Anchor Basics Parts 2

Today’s entry includes video below.

This is the second entry in the series on slackline anchors. (click here for Part 1)

The Part 2 video below describes three types of anchor setups for the adjustment end of a slackline (the part where you tighten it).
Now, get out there and start slacking!!

Inspiration for this idea is taken from Adam’s “Strength of 3 men…” video on NWSlackline.

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Another Day on the Line

Set up the line around 5p today. Spent about an hour or so, maybe less. After 10 or 15 mins of warm-up, I was able to take 6 or 7 steps backwards. Later in the session I went back to practicing turn-arounds. I was able to turn around twice in a row without falling off the line so while there is a small amount of progress it would seem that we may have hit a bit of a slow-down in our advancements. My wife was able to get up to 3 steps forward, but not quite to the 4 she made last weekend. Slacklining is still a work-out, and still a lot of fun! The drive of championing the line keeps us going strong!!

We will keep at it, trying not to take many days off this coming week/week-end.

Keep on pushing!

Walking…backwards!

In addition to trying to learn to turn around on the line, my wife suggested that I learn to walk backwards. This is a great idea! Now I can take my time learning to turn around because, when I get to the end of the line, I can go back the other way without turning around.

Today we set up the slackline in the late afternoon. We both practiced for about one hour – taking turns on the line. At first, I was walking forward and trying to turn around, but then I started trying to walk backwards. The most I made it was four steps backwards. This is another wonderful thing to practice on the line. So far, there just doesn’t seem to be a limit to how much fun you can have on one of these lines!

My wife had taken the past two day off from slacklining, on account of a 10K she ran on Monday. Returning to the slackline today, she was disappointed that she could not remake her four step milestone from last weekend. We both had trouble getting used to the line this time, and we’re hoping that we soon get back to the skill level we had previously reached.

Next up, learning to walk backwards, and the second part of the anchor series. Rain in the forecast, so it may be a day or two. we shall see…

Progress Update

Today’s entry includes a video link below.

We spent about an hour or two with the slackline set up in the backyard on Friday afternoon. Then about another hour or so on Saturday. My wife was able to take four steps on Saturday! She is improving, although not as fast as she’d like. She took today (Sunday) off from slacking, to use the day to prepare for a 10K tomorrow.

I set up the line and walked this afternoon. This was the first time I set it up by myself. Usually, it takes two of us to pull the line tight enough so that I am not on the ground. This time, the line was as high as my inseam. I found the line to be a bit more loose, and took a bit to get used to it again.

After getting used to the line and walking a bit, I started trying to turn around on the line. I can now walk most of the line in one direction, so I figured it would be a good time to start learning to turn around. This video shows various methods of turning. I use a version of Adam’s shown first in the video. I step backwards and spin as I shift my weight to my back foot.

It’s been two weeks since Mother’s Day, and I am now learning to turn around. I was able to do it successfully, although not very pretty, about 3 or 4 times. It takes some chance, and some getting used to the art of spinning your weight around without losing balance, but this is yet another milestone in my trek to be proficient. I hope you folks see this as encouragement.

Slackline Anchor Basics

Today’s entry includes a video below.

Today, I decided to add a video about Slackline setup. This is part one in a two part series on anchors. We discuss the anchor at the fixed end of the line (the end without the pulleys/tightening system).

Here is the short (2 min) video:

More Info:

Want to learn more about making anchor slings and water knots? Click here.

Want to learn more about Rap Rings? Click here.

Want to learn how to setup a basic primitive Slackline? Click here.

(again, thanks to Adam over at NWSlackline for these great instructional articles)

Walk the Line

Today’s entry includes a video below.

After a couple rest days, we tackled the line wholeheartedly today. We set up the line, and started getting back into the sport. At first, it seemed we had gone backwards in terms of our ability. The line was shaky, and legs were weak. But we were persistent, and spent about one hour taking turns on the line. My wife made real progress today, as she got to take her first step (twice!). As for me, I pushed and pushed, and finally was able to walk most of the length of our 33 foot line. Ahh, determination. It took me about a minute and a half to make the complete trek, but I’ve compressed it down into a 23 second video (see below)

Today marks the 14th day that I have been practicing to walk a Slackline. I hope this provides some encouragement to those who are considering this sport. It is great exercise, and the learning curve doesn’t seem to be as long as one might expect (certainly not as long as I would have thought!). Get to it!!

