The basic idea is that you tension a length of webbing between two points and balance on it. Sounds pretty simple but what happens when you do this is really quite amazing.Slacklining is very different from tight rope walking in that the line is not rigidly taut, it is dynamic, stretching and bouncing like a huge rubber band, it kind of a cross between a tight rope and a trampoline! The lines tension can be adjusted to suit the user, and every line that you set up, can have a different height, length and tension. The line itself is flat, which keeps your foot from rolling off, as would be the case with an ordinary rope. The dynamic nature of the slackline is what makes it unique, in that you can do tricks and stunts, the line is totally responsive to you body.Take a look around and you will find everything you need from quality slacklines on the online shop, to data base of instructors and team riders, to links to community groups on facebook.
Who can slackline? +
Just about anyone! We have seen children as young as 4 years old to adults in their 70s slacklining. There is just a bit of general fitness required and a respectful approach. Speak to a Slackline Australia Instructor for some set up and spotting techniques for anyone with special needs.
How hard is it to Slackline? +
There is a certain amount of wonder associated with tightrope walking, i remember as a child watching it on TV and thinking how hard that must be!Slacklining has that same affect on people, and it is really not that hard to learn. In the beginning, you put your foot up onto the line and it shakes like crazy! It is like the line has a mind of its own. If you are learning with a friend, hold onto their shoulder for support and step up onto the line. It helps if you try to relax, as tension creates shakes on the line.Every time you get on the line your brain and body are working together to try to keep your body upright, and a connection is being made.The saying " just like riding a bike" applies to slacklining as well. Each time to practise you will get better and better, not losing your progress from the time before. Then one day, you step onto the line and...........you have it! You no longer are fighting to stay on, but a beautiful natural freedom exists, balancing on your line, totally present.This is the magic of Slacklining! Slackline Australia Instructors are trained to help…
How long does it take to learn to slackline? +
People differ in all ways, but between 30mins and full day most people can progress to feeling of slackline success. Slackline Australia Centres of Balance offer programs that can have some people walking forward, backwards and holding poses within about 6hrs of the program.
Is slacklining dangerous? +
Nothing is ever safe! Slacklining when done respectfully is safer than most other activities. Statistically we have seen more injuries from football, skating and surfing than slacklining. The slackline will reflect back whatever you throw out to it - so always be respectful, ensure an appropriate set up location, height and length. Ensure your slackline is clearly visable to others and take it down when not using it. It wont be long before you make slacklining look easy but remember always spot beginners and seek professional instruction if you are not sure.
Where did slacklining come from? +
While tight rope walking has been around at least two thousand years, this form of slacklining was developed from chain walking back in the sixties and seventies at Yosemite national park.The modern form of the slackline which uses tubular webbing started in the early eighties by Adam Growsowski and Jeff Ellington. They inspired other people in that area and it was quickly being taken to new levels. Many started to do high lines which evolved into a whole new way of Slacklining. Since those early days it has spread across the world and being pioneered by many, with new tricks and records being set all the time. How will you help evolve this sport?
What are the benefits of slackliing? +
There are many many benefits of slacklining. The first and foremost is its fun and wholistic. It can work all areas of your body including the small stablizer muscles in your body, but it also works your brain and vestibular system. Balance training can help maintain agility and staminar. Most of all it can create an opportunity to develop your level of awareness and a deep inner sense of peace and relaxation. Slacklining is also very social. I've never come across another activity where dozens of absolute strangers will just come up and talk to you and even join you in an afternoon of fun. there have been some studies in the UK that indicate that training the balance system can balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain and even help people with ADHD and other disorders.
Who uses a slackline? +
Slacklining started in the rock climbing community, but in the past 20 years it has spread across the world. Now all walks of life are using it. Due to its versatility it has now become its own sport and is being pushed to new limits everyday, and many subcultures have come from this. It can be used as· A physical workout ( core strength and stabilizer muscles)· A mental workout ( reaction time, increase neural pathways between left and right hemispheres )· Sports training ( proprioception and balance, all sports require it! ) · Rehabilitation ( great for knee and ankle injuries)· Recreation ( Tricks and stunts, see the tricks page)· A form of Meditation ( find that quiet place inside )· Balance Therapy ( see balance therapy page and links )· As a form of Yoga and Tai Chi ( moving meditation )· Highlining ( Our kits are not designed for this! but check it out on the videos )· Social gatherings ( its so funny watching your friends try for the first time! )And anything else you can think of, because it can be done anywhere there are two points to attach to, you are bound only by your imagination!
Why would you start slacklining? +
Apart from being totally addictive, extremely fun and unique, being balanced is our natural state. With today's lifestyle many of us are out of balance. Whether it be our physically, mentally or spiritually, balance is essential. LIFE IS ABOUT BALANCE! It is a feeling, and being able to recognise that feeling within yourself allows you to draw upon it when you need it. Having a sense of balance in your life is priceless, and you know that saying " like riding a bike " well that applies to slacklining too. Once you start to slackline you only ever get better, you never regress.So the benefits of balance are there for everyone to enjoy, and whether you play sport, surf, meditate, are an adrenaline junkie or just want to try something new, be a part of the slackline revolution. Its EVOLUTION IN MOTION!
What's the easiest way to start slacklining? +
To start slacklining, basically all that is needed is a length of webbing, two slings to attach to the anchors, and a tensioning system. You can get everything you need from our online shop and local climbing stores if you want to build your own, but we have spent years researching and working with manufacturers developing Slackline Kits to be the fastest and easiest way to start Slacklining. We have Kits to suit every body's needs and skill level.Check out our Slackline Kit online.
Do I always need Trees? +
Trees are not always necessary for anchors but they are the easiest and most available natural anchors."A" frames can make a suitable alternative to trees, you just need some heavy duty steel pegs to anchor the line into the ground. Extreme caution must be used if you plan on hammering anything into the ground as there may be power/water/gas lines underneath the ground.Climbing bolts can be used in concrete walls to set a permanent anchor point.When selecting an anchor point, we suggest that it would be able to hold a minimum of 1000kg (1T) of force.Trees are your safest option, as long as the tree you are using is at least 30cm in diameter and is alive and healthy and has a good root system. Get out into the park and enjoy them! And always use some protection for the trees, where the sling goes around. Carpet is the best / cheapest and easiest solution we have found! Before you ever consider using an existing structure check with the owner and the archicture/ engineers as many poles and posts on buildings are designed only to take vertical forces.
What is the best size webbing? +
Webbing that is 50mm wide is usually easier for beginners to set their foot correctly and has less sway compared to 35mm and 25mm lines. Traditionally slackines where 25mm nylon webbing, often tubular. They had a great feel but were hard to learn on and required much more time to set up. Gibbon's revolutionised slacklining by introducing a 50mm slackline that did not require as much balance. Elephant Slacklines enhanced the weave of their webbing to have even more spring, bounce and flow. However as your slacklining improves you will no doubt be drawn to the more challenging 35mm and 25mm lengths. Top trickliners have also started using 35mm wide webbing to replace the official 50mm wide tricklining webbbing, as it gives them greater flow on the line and a heightened sense of balance.