Slacklining is a craze that’s sweeping the world. It’s different from other adrenalin sports as it involves core strength, concentration, meditative breathing and a yogic calm. Young people are taking it to extremes all over the world.
I walk the line: Slacklining takes off
We’ve seen people at it for a few years now. Slacklining has been a common sight in city parks all over the world, but it’s beginning to take on a global significance as enthusiasts take it to extreme locations both in spectacular natural and urban settings.
A couple of years ago it was all about parkour, an urban free-running sensation that requires an high level of fitness, athleticism and a whole lot of balls. This year it’s slacklining that’s making a stir and it’s an altogether calmer more introspective extreme sport.
It’s a far cry from circus tightrope walking, as the lesser tension on the line allows for more dynamic walking, balancing and stunts. The walker is almost always attached with a safety line when walking at a height and the rope is made of nylon webbing which flexible and extremely strong.
While the discipline of rope walking has been around for thousands of years this form of the art an be traced back to Adam Grosowsky and Jake Ellington who started setting up slacklines and chains around Olympia, Washington’s The Evergreen State College in 1979. The sport blossomed in the West Coast rock climbing community and from there it has spread to the rest of the world
Since 2010 the World Slacklining Federation has been pushing tricklining as a competitive sport, jumps and tricks are judged according to difficulty, technique, diversity, amplitude and performance.
Slackline yoga is also on the rise, taking traditional yoga positions and moving them to a rope-walking context. It has been called ‘distilling the art of yogic concentration’. The practice has many layers simultaneously developing focus, dynamic balance, power, breath, core integration, flexibility and confidence.
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