“Slacklining means balancing on a piece of webbing stretched between two points. The term “Slackline” refers to its most characteristic feature: when mounting the line it will give under your weight causing a certain sag and make balancing a very dynamic activity.” https://www.slackline-tools.com/know-how/history/
Slacklining is a playful way to reestablish a dialogue between our mind, body and nature. We know that being balanced can yield multiple benefits.
However, it is important to note that the concept of balance is subject to cultural difference. In the ancient Greece and Rome, the idea was expressed through balancing acts on thin ropes, which also included elegant dance movements and satiric routines. The acrobatics performed on ropes were a central attraction in festivals and shows in the middle-ages. During the 19th Century, rope artists such as Blondin and Farini became world famous for their agility on the high wire. In Korea, the Jultagi, a form of story-telling by rope acrobats, has been included in the protected cultural heritage.
Slacklining, Philippe Petit and the World Trade Center
It was an early hour of the 7th August 1974, Philippe Petit had tied a rope between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York. He amazed the people by balacning for an hour above the awakening city. Later, he was arrested by the police because of his unauthorized action.
To the world then – it was fascinating, unusual and awe inspiring. This balancing act on a rope seems to go beyond the limits of what seems realistically possible. But it has proved that great determination, dedication, and courage can make anything possible.
Adam Grosowsky and Jeff Ellington helped evolutionize the equipment, previously made out of hemp, the line develop to polyamide-webbing that is a lot more dynamic, light and comfortable to use for walking and lends more playful spring to performing tricks. This dynamic webbing system was recognized as a totally new era for balance movement. http://www.landcruising-slacklines.com/en/knowledge/history
Technique to Walk for beginners
Here are few essential tips that you should follow while slacklining
- Only use a professionally designed slackline rig, if you put tension through a material belt & one side comes undone, serious harm can be caused. Safety first, always.
- Start with the slackline being rigged close to the ground, be wary of the tension within the slackline as it has the ability to spring you off.
- Don’t watch your feet or the webbing. Try to focus on something that is at your eye level and near the end of the webbing. Let your sense of balance guide you where to put your feet. In case you are going to watch the ground make sure to look well in front of you.
- Before you begin with slacklining, calm yourself by shaking-out your shoulders, arms, and legs.
- Avoid locking your knees. Keep them partially bent with your arms out. Keep your head up and lean your torso back a little while taking steps.
Benefits of walking on slacklines:
- Full body workout- Balancing on the rope needs the overall use of your body. You have to engage all your muscles and focus on preventing yourself from falling off the slackline. The active balancing strengthens your core over the time. Contracting the core ensures focus and proper balance because the body is required to limit excess movements.
- Improves balance- Balance is essential in all aspects of life. Slackline is a flexible and elastic rope that takes an extreme amount of balance and coordination to keep yourself upon, improving your balance.
- Promotes Focus – Slacklining can be described as a moving meditation, whereby your focus can not be divided.
Slacklining was first established as a training exercise to gain balance and improve co-ordination, and most probably included a large amount of playfulness and focus. Researchers considered this act to help redefine psychological barriers and can create a feeling of freedom in individuals. We at Southern ENT encourage you to gain a greater sense of freedom, balance & playfulness – try new things & discover new activities. If you are interested in Slacklining, there is a South African Facebook group that you can join.
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