Slacklining and Bicycling?

29 08 2011

 

Peak Region Cyclist Bicycle Festival

Slackline Visions was invited to help out with the Peak Region Cyclist Bicycle Festival. Now some people out there could probably wonder what slacklining would have to do with a bike event, and the answer is pretty simple. Bicycling  is a sport that not only uses endurance and stamina, it uses a lot of core strength and focus to ride. Slacklining would be a great cross-trainer to riding a bicycle, it is low tech and the concept so simple, but the benefits are enormous. So being at this event was an awesome opportunity to showcase the benefits slacklining has to offer to the athletes in the

Marcus jumping high on the slackline

race. At this event I had Marcus Nelson with me, an up and coming slackliner with ambitions of taking the sport of slacklining to a different level. Besides the awesome style he brings when he is on the line, he is taking a step in the direction of cultivating the sport from a different angle. Becoming an officer of the slacklining club at the School of Mines and volunteering his time at the events for Slackline Visions would suggest a pretty good start. Not to mention that standing in at 6 foot 5 inches tall, he captures crowds attention as he works the line with his unique slackline style at an event. We had a lot of interest in the sport from kids to adults, with many trying it themselves. It always feels good to be able to explain what slacklining is and what it can do for you and Marcus and I had plenty of people to work with. The event was held in Manitou Springs, Colorado at the local park. They had a humungous tent for the vendors to hide from the sun in and our luck was good because they gave us slackers a prime spot underneath. Slacklining in the shade all day allowed us to slack a little harder and longer at the event instead of being overwhelmed by the suns hotness. Along with most of the events in the area, comes UpaDowna, a non-profit promoting safe outdoor activities and if you’re old enough, great tasting beer to drink. Ether way they always bring positive energy and great beer with them to every event. We had a great time at the event and talked to a lot of people about the great sport of slacklining and we just might see some new slackers come of it. Slackline Visions would like to thank David, Scott, UpaDowna and Peak Region Cyclist members for making this event possible and helping increase the interest in slacklining.

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Back to School Workshops

26 08 2011

 

Yes, school is back in session and it seems the summer has come and gone so quickly. But I guess they say time flies when you’re having fun. And that is exactly the case for Slackline Visions and all the events that have taken place over the summer. Competitions, slackline installs, summer camps, presentations and slackline road trips have been part of the summer program at Slackline Visions. So it was great to kick off the fall season with the first of many school slackline workshops. Working closely with the Colorado Mountain Club and their school programs, Slackline Visions gets to teach slackline workshops as one of the activities, which basically means more slackers in the future. And I’m not talking about the lazy ones, I am talking about the ones that will possibly take the sport of slacklining to the next level of extreme safe fun. At the end of the day even if they don’t take up slacklining it is an opportunity to connect and enhance their natural abilities through strengthening the connection between the mind and body. On this particular day Mickey, the president of the Colorado School of Mines slacklining club had offered his help and volunteered for this slackline workshop. With three groups of 6th graders on a rotation of awesome activities, the day went pretty smooth. What a great group of students, every group that came through the workshop was engaged in the activity and seemed quite focused when it came to following instructions. There were many in each group that succeeded in walking the slackline. In this exercise there were six slacklines set up for them to try. The lines varied from short to long and very low to the ground to a little over knee height on some of them. The slacklines used were about half and half, half traditional one inch and half Gibbons two inch lines. The kids got to go back and forth between the lines in order to perfect their balance skills. One thing that impressed me about the group of kids was how team and safety oriented they all were. This concept is something that I talk about when teaching slackline workshops to kids and adults alike. The biggest lesson is that nothing is dangerous until you add the human element to the situation and how team work, ethics and responsibility are a must to ensure a long life of slacklining or any activity for that matter. The only thing that day that made the volunteer and staff sweat was not the problem of corralling the kids but the sun itself. With temperature’s 1 degree away from 100, it made for a hot day. Thankfully there were spots of shade to find when walking the slackline and the kids were encouraged to drink lots of water, which they did. With another school workshop just around the corner Slackline Visions looks forward to the opportunity of exposing this wonderful sport called slacklining.

Brought to you by Slackline Visions
Written by Josh Beaudoin





Short film – Finding Balance

24 08 2011

 

Just finished a new short film on Slacklining

Finding Balance is a short film about Slackline Visions, an organization that is dedicated to supporting and cultivating the slackline community through various types of media and events. Among other things on the film, you will see different styles and tricks from some of the best slackline athletes in the U.S.





Boulder REI — Slacklining for Balance and Conditioning

17 08 2011

Come and join Slackline Visions at REI in Boulder, Co, for a slackline presentation.

  • Date: 8/18/2011
  • Event Location: Boulder REI
  • Event Fee: Free
  • Slackline demo from 12:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Presentation at 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Directions to the Boulder REI

1789 28th St

Boulder, CO 80301   Phone: (303) 583-9970                                                                       

 

Description: Slacklining is an emerging sport that creates better balance, core strength, and flexibility. Originally comprised of one piece of webbing stretched between two points, the slackline acts as a narrow, bouncing trampoline popular for its cross-training ability. Josh Beaudoin, expert slackliner will give an introduction to the sport, focusing on how it can enhance your balance and conditioning in sports and every day life. Josh will showcase his impressive slackline skills with a demo during the day. Then will share a slide show and short film for the evening program and also cover technique, safety and responsibility.





