stiff and it therefore requires a lot of volume in your pack. It folds in angles (not loops, angles!) at times, which is only slightly worrying. The weave is very dense but not sealed (it frays a little) and it can maintain dents and folds even under tension. Out of the two sides, the purple one is significantly sharper, ensuring that the less fabulous yellow side is up most of the time. Pretensioning is okay, but only just. It develops tension in a very smooth way, so you don’t accidentally put too much tension on it.

This review is getting rather exhausting, and I am sure you don’t want to continue reading forever, so I’ll round up with this:

1,48€/m is significantly cheaper than other flat polyamide webbings, which frequent the >2€/m realm. This could be the deciding factor for some people, and indeed, the Flash is a reasonable choice, if you need to save money. Whether this is your secondary longline webbing for having a great time on the 40-80m distance or your first venture into the stretchy polyamide world, EQB has brought us a webbing that can deliver, if you let it.

„Morning Philipp, I see you have a new webbing, AGAIN.., what is it?“
„The Flash by EQB.“
„Any good?“
„Mhm. Let me put it this way: It looks terrible, it feels even worse, yet somehow, it is always more pleasurable to walk than you expect it to be.“

This last quote is not for your entertaining purposes. The Flash surprises me every single time I set it up. Positively.

Flash_5
And remember, ALWAYS back shit up!

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