All day slackline event

14 12 2010

Mike on his 500ft send

Pulling the line tight

This all day slackline event started out at 8:00am, which I would have to say was kind of chilly.  The plan was for me to arrive earlier than the rest of the group in order to pace out some distances between trees to find the right spot for a 500ft slackline. Though a 500ft slackline is extremely  hard to walk, it seems that finding, setting up and not getting kicked out before one can walk is just as hard.  After pacing out a few spots, Mike Payton and Jeremy arrived by 9:30am with gear in car. Discussing the different locations on where to set up we quickly decided on a spot that was less obscure than the other choices. Next pulling out all the gear and deciding on what and what not to take took a bit because Mike had a lot of gear,  some of which was new to me.  As we carried the gear more people started to show up to help rig.  The setup that Mike had was pretty smooth, the line grip made things a lot easier when pulling this 500fter tight and the line was up in about 45 minutes. After it was ready to be walked there was a common tension in the air amongst the group, in that we all knew it was just a matter of time before we got kicked out.  As I went to get some gear from the car,  which was on the other side of the park I looked back and couldn’t help but notice the bright shiny webbing flapping lightly in the breeze. If you were at the park you would defiantly notice the line.
Mike  was up first,  while the others in the group started a small game of hacky sack while waiting for their turn on the line. Mike was walking smoothy on the line, passing the 1/4 mark then the half and then in the blink of an eye, he was off the line. Mike Payton one of the worlds best slacklininers has walked lines well over 500ft, it usually just takes some warming up before a send. I was up next, and man it felt like the first time slacklining, it was an awesome experience to be in that frame of mind again.  Gathering all my thoughts and gaining some focus, putting one foot in front of the other I made it to the middle of the line and before I knew it I was off line. Mike, Jeremy,  Will and myself tried it a few more times, and then Mike on his fourth try sent the line. Congrats on the send! Then of course a ranger arrived shortly after, and so de-rigging of this colossal line began.  I was definitely content with my attempts though I did not send, it was a great time to be hanging out with slackers who truly love the sport.  With all of the gear packed up and the day far from over, we packed up the vehicles to go down the road to another spot that I had checked out a week earlier.  The next line that we set up was 130ft long stretched across the Platte River from side to side. It had to be set up 10 ft off the ground to avoid the river and the shrubbery that was growing everywhere. The material we used was type 18 webbing.  Pulling the line tight was a chore. Then not thinking about the stretch in the line meant we had to do it twice.  I guess you can’t get it right all the time. When you don’t you must laugh at yourself, redo it and move on.  You should never be in a hurry to complete any slackline set up.  Mike, Jeremy, Said, and myself sent the line back to back. The fifth member of the group Dave gave some valiant attempts, but did not make it.  After slacklining on the line for an hour,  we all agreed to take it down in order to set up one more line before dark. The next spot where we set up was a line I have been wanting to set up for a while now.  The spot was a section of the lake that had two perfect trees on each side to set the slackline on. The only problem was that it was about 200ft across and could not be thrown,  it had to be walked across.  The only way to do that was to walk it across a marshy section at the end of the lake, and yup I was the designated person in charge of that task. Gross is about the only word I could come up with,  the ground wasn’t as stable as I though and my leg went right through the mud. Handing it off to Mike on the other side, we managed to keep the line dry. In tightening this line, again we misjudged the distance and had to redo it. Just as the sun was setting, we finished pulling the line tight and it was ready to be walked.

Mike went first, with a smooth first accent, and then I went second. The line felt great, the only thing  that was messing with my thoughts was how clear the water was with its reflection but walking nice and slow I made it to the other side. Next up was Said, with this being his longest walk on a slackline, he seemed super stoked to get on and try his skills on the line. The crazy thing is usually for your first time walking a 200ft line when the longest one you have sent was about an hour ago at 130ft long, is pretty intense to say the least, let alone walking it over water. Said got on the line and we were all quiet watching his every step. For those of you who slackline, it always looks like one is off balance and could fall at any moment, but the fact is is that under those quirky balancing positions that you find yourself in while slacklining, you are in control and quite relaxed. At this point Said had made it to the middle and things were looking pretty intense, in a split second he was off the line, but in a ninja like fashion caught the line before dunking himself in the not so clean water.Brushing it off, Said got back up and started walking, and with one more line catch he sent the rest of the line. Great job! Jeremy was the last person to go. He made a clean ascent. It seemed that the lights in nature stayed on just for us. It didn’t get dark until the last person had finally made it across. The awesome part was that no one got wet! We dismantled the line in no time at all, and even came up with a way to get the line across the lake with out getting it wet, but more importantly nobody had to walk through the marsh again.  At this point and time I would like to tell you that we packed it up and went our separate ways, but like most slackline addicts such as ourselves, we managed to set up two slacklines near the car.  One a trad slackline and the other a sport.  After another 45 minutes went by we were all ready to finally call it a day.
A Slackline Visions Story
Written by Josh Beaudoin


Slacker Sundays

4 12 2010

So to all those slackers who live in the vicinity or close by in Boulder, CO should come on down to slacker Sundays at the Spot bouldering gym and slackline. The fee will be $5.00 to slackline. Yoga, Sport and traditional slacklining will be on the list. Come and join the Spot and Slackline Visions for an evening of fun, and new people to meet. Get a taste of whats to come at Slacker Sundays in the short promotional video by Adam Broadbent.

Slacker Sundays Promo from Adam Broadbent on Vimeo.