Mile High Youth Corps

27 09 2011

This event came about after I met Eliska, the programs manager of the Mile High Youth Corps, at the Rocky Grass festival. Since we are both into inspiring and cultivating the youth, we decided on having a slackline workshop for her students. We decided on two 1.5 hour workshops for the group of 30 students. For this event I choose Marcus Nelson, a very prominent young slackliner, with a unique style of his own to come and help with this workshop. For this workshop we set up six (6) GIBBON sport lines and three (3) traditional slacklines for the the students to choose from. We had every version of the GIBBONS line and two different versions of the traditional one inch set up. Marcus and I split each class into two different groups. Marcus working on their techniques and balance skills on the line and I worked with them on their stationary balance skills, breathing techniques and their range of focus with the other devices we bring to the slackline workshops. The spot that we chose to have the workshop at could not have been better, it seemed that someone had planted the trees in a certain way 20 years ago just for slacklining. The trees were all in a row about 30 to 40 ft apart and 15 ft to the sides, which made it a perfect distance to set up beginner and moderate slacklines. We did use tree protection at all the anchor points to insure the integrity of the slacklines while the students practiced their slackline skills on the line. Since this activity also served as a team building workshop, the students were instructed on how to partner up and spot their teammate in order to keep things safe. By the end of each session there were a few students who took several controlled steps, while most wanted to learn some break dancing moves on the line, as there were breakers in each class. By the time Marcus and I ended each session the students seemed excited about the idea to start their own after- school slackline session. So it looks like in the weeks to come, there will be another slackline club to add to the list of the already many clubs that are a part of Colorado schools. Slackline Visions would like to thank Eliska, the programs manager, for making this event possible, and we also thank the students at The Mile High Youth Corps for participating and engaging in this unique Slackline workshop.Brought to you by Slackline Visions Written by Josh Beaudoin





Mountain of the Sun

21 09 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slackline Visions was invited by Upadowna to be a part of the first of many years to come of the “ Mountain of the Sun Music Festival” which promotes good music, outdoor education/sustainability and of course good beer drinking provided by Upadowna. And for those looking for a break in the music, Slackline Visions was there for some extra entertainment as well as education in linking the mind and body through balance. Sarah, Marcus, Tyler, Eliot and myself were really excited about this new event in Woodland Park. If you are at all into music then you are going to want to be apart of this annual event called “Mountain of the Sun”. For being its first year, the turnout was great. The people attending enjoyed themselves by drinking good beer, dancing to the music and taking in the beautiful wooded landscape that surrounded the venue. Along with the property came a stunning view of Pikes Peak that dominates the skyline at 14,110 ft high. The Festival started at 10:00am and went till 9:00pm. As for Slackline Visions we were there all day, eventually taking down in the dark. Since we didn’t bring the A-frames we set two lines up on the rather large aspen trees that were right next to the stage. One line was a little over 50ft long and the other was about 10ft long and less than a foot off of the ground, which the kids at the festival went crazy for. After realizing we had the best seats in the house, we were shocked to hear they provided good food throughout the day for all of the volunteers at the festival. While we were there we had run into a lot of college students who said that they have big groups of people slacklining all the time on campus, so it was nice to see others being able to walk the line with their own style of slacklining. Slackline Visions would like to thank the Pikes Peak Community Foundation and Aspen Valley Ranch for inviting us to be a part of this wonderful event!    
Brought to you by Slackline Visions
Written by Josh Beaudoin





REI Slackline Demo

16 09 2011

 

 

 

 

 

A long day at REI with the sun blazing hot, Slackline Visions was invited to REI to give another slackline presentation in order to increase awareness of the sport of slacklining. At the REI demo, Michael Bross was with me. An up and coming slackliner who has come a long way since he started three years ago, Michael has a style all his own and is quite talented on both the traditional one inch and two inch Gibbons slacklines. At the demo we had a one inch line set up, with one side attached to a brick pillar and the other side off an A-frame which definitely did the job.The line that we used was called slackstar, which is a flat one inch piece of webbing with a low stretch that is made in Europe. The webbing was designed for tricklining, jumping, spinning and flips. Since we had an A-frame on one side with the anchor being the tire of the car we had to turn the notch down a bit when it came to the big surfs, airs and flips. It did nothing to take away from the demo though because there are so many different aspects and styles to slacklining that people like to see, so we stuck to the static and yoga tricks. It is always important to evaluate your slackline set up and know the limits of your system and slackline safe.  Switching back and forth between myself and and Michael definitely caught the eyes of the customers going in and out of REI. We had information flyers to hand out to the people curious about the sport of slackline and a megaphone in order to get the peoples’ attention off in the distant parking lot. It was a great day to be out promoting this great sport of balance and by the end of the session I think we influenced a handful more people to the slacklining community.
Brought to you by Slackline Visions
Written by Josh Beaudoin

