During a visit some weeks ago Mattias of Juneborg agreed to give a class on string slings. It was very generous of him and we thank him for his efforts.
Making slings was much easier than I had anticipated, and quicker as well. The problem came in actually doing the slinging. It’s a lot of fun but the tennis balls went everywhere – and in come cases backwards as well. It didn’t help that the wind was howling and ruined the accompanying picnic that had been planned. But fun was had by all just the same.
I used standard packing string but there are a number of strings available to use – personal preference, durability and authenticity all apply.
We started by measuring for the string required. This involved standing with our arms loosing at our sides to get our hand to the floor and back again measurement. This was then multiplied by six. The total length of string was then cut into three separate lengths.
The half way point was found and braiding started about 2cm off the centre point. This is the loop for your finger so it’s a good idea to have a rough idea of how large/small you would like the loop to be.
Once the finger loop finished, the six strings are divided into three and braided.
Make the half way point for split – this is where the tennis ball/stone/pellet will sit.
Braid the sling to the halfway point. It’s easier if it’s hooked onto something.
Just before the half way mark, the strings are divided into two – exactly where depend on the object that’s going to be thrown.
Each side of the split is braided to the required length. Again, this will depend on the size of the object being thrown. It’s a good idea to test as you go along. If it’s too big the ball/stone/pellet will keep falling out.
Once the split has been braided, the strings are again divided into three and the braiding from before continues. Unfortunately, my split ended up being a touch too big – very annoying.
As you braid, you need to thin out the extra strings. After about 5cm drop one sting, another 5cm drop another till you have only three left. Continue braiding to the end and knot.
The release part of the sling needs to fit comfortably across your palm with the knotted end resting on the side of your hand. If you made the release part of the sling too short, like I did, you can extend the end by braiding in three lengths of string as shown below and repeat the thinning process.
Whipping on the release side of the split helps the sling to last longer by strengthening that area as it takes a lot of force.
And there you have a string sling