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If you have never heard about slacklining then you are not alone, while it has some rabid fans slacklining is still relatively small and tight knit group. Today I want to help you understand what slacklining is and why you should look to pick it up as a hobby for your mental and physical health.
What Is Slacklining? Slacklining is a sport focused on balancing and walking on a soft, stretchy strap called webbing which is typically an inch or two wide. This line is suspended off the ground typically from 3 to 3,000 feet high and fixed to two anchoring points.
Now that you understand at a basic level what slacklining is lets dig into some of its history and how it has grown into its own solid sport. As with most sports the background is fuzzy with multiple stories on how it stared and why.
Where Did Slacklining Start?
This has been widely discussed and debated, much like any sport there is a great many people who claim to know the story behind the first slackliners. The most plausible origin though comes back to Yosemite National Park in the 1980's with rock climbers.
The basic premise of their story is that while they passed the time between ascent attempts the started to set and string lines with their climbing ropes between the trees and challenge themselves to make it across. This continued to escalate as people, not just climbers, started to push themselves higher and longer than ever before.
Slacklines are also an amazing balance training aid for people who are in competitive sports, as fitness equipment, or for physiotherapy. This activity also has a creative side, as it has a long tradition in public performance and as a tool for turning even public spaces into a fitness area.
Over the last ten or so years it is starting to gain traction in school sports, tourism, and as a recreational activity in peoples free time. This is in large part due to the minimal gear needed which comes down to a slackline set which includes a piece of webbing, two tree slings and the tensioning system.
Many people find out they prefer slacklining when they are looking to give themselves more physical and mental prowess. Similar to how many NFL players will take ballet as it helps them to improve their footwork, a slackline will give you stronger ligaments and a much increased balance.
I found out about slacklining a few years ago when I first started rock climbing more often as that is what people were doing when they would take breaks. This has led me to a point where I am trying to figure out how I can add one at my house, both for myself and for my daughter, since it is good to get outside.
I hope this helped you to gain a lot more of an understanding of what slacklining is at its core and why it is a cool and growing sport, even though not huge on the world stage yet.
I have loved to play outdoor games since I was a little kid, as I grew up I found more games and I also found out about alternate rules. I started Outdoor Diversions with Matt to help get this information out to everyone so they can enjoy these games as much as I do!