Slackline Installs

9 08 2011

Caleb performing the splits on the slackline

 

Lately Slackline Visions has been down in the Colorado Springs area supporting outdoor events and installing slackline setups in local gyms. This particular story is about a new age gymnastics gym called Flip Town with new and great ideas about connecting the mind and body through balance. Slacklining will be just one of the new and innovative ideas that cultivates great balance skills. On the night of the install I had the support of Jess, Tyler, Elliot, Keagon and Caleb with me to install the welded anchor at Flip Town. Upon arriving at the gym the owner came out to greet us and to show us around while discussing the materials needed for the project. Once the store run was completed, the only thing left to do was to drill the holes in the concrete, place the anchors and set the expansion bolts. Thanks to Eliot, who did most of the drilling, the task was done in no time at all. After everything was completed we had to try it out for ourselves. Even though we knew the anchors were super burly and not going anywhere, it was nice to know that it worked perfectly! Seeing as how this is not the last trip to the Springs, it will be nice to know that there will be a few good choices of places to slackline.

Brought to you by Slackline Visions
Written by Josh Beaudoin





Rocky Grass Festival

1 08 2011

Steve Martin and "The Steep Canyon Rangers" performing at the Rocky Grass Festival 2011.

 

With the summer in full swing and the weather hot, the place to be is at one of many music festivals in Colorado. And if anybody knows how to throw a music festival it would be Planet Blue Grass. For the past couple of years Planet Blue Grass has invited Slackline Visions and the Colorado Mountain Club to come and help facilitate some of the youth programs. With around four thousand people in attendance at a venue situated at an old working ranch that sits next to the river and an all- star line up of bluegrass bands equals an amazing time! Slackline Visions definitely looks forward to performing at this event each year.
On Friday morning Dan and I packed the car full of slackline equipment and arrived around 10:00am at the festival to set up. Most people were just settling in their spots in front of the stage, while others gathered around the nearby creek in order to catch a break from the sun in the water. The kids section, where we usually set up next to the creek was filling up with kids. The activities for the kids not only included Slackline Visions and the Colorado Mountain Club but a musical petting zoo, a face painting section, hula hooping and the amazing Colin O’Brian who incorporated a musical performance for the kids. Once the slacklines were set up it was like it had a gravitational effect on the kids who flocked towards the lines. Between Slackline Visions and the CMC there was education on the youth enrichment programs, bracelet making, knot tying refreshers and two slacklines, a traditional one inch slackline and the other a two inch Gibbons line for the kids to find balance on. The location of our tent was in a perfect spot by the river, which made for a refreshing dip in the cool water to escape the heat. The actual number of kids we got to interact with is not known, but I made a count of the waivers that the parents had to sign on the afternoon of the second day and stopped at 150. On the morning of the third day Brian, a volunteer, had to make extra copies because we had run out. Which brings me to the next topic of volunteers, without them it could not be possible to manage so many kids. Not in any specific order the volunteers included Brian, Kristen, Dan, Anthony, Bernardo and two Joshua’s. Thank you so much for your help! The benefits of volunteering varies from being able to help cultivate the youth to enjoying the rich talent of bands that play on stage every day. Naming just a few artists at the Rocky Grass festival were David Grisman, Del McCoury Band and Sam Bush Blue Grass Band. The one that stood out the most in my mind for this years performance was the one and only “ Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers”. Yes, thats right folks I said Steve Martin, you know the Hollywood comedian who starred  in The Jerk, Three Amigos, and Cheaper by the Dozen, which is only a small list of movies that Mr. Martin has been in. An unlikely face that one might see at a bluegrass festival but I have to say that the combination of comedy and bluegrass was very captivating and entertaining. At one point the bass player literally opened up his bass guitar and pulled out a cold beer to give to Steve Martin to drink during an intermission in order to let the Steep Canyon Rangers play a few songs on their own. While Steve Martin played the banjo and amused the crowd with his comedy the rest of the band “The Steep Canyon Rangers” put on a stunning performance with their bluegrass instruments. Every night the show ended by 10:30pm, but It wasn’t like everyone went straight to bed. It was actually the beginning of the party. Walking around the intertwining campsites, one would find a different bluegrass band playing their own style of music every 25ft or so. It was amazing to hear so much talent from the very people that came to watch the festival, and it seems that you would not find this type of crowd anywhere else but at a blue- grass festival. By the third day as volunteers we were pretty exhausted but glad to be a part of the 39th Rocky Grass festival and cannot wait until next year to do it again! Slackline Visions would like to thank Planet Blue Grass for giving us the opportunity to teach slacklining (balance) to the kids. Slacklining is very much like playing an instrument, instead of playing your usual six string guitar, when slacklining we only play with one. We all had a great time and will see everyone next year or at the Folks Fest                                                               

Brought to you by Slackline Visions
Written by Josh Beaudoin