Elk Creek Highline Fun

Recently watched some friends highline in a nearby canyon. Highline is another level of Slackline that gets people excited! I have yet to try out highline, but would like to some day. So far I’ve only tagged along to help setup or just watch others do it. I am intrigued by it because I see it as low impact and therefore fewer (although perhaps not less severe) injuries.

Here is a link to some video from the highline session.

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Slackline Competition – Frederick, Colorado

Today we spent a few hours at the 2nd birthday party for Echo Brewing in Frederick, Colorado. Part of the celebration was a Slackline Competition featuring many great Slackers: Alex Mason, Zack Andrews, Marcus Nelson, Wes Duckworth, Martín Hernandez, Mickey Wilson, Justin Wagers, to name a few.

Below is my video featuring some of them.

Chongo Mount

This past weekend, the kids over at Colorado School of Mines held a slackline festival. There were tons of slacklines set up, and people of all ages and skill levels participating in the fun! We were near this particular 150′ line, so I decided to practice my chongo mount. The video below shows one of my attempts. Although I did not walk far, I was mostly trying to mount the dang thing! Later in the day, I was able to walk 10 steps (at the opposite end of the line).

Denver Slackline Competition 2013

Today’s post includes a video below.

This past weekend Gibbon Slacklines held a Slackline competition at the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Expo in Denver, CO. Lots of people from the local Slackline scene were there, in addition to competitors from around the USA. We had the chance to watch the Semi-Finals today, and to meet some of the folks involved.

First off I met Frankie Najera, one the early influences on my Slacklining. I learned from Frankie’s beginner video featured in my beginning Slackline post. It was a pleasure to meet Frankie, and I thanked him for his influence and contributions to this wonderful sport.

The four competitors in the Semi-Finals were Mickey Wilson, Zack Andrews, Alex Mason, and Wes Duckworth. Mickey Wilson is a great Slackliner, and the second person to complete the infamous “Luke Skywalker” move, Zack Andrews has been doing Slackline for 6 months (same as me!) and he’s only 12 years old! Alex Mason is the current national champion, not bad for 16! and Wes Duckworth is a super Slacker from Fort Collins! Like everyone I have met so far in the Slackline community, these guys are top-notch and some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet!

Here’s a bit of video I shot at the Semi’s today. I was very impressed with all of them, and I think Zack Andrews is going to be at the top of the sport very soon. Enjoy!

New Fixed End Technique

I’ve come up with a technique for using a Rap Ring as a line locker. I am not sure if this is an original idea, but I thought of it on my own, and I don’t recall seeing this on any other Slackline pages. That doesn’t mean it is my idea, of course!

[EDIT: browsing Adam’s website a second time revealed his method for making the fixed-end anchor with one carabiner and two rap rings.]

Basically, my method is what I call a double line locker, or a double-bight line locker. Not sure how it should correctly be called. I came up with this method to save myself a carabiner when anchoring the “fixed” end of a primitive Slackline. I wanted to anchor a second line, and wondered if I had enough equipment to do so without buying more carabiners. The trick was to prevent tri-loading, without using a carabiner (see my post on eliminating tri-loading here). Below is a picture of the final rigged line with the new technique. Further down the page I describe how to create this anchor point.

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In the picture above, we see the yellow Slackline, and a purple anchor coming from around a tree. This solution uses two Rap Rings and one carabiner, whereas my previous posts and videos use two Rap Rings and two carabiners at the fixed end of the line. This is a somewhat significant cost savings – mostly because I buy the $11 carabiners, while Rap Rings are under $5. The purple anchor line is wrapped around the tree/tree-protection. There are no other carabiners or equipment. Only the requisite water knot.

The method.

[Edit: after reading this post, you may be interested in a similar method that eliminates the water knot in the anchor.]

The next few pictures show the steps to assemble the Rap Ring to the anchor once the anchor has been passed around the tree (or other stationary object).

Start with an anchor.

IMG_2358Wrap the anchor around a tree. I haven’t done so below, but if you can imagine a tree being between the two ends, that will suffice.

IMG_2359Now bring the two ends together…

IMG_2361…and place one inside the other. It doesn’t matter which one ends up on the inside, but keep the line from twisting when the two are combined.

IMG_2362Now, we basically have a bight. Of course this is really two bights, one inside the other, but the principle works the same now as when installing a line locker in the usual fashion. Slip the ends through a Rap Ring.

IMG_2363And pass them around…IMG_2364…and back through the Rap Ring.

IMG_2366At this point, insert a carabiner through the center of the whole thing, just as is done for a regular line locker.

IMG_2367In the picture below, we see the blue anchor, the double-wrap line locker, the carabiner, and the Slackline (represented here in purple).

IMG_2369Here is the picture of the actual setup in use at a park (again).

IMG_2355One thing I have figured out is that as the line wraps around the tree, it is vertical. Once it comes to the dual-bight line locker, it needs to go back to horizontal (because we want the Slackline to be horizontal). I have noticed the line stays very flat, and the one-quarter turn twist resulting from the mismatch in horizontal and vertical is not a big deal. You can reduce it by carefully determining the best way to route the anchor pieces before sending them into the Rap Ring. If you eliminate all twists, the line will lay quite flat when everything is tightened.

I’ve used this setup successfully on my 50′ primitive line.

Another place I’ve found this useful is on my wife’s 50′ line that has loops sewn at the ends. On her line, we use a slip-knot around a tree. This makes it quite difficult to get the Slackline flat because of the way the slip knot works. I’ve been using an anchor at the fixed end instead of the slip-knot setup. This helps keep her line very flat.

Here is a picture:

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Have you seen or used this setup before?

What are your thoughts on it?

Loving this sport!

Its been a while since I last posted, and that is mainly due to a vacation we took. We visited Jasper, Alberta and had a wonderful time! We met a guy in Banff who had a Slackline set up, and he let us have a go for a few minutes. Nice to try another line for a change!

Upon returning home, we continued to set up in our backyard, as well as in a local park in the City of Golden (where Slackline is specifically allowed, YAY).

We’ve also been teaching more people to do this great sport! The best learners are 13 or 14 year old kids, but we’ve also been teaching 20, 30, and 40 yr olds. Most people love it!

Here are a couple pictures of our students. Both of these guys learned to walk the line in about an hour and a half. They were driven to learn, and one of them went out and purchased a line the next day!

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IMG_2296One of our recent sessions was after a torrential rainstorm occurred the day before. Needless to say, the line got caked with mud from our feet. Today, I decided to wash the line. I threw it in the sink added some soap, and filled her up with hot water for a good long soaking.

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After rinsing off the line, I took it outside and laid it on the lawn to dry in the sun. Its a nice 83 degree day here, and Colorado is dry enough that we can get away with this.

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We plan to slack more on Friday, and maybe even video some new (basic) tricks we’ve been learning. What about you? Are you a Slacker yet? Well, what are you waiting for?!?