August 08, 2011

Progression Of Sport - Slacklining Competitions

I'm not gonna sit here and pretend I know a damn thing about slacklining cause that'd be the equivalent of me trying to teach you the fundamentals of Sepak Takraw (apparently you can kick each other in the nuts if you can jump high enough) However, this past weekend in Salt Lake City I was forced to do a double take as out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of trampoline style flying moves, that were being performed on a ONE INCH wide piece of nylon. Without question I sat my rump down and took it all in.

As it turned out I was watching the finals of the highest cash purse competition to date in the slacklining world, $2500 awarded over top three at the 1st Annual Gibbon Games. Two of the competitors I caught on film were an 80lb fourteen year old, and the 2010 World Champion. As you can see it was pretty crazy stuff, and any sport that features an "Atomic Butt-bounce" is pretty alright in my books.

From an outsiders perspective looking in, the first I'd ever really heard of slacklining was also in Utah, before the 2006 Primal Quest expedition race. Given that we were about to embark upon a 700km - 9 day (for us) race I didn't dare step up and try it out, and given my recent successes at cracking bones I'd say I made the right choice. A few of our friends did however give it a shot and the one thing burned into my memory was hearing this guy in the cowboy hat describe how it had taken him weeks of relentless efforts to figure out the basics, yet now (then) people were putting together the basics in under a day. Five years later almost to the month and I wonder if anyone could have envisioned the sport progressing this fast, this far, or more importantly in this specific direction? Pretty cool to see but now the question beckons, what's going to happen when the slacklining world begins to see cross over from the gymnastics world vs the now dominant climbing scene, AND is there any possible way that this sport is yet ready for spandex??

(Slacklining finding its roots in 2006)


1 comment:

Michael Owen said...

Thats insane. I bought a slackline a couple months ago and I am still lucky to walk across it let alone do flips!