The sport of slacklining is evolving, and one of the main drivers of the movement is right here in Louisville, CO. Slackline Industries is an industry leader in the sport, providing high quality equipment, accessories, and guidance, while promoting the sport to new levels. For those of you unfamiliar with the activity, “Slacklining refers to the act of walking or balancing along a suspended length of flat webbing that is tensioned between two anchors.” Note that there are several variations that alter the height and tension of the line, also referred to as “highlining” and “tricklining”. You’ll notice when watching the athletes perform, that they indeed use the ground as part of their performance, which can be as simple as grass, sand, or basic padding, or as complex as air bag systems. For most of us, simply balancing and maybe walking on a slackline would be challenging enough, trust me, I’ve tried it. But these athletes perform tricks and maneuvers that defy belief and truly must be seen to be believed. Check some of the action out for yourself.
Introducing Slackline Industries
Slackline Industries is taking the sport of slackining to new levels, making huge strides recently with the launch of a “new codification of judging criteria, the International Slackline Invitational (ISI) Rules and Regulations”. This has opened up the field of athletes, as many had previously been unable to compete due to travel limitations, etc. There is now a standard rating system for tricks, with bonus points awarded for combinations. The first official slaklining competition in the U.S. took place in 2011. In November of 2015, Slackline Industries proudly contributed to the first global online slacklining competition, made possible by the ISI, and the sport has never been the same. Competitors were able to post their slacklining skills online to be objectively judged based on the new ISI system, and this forever changed the sport.
I had the opportunity to speak with Jaime Pletcher, Marketing & Events Director at Slackline Industries/Canaima Outdoors. She described the interesting story about a young man from Chile, Abraham Hernandez, who took the slacklining world by storm at the global online event, and now is a Pro-Elite sponsored athlete competing for Slackline Industries all around the world. This is a perfect example of how the sport has changed since the introduction of the ISI.
Professional Slacklining Competitions Announced
Slackline Industries has announced a series of professional slackline competitions at the nation’s highest profile action and outdoor-sport events, such as the X Games Austin 2016, the Dominion Riverrock, and the GoPro Mountain Games. With the new standardized scoring system that enables athletes and audiences to easily understand competitions, judges evaluate athletes on difficulty, variety, amplitude and style of their tricks as well as ability to link multiple tricks together. The X Games in particular, set to occur in Austin, Texas in June, will feature professional slackliners from Japan, Germany, France, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Spain, Estonia, Portugal, and the U.S.
Colorado fans get a chance to check it all out as the series continues in Vail for the GoPro Mountain Games, June 9-12.