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Published on June 2nd, 2016 | by anatol

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Slackline Industries: Line Up!

You know these old movies, pictures and stories about people walking over a steel rope? They might be cause for a few yawns (ignore the current movie “The Walk”), but  out of this old-fashioned activity evolved a trendy new ‘sport’, invented by free climber at Yosemite National Park in the 1980s. The new rope is wider, made out of plastic and is loosely spanned between two poles or trees. These little changes gave people increased access to the sport, making it a bit easier, less painful, and allowing some fun tricks thanks the bounciness.

The community of this new-fangled slacklining is impressively large, especially as athletes from many other sports have caught onto how it can help build your balance (helpful for everything from rock climbing to horse riding, skiing, snowboarding and of course martial arts). The audience continues to grow, and even some physiotherapists now recommend it to help heal ligamental strain injuries. Set one up and you’ll see: slacklines have a magical attraction. Lots of people will stop, watch and ask if they can try it. Maybe it is because your first steps on a line look pretty stupid and even after some practice it still look a bit silly, so every spectator thinks “it can’t be that difficult! Let me try!”

And once you’ve stepped foot on a slackline, it can be hard to stop- because who wants to leave without a little success? In bigger US cities, like here in NYC, it is kind of difficult to set up a slack line in a public park. Police and park rangers are not familiar with this new sport tool and are afraid that trees will get damaged. There are special tree protectors, but unfortunately you’ll probably still face issues if you try to practice in Central Park or most other public parks. The solution is to move indoors, and the current movement is to bring them into a natural setting- climbing and boulder halls. Just recently the Brooklyn Boulders at Queensbridge (NY) added two Fitness Stands to their gym sponsored by Slackline Industries.

They even had some professionals in, like Josh Greenwood, who taught a workshop earlier this year. Yes, there is even a competitive series of events, championships, and prize money! More recently, we got a chance to get introduced to the sport by professional athletes Heather Larsen and Josh Beaudoin with amazing slackline action on a 1000 foot long slackline. You might not be abble to get to Brooklyn Boulders, but Slackline Industries can provide the gear for your setup, no matter how large or small, offering a wide range of slacklines and accessories (and plenty of cool videos and information on events).

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