What Is a Slackline? History of Slacklining

As a way of refreshing, what comes to the minds of people is hiking, camping, taking some cooking lessons or wine tasting or even taking some cooking lessons. However, there’s more to explore in this world than you can imagine and slacklining is what the cool sport I am about to introduced you to.

What is slackline

What is a slack line?

Have you even given a slacklining a thought? I know what you’re thinking. What is a slackline for the heavenly sake? It’s not a common hobby among many.

You wouldn’t want to miss the fun that comes with the sport after discovering how breathtaking the experience can turn out. For a freestyle athlete who’s interested in some acrobatic tricklining or you want to feel the world of yoga, you can never go wrong trying slacklining.

What is slack lining?

A slackline is a piece of flat woven fabric made from sturdy material that you suspend above the ground between two points (normally trees trunks) and then tightened so you can walk on it for fun. Slackline also has a lot of health benefit. 

Slacklining had its humble beginnings in the 80s and is not a popular hobby or activity among most people. The first people to attempt balancing on chains and ropes were a group of people who had gone for camping at Yosemite Valley. Slacklining became a hobby just like that. In the modern world, it is now a sport like any other.

You wouldn’t want to miss the fun that comes with the sport after discovering how breathtaking the experience can turn out.

It’s important to differentiate tightrope walking from slacklining. Typically, tightrope walking requires wire or steel cable which bends a little owing to your weight as you walk. A slackline is dynamic and will stretch as you walk. As such, it is trickier to master slacklining when compared tightrope walking.

It is a balance sport refers to the act of walking on rope

What is a Slackliner?

When you decide to learn all the tricks involving slacklining, you acquire a name that is closely related to the sport itself. You become a slackliner.

As a slackliner, the sport gets sweeter when doing with fellow slackliners. You’d be pleased to know that slacklining is a universal sport and slacklineinternational.org, a non-profit organization brings together all slackliners’ organizations with the goal promoting and developing slacklining sport worldwide.

Having learned what a slackline, its history, and the slackliner is, then we head on to the uses of a slackline.

What is a Slackline used for?

The initial use of a slackline was to keep balance when walking on the webbing. However, many more applications have emerged as you'll discover when learning the various slacklining tricks.

As a beginner, you have to master walking on the rope first. After that, there is a lot more to explore. You can try tracklining which involves sitting on slack line or even using it to bounce and do back flips just like on a trampoline.

Besides, you can try longlining. Most slackliners consider longlining extremely challenging and risky. It involves walking on a slackline longer than 100 feet and slackline 1 inch. The standard slackline popular with starters is usually 2 inches.

Alternatively, you can also go a notch higher and perform yoga on the slack line an activity duped as yogalining. The most advanced form of slacklining is the highlining where the rope is over 50 feet above the ground. This is only for the veterans and demands special setup equipment.

History of Slacklining

The origins of modern-day slacklining is generally attributed to a young rock climber named Adam Grosowsky from southern Illinois in 1979 as mentioned in nytimes

Fascinating Overview of the Slackline History

Although it was born some close to 4 decades ago, Slacklining has now become the talk of the town to become one of the fastest growing sports out there. In this post, we focus on how it was born and where the progress made since then.

Slackline history dates back to the 80s when a group of climbers went camping at Yosemite Valley in the US. Just to derive fun, the group started balancing on ropes, railings, and chains. It’s through that some people began to perceive as a wonderful hobby.

It’s until Adam Grosowsky and Jeff Ellington discovered that tubular nylon line would make a great option for balancing purposes that people started to take it a little more seriously. Its properties, elasticity, lightweight and better grip nature made it the excellent option for balancing when compared to the metal chains.

With this tubular line, the duo had the freedom to explore a wide variety of balancing forms. Although they failed terribly, they had tried their idea of hooking a line across the Lost Arrow Spire.

Fortunately, Scott Balcom took up the idea in 1985 and managed to walk the Lost Arrow Spire. Remember that the initial goal of slackline was to help gain balance and coordination. We now come to see a second aspect of breaking the psychological barriers and trying new things.

Inspired by the achievement of Scott Balcom, Darrin Carter decided that he too would become part of the history. In the early 90s, he perfected the sport of highlining, and after many attempts and practice, he was able to balance severally to the Lost Arrow Spire without a leash. He could also perform several other techniques on the line.

Darrin is believed to have not only moved and inspired but also inspired the next generation of slackliners. The American Free Climbing Scene organized later attracted a lot of media attention, and word spread like bush fire.

The new generation of slackliners has managed to derive new slacklining techniques over time with the height and speed of walking and performing the several slacklining tricks improving remarkably fast.

Slackline history has evolved quickly. And since it bears many benefits, you'll be doing a great disservice to yourself if you don't try it today.

The Bottom Line

Break away from the usual way of passing the time or incorporate slacklining into your play time and experience the fun that comes with it. With a slackline, you’re assured of exciting outdoor moments that’ll leave you both relaxed and fit. Always choose the best slackline to start slacklining.

As slacklining is a popular sport, you may have to find a community of slackliners on social media so you can train and challenge each other.

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