Slacklining

Posted by Zak Suhar:

“Julie McManus- sports

Is it a philosophy, a spiritual quest, an extreme sport, or a new branch of yoga-esque? The nice thing about Slacklining is that is can be any or all of these things since there are an infinite amount of skill levels involved is this activity. Slack liners are able to choose their difficulty by adjusting the height of their lines, the distances between endpoints, or the tautness of the line.  But what exactly is Slacklining anyways?

Slacklining is an inexpensive outdoor activity that has the potential to amuse people for hours at a time. It is said to be an addicting challenge and a great workout all at once. Slacklining involves a thick band of slightly loose; inch-wide flat nylon webbing that is loosely suspended between two anchors such as telephone poles, thick trees, large rocks or even parked vehicles.

Lines can be one foot off of the ground or several, depending on the user’s confidence and physical abilities. Slacklining is often described as “tight rope walking on rubber a band,” but the line is not elastic, it only feels that way because it isn’t completely tight once a user steps on.

This relatively new outdoor activity originated with rock climbers who would walk on chains between posts to goof off and practice their balancing techniques on their days off. “Eventually someone came up with the idea of walking on climbing webbing. It provided a more “live” feel and instead of being a static balancing act, it would bounce and recoil against your moves making for a really fun dynamic ride,” says the official Slacklining website.

Online fans of Slacklining say it is “just as much an exceptional form of exercise as it is a spiritual quest – a quest where you mind, body, and spirit exists comfortably with gravity, nature, and [its] surroundings.” Slacklining also “presents individuals with the opportunity to truly live in the moment with an emphasis on focus, fulfillment, and flat out fun,” according to fan clubs for the sport.

“Slacklining is your chance to exist in complete balance with nature. By steadying yourself atop a slackline, your mind, body, and gravity unite in harmony. As you move forward, the feeling is fast, fleeting, and addictive,” says Zak Suhar, creator of one of Facebook’s few groups dedicated to Slacklining.

Slacklining is also said to be an effective cross-training activity for yoga enthusiasts, surfers, rock climbers, and snowboarders because it helps condition the user’s focus, balance and strength. Slackers often draw a lot of attention when they are out and about, so Slacklining is considered a great way to meet new people. It is accessible to almost anyone who can find a couple of anchors and has access to an official slackline, which can be purchased online at Kits for beginners start at only $40 and include simple set-up instructions.” – Zak Suhar

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