Slackline

Thursday 21st May 2020

After pushing the line out to 43ft last week I tried to reign myself in a bit and stuck at around the 35ft mark for most of this week. A little tumble early in the week reminded me how new this slackline thing still is, so I shortened the lines and pushed the height a touch more to between 5 & 6ft. 

Jumping off the slackline at 6ft is pretty comfy here, the forest floor has years and years of untouched debris that is incredibly soft and actually a little bouncy underfoot, making landings (mostly) pain free. We have to be mindful of the trees we choose here, as most of the ash trees are diseased, suffering from Ash Dieback, caused by a fungus called Hymenoscyphus Fraxineus. Black blotches and lesions appear on the outer bark of the affected trees, and along with their distinctive leaf pattern spotting them is fairly simple. Luckily there are many tall strong native pine and oak trunks for us to work with.

The clearing in the photo below looked so beautiful all week, we normally like rigging up in different locations across the forest but the position of the sun through the late afternoon in this clearing creates incredible patches of sunlight and shadows that dance all around us. It’s a really magical setting, perfect for completely uninterrupted meditative practice.

Saturday 16th May 2020

Amazing light in the forest as usual this afternoon, the intermittent clouds causing the sun to flicker through the woodland like a strobe. Started off on a 25ft line, then moved to a 38ft line in a partial clearing to catch the golden hour warmth. Everything felt good today, the spring forest vibes creating a blissful few hours.

Friday 15th May 2020

The first entry in this slackline post, intended as a place to keep track of all things slacklife related in our world. We’re lucky enough to call some of the most beautiful forests and woodland in North Wales our home, and slacklining in these amazing spaces enhances our understanding and deepens our connections with the natural world around us. It’s incredibly addictive…

This is only our second summer into this sport. We got our first slackline in mid 2019, getting to grips with the basics in snapshots of time amongst everything else we do. Every cloud has a silver lining as they say, and the strange times that the Coronavirus has brought to the world (at the time of writing) has meant we’ve had to stay local for the last couple of months. The reemergence of some much needed sunshine and spring bursting through the forests has meant we’ve practiced most days through the lockdown.

We ended last summer being just about comfortable crossing a 12ft line with the tension cranked up pretty high – think more tightrope than slackline! After watching numerous videos and noting people’s techniques we started out this year by stretching the line out further and reducing the tension from the off. This has without doubt helped us progress quicker, by a considerable amount.

Longest Slackline To Date

Earlier this week we rigged up a 43ft long line, the longest we’ve ever tried. It takes approximately 1 min 30 secs to cross successfully at the moment, and the meditative elements are now coming into play a lot more. The focus is moving from just staying level on the line to being much calmer, more absorbed in the flow and lost in the new perspectives of the surrounding woodland.

Slackline Gallery

A place for us to dump photos from slackline sessions.

Slackline Inspiration

Untethered was one of the first videos we watched repeatedly when we first discovered slacklining. This beautifully filmed short film features shot after shot of incredibly inspiring high lines, leading up to a world record attempt.

This is just sublime, not just the guy’s slacklining skills but the video concept, execution and setting. All incredible.

More fantastic footage and locations in Life On The Slackline, great documentary and we took a lot from the calm and mindful approach of the featured slackliners. Their attitude and motivation resonates with us and how we approach our outdoor lives.