Slacklining is a sport where people walk across webbing tensioned between two anchor points. Similar to tightrope walking, it’s usually slacker, so feels like a trampoline.
While rope walking has been around for thousands of years, the familiar art of slacklining along a taut length of tubular nylon webbing was invented in the early 1980s by two Yosemite rock climbers, Adam Grosowsky and Jeff Ellington. The pair picked up on the idea after walking along loose chain fences on rainy days in the Valley. Hooked on the challenge, they strung up old climbing webbing between trees around their campsites at Camp 4, the traditional campground for Yosemite climbers for over 40 years. Voila! The slackline was born.
Slacklining, the art of walking along one-inch wide nylon webbing, is a new school variation of circus style tight-rope walking. The sport of slacklining has become a recreational phenomenon enjoyed worldwide, from the beaches to the highest alpine spires.
A slackline gets its name because although the line is tensioned very tightly between two anchor points, it is not rigidly taut due to the dynamic nature of the nylon webbing. As you walk out on the line the webbing stretches underfoot and hence it feels “slack” compared to a rigid tightrope cable that does not stretch. The squirrelly and seemingly unpredictable movement of the line is what makes slacklining the ultimate balance challenge. Your entire mind, body, and soul are needed just to stay balanced, let alone walk the line.
Recent studies suggest that it may also improve core balance, help prevent knee injuries, and aid in strengthening and rehabbing your legs.
It almost looks as if they are literally putting their life on the line. But Slacklining enthusiasts say “It’s pretty much impossible to fall off. I know people think we are crazy but believe you me we don’t have a death wish.”
A brave slack-line enthusiast incredibly walked between the two ends of Yosemite Park’s Upper Falls in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.
The slackliner’s feat was captured in stunning video that shows just how far the daredevil had to walk, and how high he was from the ground.
The sport is becoming “more and more popular,” according to Stefanie an ace slackliner and she adds, “it’s just a great sport, to be somewhere completely different in the elements.”
The average slackline is set up between trees or posts at a beach or park and ranges from 15 to 100 feet in length. The tension of the line varies based on your equipment and desire. A tight line is easier to walk, but the rubbery bounce of a slightly looser line can be rewarding. There is always a great deal of energy in the line so getting aggressively bucked off is not uncommon. To avoid injury, most slacklines are set up within a few feet of the ground.
You will get hooked once you are bitten by the slacklining bug. But do not attempt any of those daredevilry you see in jaw-dropping videos! Courtesy: i.telegraph.co.uk, dailymai.co.uk
Here’s a treat. Watch the two videos: