- Posted June 12, 2014 by
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Photo essays: Your stories in pictures
Seattle Slacklining Group Balances Fitness & Fun
Unlike those young practitioners of aimlessness and apathy we label as slackers, a "slackliner" takes aim, and with purpose.
The slackliner balances while walking and doing tricks while airborne on a flat nylon cord anchored between two trees, or two other sturdy vertical objects, much like tightrope walkers. However, the slackline is less rigid and taut than a tightrope. You could say it cuts these acrobats more slack.
The Seattle Slacklining Group, pictured, meets weekly to practice and perform. You can visit the group's Facebook page. Some believe that the modern activity of slacklining originated with a couple of mountaineers in Washington State in the '70's.
In this group, the more expert slackliners teach the newbies how to avoid getting weak at the knees while using hip action to balance. They also share basic techniques like how to begin by balancing on one foot and, when falling, safely landing on two feet while flexing their knees.
Some prefer to walk the line in bare feet, while others wear shoes, an easier feat on the feet. The universal slacklining rule seems to be, "Keep your eyes fixed straight ahead and DON'T look down."
Story & Photos by Steve Shay in Seattle.