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Tough Day

Yesterday was a rest day. A rest from Slackline activities. I did ride my bike about 15 miles, and noticed that my legs were more wobbly than usual after the ride. Today we set up the line in the late afternoon, and it seemed we were both having a bit more difficulty than we recalled from Sunday. Tomorrow will be another rest day on account of some previous engagements, so we’ll be back at it on Thursday. Nothing much else to report today.

Baby Steps

Today’s entry includes a video below.

The purpose of this post is to document the progress anyone can make in just one week (ok, 9 days). In my searches on the ‘net, I couldn’t find much description about how long it takes to learn, nor how much time people had spent before they posted a video. I hope this post encourages people to give Slacklining a try. There is no magic to it, and anyone can learn to do it. Like riding a bike!

Today was a rest day. We spent a lot of time on the line this past Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, I had the pleasure of taking my first step on a Slackline. It wasn’t pretty, but I counted it. Below is a short (1 min) video of this milestone!

On Sunday, things got even better. My wife and I set up the Slackline around noon, and spent the day taking turns on the line. We probably spent an hour or more each on the line. Our feet were plenty sore but, by the end of the afternoon, I was able to take four steps! My wife is gaining skills nealry as fast. She practiced standing on the line in the middle (which is much harder than going closer to the fixed end of the line). She’ll be walking by tomorrow I am sure!

If you are considering trying this sport, check out your local parks and/or a nearby college. There are lots of folks doing it, and most Slackers are willing to let you have a go. They are friendly folks! Maybe someday you’ll see me in a park…

Here is the video:

One Week On

It has been one week since we first stepped on the slackline! We took a rest day in there, and tomorrow will be our second rest day. We are learning to do this sport with bare feet and it takes a while for the bottoms of the feet to get used to the line. Our total time on the line is perhaps one hour, about 10 or 15 minutes per day. As for progress, we are to the point of standing on the line for 10 seconds or so! A helpful piece of advice is to keep the hands above the shoulders. One lady said ‘…once your hand goes below your shoulder – you are going to fall off the line.’ She is right! At this stage, it is very difficult to recover from a hand going down to your waist. We keep practicing, and I’m hoping to be able to take a step this weekend. Fingers (and toes) Crossed!

In other news, we’ve relocated the line over a grassy area in the backyard (our feet thanked us!), and I have modified the setup to include a poor-man’s pulley for increasing the tension in the line. This meant adding two more carabiners (for a total of eight), but I feel it is worth the extra money. Here is another method of adding this ability.

My solution is shown below (Click image for larger version).

MyPulleySystemEarlier, I added one carabiner and a rap ring to each of the anchor slings. I was a bit worried about tri-loading the anchor carabiners. Paranoia may drive that decision, but our trees are quite large (> 12″ diameter) and the anchors were definitely pulling on the ‘biners non-axially.

So, we are up to 8 carabiners and four rap rings total in the system. This is four more ‘biners and two more rap rings than in a basic primitive system, but on the plus side I sleep better and have more cool gear to play with! And, although it looks complicated, I can leave most of it connected, making the next set-up quick and easy.

The “pulley ‘biner” at the tree is partially tri-loaded, but only during the tensioning process. Which means this carabiner is not tri-loaded when a person stands, walks, or bounces, on the line. I’m OK with that.

Mother’s Day

Yesterday was a rest day – my feet needed a break from the line, but this past weekend was Mother’s Day in the USA, my wife and I had the family over for a celebratory BBQ. I figured I would set up the slackline and show my siblings what it was all about. At first I thought I would set it up, then tear it down before the meal, but it turned out the line stayed up all day! After showing them how to get up, and use another person as a crutch, they took over and spent as much time on the line as possible. They loved it, and it was great for me to see other people gain similar enthusiasm for Slackline. Everyone laughed and joked as people tried their hand (or foot) at standing on the line. Fun was had by all, and most of them saw it as a challenge and wanted badly to be able to stand.

As I was practicing today, two days later, I noticed that my legs have begun to compensate for side-to-side movement of the line. Whereas on the first two or three days the line would oscillate left-to-right, eventually throwing me off, today it was clear that my legs were correcting the left-to-right movement, making it easier to remain on the line. I still fell off, but not as quickly. This is an important milestone, and definitely a sign that things are improving (and rather quickly, I might add). After only 30 to 45 mins of practice (at 15 mins per day) I can already see signs of progress. Granted, I am still only able to stand on the line for 1 second or so, but this is a big improvement over the first couple days when I might last zero to one-half second on the line!