What is slacklining?
Slacklining is a way to balance and/or walk between two points, often trees, on tensioned webbing usually an inch or two wide. Many people think it is the same as tightrope walking but it’s more like walking on a really skinny trampoline. The slackline will sway back and forth and bounce up and down as you walk across. It not only tests your focus and determination but is also a great core and lower body workout.
There are a few different styles of slacklining that include tricklining, slackline yoga, highlining, rodeo slacklining, waterlining and windlining. Each brings about its own set of new challenges.
Tricklining is a very popular style of slacklining that usually done low to the ground. Trickliners showcase an impressive array of technical flips and tricks. The tricks range in difficulty. Some of the more simple tricks include walking forward and backward, turning around, dropping to a knee and jumping onto the line from the ground. The more advanced tricks include jumping, surfing, back and chest bouncing, flips and spins.
Slackline yoga is when you do yoga poses on a slackline. This type of slacklining is usually performed on a one-inch line with low tension. Slacklining with little tension makes the line a lot more sensitive to each movement made. Low tension on a line is a great challenge by itself. So doing yoga poses on said line takes a great deal of concentration and skill.
Highlining is when the slackline is elevated high above a surface. Highlines are usually set up between two rocks that have a big drop. Most highliners use a safety harness or leash to keep the sport as safe as possible. However, pros like Andy Lewis and Dean Potter have been known to walk highlines without a leash. That increases the risk but makes the completion that much more impressive.
Rodeo slacklining is when the ends of the slackline are placed high with no tension. This causes the slackline to hang down like a “U” shape. Rodeo slacklining allows the opportunity to use the slackline as a swing. It is also a great style to surf the line because of the amount of back and forth movement.
Waterlining is when the slackline is set above water including lakes, rivers and pools. The reflection of the surface of the water can be a distraction making it more difficult to keep focus. Waterlines can be set up ranging high above the surface of the water to just below the surface. Waterlining can be very useful to practice tricks on.
Windlining is when the slackline is set up in very windy conditions. Even a slight wind will cause the slackline to ripple and/or shake. The windier it is the harder it becomes to maintain balance. This makes windlining a great challenge.
Hopefully this brief overview gave a bit of insight to the wonderful sport of slacklining. It is both challenging and fun no matter the style. Such a unique sport has only room to grow. So be apart of the growth today and go have some fun!