Students around campus are engaging in the unconventional sport of slacklining, incorporating both the skills of balance and technique in the test of endurance.
Slacklining can be described as a walk across a slackline, a two-inch strap of webbing crossed between a tightrope and a trampoline. The slackline is tied between two trees or posts.
Adam Goodwin, junior biomedical engineering major, said the sport involves a high level of concentration in order to keep one’s center of gravity.
“You redistribute your weight by moving your arms and your free leg about for balance, but the line is always moving beneath you so you are constantly changing your position,” Goodwin said.
Cameron Schaefer, junior electrical computer engineering major, said although anyone is capable of learning this sport, it takes commitment to learn the ropes. More advanced slackliners can also incorporate tricks into their routine, also called “tricklining.”
“The most challenging part of slacklining is getting over the fear,” Schaefer said. “It took me a couple years to get brave enough to try jumping, and only recently had I tried doing chest drops or flipping. A lot of the things you can do on the slackline aren’t that different from doing it on the ground or a trampoline.”
Schaefer said his favorite slacklining location is under the Huntington Beach Pier because the pillars give the slackline more bounce. Students’ preferred location to slackline on campus is near the sand volleyball and outdoor basketball courts.
“It is so simple in theory, yet is absolutely amazing in application,” Schaefer said. “It is simply a strap of webbing under extreme tension that makes a very unique and creative sport.”