As a follow-up to my ‘let the season begin’ post, here is a video of my first try on a 50′ line for the 2014 season.
50/50: My first 50 foot line as a 50 year old! Plus, I figure I’ve retained about half of my ability after taking the winter off from serious slacklining.
The two videos below try to show the difference between my abilities toward the end of last season and what I’ve got left after taking the winter off. One thing to note, I only made it to the halfway point yesterday. True, the line from 2014 is more slack (difficult) than the line from 2013. In any case, I hope you are getting out there starting this Spring!
Today I have a couple pics of some anchors I made at home. I was able to procure some 6″x6″x0.25″ plates of 6061-T651 aluminum. I cut these down into 2″ strips, laid out some hole patterns, and drilled/milled the stuff until I was left with two pieces for each anchor.
A trip to the hardware store, and I put these together using shoulder bolts, spacers, and nuts. I still need to add some sort of strap to them for connection to the tree, my plan is to sew some dog-bone style straps to one end of the anchor.
Each anchor replaces a rap ring and a carabiner, and the eventual goal is to use this type of anchor on a longer line (> 100′).
So far, I’ve made three of these, and they work great for the 50′ lines I usually set up. I don’t have a method for testing their break-strength, but calculations show they are fairly heavy duty. Here are a couple photos:
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.