The International Church of slacklife
Apr 17, 2018

Praise to the SlackGods

1 comment

Edited: Apr 17, 2018

It took me a while to get in to slacklining. The first few times I tried it, I couldn't stand on the line without it wobbling uncontrollably and I just resigned to the idea that slacklining just wasn't for me. Half way through my first year at university (back in 2015), I was talked in to joining the slacklining society and I actually started trying to learn to walk on a slackline. After about 3 months of trying and failing, I eventually managed to send a 10m park line.

That was it, I was hooked.

I immediately bought my own line to practice on over the summer, and when I started my second year of uni I could just about walk the whole 25m line. That year I was in the park 2 or 3 times a week, rain or shine. I was mostly practicing on my 25m elephant line, and dabbling with a bit of tricklining. After 6 months I bought my first longline, and after a bit a practice getting used to 1inch webbing, I was feeling pretty comfortable on that line.

The next summer was when I discovered SAG. I found a spot over a bowl in a park that allowed me to rig a 70m line with about 4m of sag. I could barely walk a quarter of it. I was determined to get a send on this line, so the next year at uni I pretty much only rigged rodeos/hand tension lines, to get used to walking saggy lines. When I sent this line the next summer, I had pretty mixed emotions about the whole thing. On the one hand I had achieved my goal and sent this line, but on the other hand I had been expecting a challenge and this line no longer gave that to me. I needed to find somewhere to rig with more sag. I needed to start highlining.

During my final year at uni, when I wasn't out training on loose lines, I was reading every slackline article online, and watching every slackline YouTube video. I was determined to learn to highline, so made it my goal to read as much as I could and learn as much as I could while I waited for the opportunity to go highlining with someone more experienced (never rig your first highline on your own!) In 2017, at the UK's NorthWestSlackFest, I met some highliners who invited me to join them next time they went for a session.

When I started highlining. I had found a challenge again! I sent a 28m midline on my second attempt, and I fell in love with slacklining all over again. I started midlining every week, and taking any opportunity to go highlining. I picked up the rigging side of things fairly quickly (no doubt due to the fact I had read every slackline rigging article I could find about 100 times!) and soon began passing this knowledge on to others.

10 months on from that, I'm still mid/highlining every week with no plans of stopping.

I love that feeling on a highline, the moment you stand up and take a step, and the fear falls away and I can just step, step, step, step. There's no worries (except when I wobble ;)) and I can fully immerse myself in the feeling of floating over the ground below, taking in the views from the middle of the line.

I love slacklining.

 

Apr 18, 2018

So much yes!! The thing I absolutely love about the slackline is how you can never truly be a master, and if you're feeling bored or stagnant in your practice, then it is a clear sign that you aren't challenging yourself. Go higher, go longer, put on a blindfold, try executing a trick. The possibilities to progress are literally limitless and it is so invigorating.

New Posts
  • I first slacked 5 or 6 years ago and thought it was really neat but never got into it, later I got into climbing and last summer I started using a 2inch classic line to train for my climbing. This summer a friend and I started slacking more and more eventually we hooked our 2 50 ft gibbon classic lines together to make a 100 ft line. that is where I discovered flow. Ever since i haven’t been able to stop now I have a 90m setup and THE STOKE IS SO FUCKING HIGH!!
  • I remember vividly the very first time I walked on a slackline in my back yard 5 years ago. It was the beginning of the most wonderfully fulfilling activity I have ever taken part in. Every step was a fight at first. I was pretty terrible for a long time until eventually the hours of practice finally started coming together after I bought a 100m 1 inch aero line. Before long I had outgrown it and now have progressed to a 240m Mantra mk4 line. The longer it gets I thought, the more intense it would feel and the more time I could get in the flow state. And it was more intense. Then when I began highlining the feeling of sending and floating only became more surreal than in the parks and meadows. There is really nothing more meaningful in the world to me beside my girlfriend than slacklining. There is something about being suspended above ground in such a delicate balance between floating and whipping harshly that gets me so gripped in an oddly subtle way. It's almost as if the heavens have been extended down to you, and there is nothing better in the entire world than that exact moment. The flow is when I feel the most alive. The most focused, in an intrinsic meditative sort of dance with the forces that be. It wakes me up inside. I feel my spirit being entertained and nourished. Like a little kid who plays his heart out, I am filled with joy after walking a line of any length, height, or tension. There are no words to make someone feel this way through explanation. You have to experience the flow to know what it means to be enlightened by the passion that exists within you. I believe that when you cultivate a moment where you send a 100m line after spending so many hours practicing, the satisfaction of that accomplishment is what really makes me so excited about slacklining. There's nothing like the reward of learning a new trick, setting a new PR or just getting out and letting yourself relax and get to know a new type of line length and tension. Getting in the flow is something I noticed is present during any of these progressive moments. Just being totally in the present, 110% focus/effort and not letting your preconceived limitations of mind or body or spirit, as Kim Weglin would say, get the upper hand on you. The flow is the way to break boundaries and kick some motherfucking ass. It is also the way I enlighten myself and feel zen. The flow gives me strength, clarity, peace, and happiness. As well as a myriad of other emotions. While some Buddhist monk out there spends eternity attempting to reach nirvana. I feel like jumping on a slackline may just be just as sublime of an experience. PS I would like to give a shout out to Kim for putting International Church of Slacklife into fruition. Thank you so much for this, it is so huge to have a way to share and see others share their testimonies on slacking. You're super rad and a great leader of the community of slackers we have!