Intro to the Slackline

Obviously, people have been doing balancing activities forever. Although the term slackline is new, it’s not really a new thing. Kids and adults are naturally drawn to try to balance on things. I can’t walk by a retaining wall or guard rail with my kids without one of them wanting to climb on it and usually they want to hold my hand so they don’t fall.

Over the years, people have done tight rope walking and other feats of balance. The cool thing about slacklining is that it’s provided a safer and easier way for a lot of people to enjoy the sport of balancing.. Most people haven’t had access to a tight rope and a lot of other things that are available to balance on are too high and too hard to be safe. Those factors have not stopped some of us from risking life and limb to try it anyway. But now with slacklines, there is a better option.

The actual sport of slacklining got off the ground in the rock climbing mecca of Yosemite National Park back in the 70’s. I guess the rock climbers there needed something to do on rest days and rainy days when they couldn’t climb. By the way, trying to fill gaps of time between recreation with another type of recreation sounds like a nice problem to have. So, they would challenge each other to walk on the hanging chains in the parking lots.

Eventually, they got the idea to use webbing that they usually used for climbing and tie it between two trees. This gave them a portable option that they could set up anywhere. Slacklines made it possible to set it up low to the ground. The slackline webbing was also not hard like chain or a metal bar, so if you fell on it, it wouldn’t hurt much.

The sport has remained popular with rock climbers. It’s a good way to increase your balancing skills which naturally helps your climbing.

Over the years, more and more people have gotten into it, though, and several great options have become available to purchase. In the past it was kind of hard to set up a slackline. You needed certain gear, usually used for climbing, and several people to get it tight enough. Now, there are kits that make it easy, and they are pretty cheap for a piece of sporting equipment. This has made it possible for anyone to try out the sport.

I’m very naturally attracted to the sport of slacklining. I’ve always been into testing my skills of balance. Ever since I was a kid I’ve tried to balance on anything that I could: fences, playground equipment, hand rails, retaining walls. When I heard about slacklining it was something I immediately wanted to get into.

I’ve done a little bit of slacklining on other people’s equipment, but I finally ordered my own slackline and I’m very excited to spend more time doing this sport. I’m also looking forward to having another “play time” activity that I can do relatively safely with my kids. I’d much rather invest in a slackline for them to play in our backyard on than see them doing some of the things that I did when I was a kid. YIKES!

If you’re looking to try out a new sport, I highly recommend slacklining for several reasons. It will improve your balance and joint strength. It’s relatively cheap to get into. You can do it almost anywhere. It’s a fun activity alone or as a group. You’ll be excited as you get better and better.

Let the slacking begin.

Greetings fellow slackers! I’m an active middle aged guy that likes to be outside.

I’ve been wanting to get a slackline and start slacklining for quite a while. I try to stay fit and I’m always looking for activities that can keep me from getting “old.” If it’s something I can do with my kids, that’s even better.