 





Cold water slacklining

14 09 2011

 

 

 

Slackline Visions and crew has spent a lot of time and have done several events down in the Colorado Springs area this past summer. There are many unique places to set up slacklines in the Springs and Emerald Valley Ranch is one of them. With the owners of the ranch being family friends we had permission to set up over their land. The ranch is located in a basin surrounded by mountains on all sides which is all National Forest land. So on this particular day we had the entire place to ourselves. Along on the trip was Quinn, Scott, Jess, Heather, Tyler, Jess, Eliot, Kegon and myself. One could not have picked a better group of slackers to spend the day with. The day started around 10:00am which gave us plenty of time to set up the lines that we had in mind. The first line of the day was over a large pond, at about 100 ft long. With the line being only 4 ft over the water, it did not leave room for any line catches, so in other words if you fell you’re going in the extremely cold water and would have to swim back to shore. It was a beautiful day

outside with the sun shinning bright and small clusters of clouds here and there, which made it nice for those that fell in. The other lines included a 30ft line over a smaller pond, a threaded one inch trick line over grass and a Gibbons surf line that stretched 50ft over the driveway. Needless to say there were plenty of lines to try that offered different styles of slacklining. Throughout the day there were quite a few attempts at the loose longline over the water with many falls. When walking a slackline over water it changes everything, especially over cold water. People don’t realize how much energy is taken out of you when you fall in cold water, there are only so many times one could fall in before he or she is literally exhausted by the cold. Quinn was the boldest on the long water line, while performing his butt and chest bounce combos. I played it safe and only walked back and forth due to my distaste for cold water, but have to say that walking over cold water is the safest motivator for staying on the line. Eliot made some valiant attempts at crossing the line but ended up in the water after each attempt. Scott had made it half way a couple of times but fell in as well. With the sport of slacklining there are good days and there are off days, though some would say that the point of slacklining is about getting to the other side, to me it is more about cultivating your patience with each attempt and increasing your range of focus every time you slackline. Eventually you will get to the other side, but more importantly slacklining is about discovering ones inner self and good company. At around 5:00pm, as a group we were exhausted and ready to get some much needed food, so we packed up the lines and headed out.
Brought to you by Slackline Visions
Written by Josh Beaudoin

 

 





Summer Camp

1 09 2011

 

 

So far the summer has been packed with slacklining and lots of cool events. One such event took place down near Alamosa for Camp Venture. It was actually right below Chimney Rock, so all you movie buffs out there would know it is the location where the scene in which John Wayne comes riding out with guns a’ blazin near the end of the movie “True Grit” Needless to say it was quite beautiful. The entire camp consisted of 30 kids split up into clans. The clans or groups made it quite manageable to teach the kids the different activities that were at camp. Of course Slackline Visions main goal was to teach balance through slacklining but I had many opportunities to facilitate other activities as well. Seeing how the camp was a little over 5 hours away I was quite anxious to stop driving and teach slacklining. Upon arriving at the camp I met Zach who was responsible for putting everything together, so instead of the Godfather he was the “Camp-father “. He unlocked the gate and gave me a tour of the grounds, so I could figure out where to set up all the slacklines for the kids who were soon to arrive. After I had completed setting up the workshop I counted 8 lines for the kids to walk, 4 one inch traditional lines and 4 Gibbons two inch lines. When it was time to teach the slackline workshop the kids were engaged and having a good time. Not all of the workshops taught were at the camp, as some were instructed at different locations like at the river or the hot springs that were close by. For Slackline Visions, teaching in different environments was a great opportunity to teach leave no trace combined with slacklining, the importance of protecting the trees with wraps and learning about the best way to find a safe location at which to slackline. Poison ivy was a big topic , you would not want to set a line up over or around any patches of it. So we spent some time identifying different plants and discussed what to look for. By the time I left the camp there were kids even walking the line on their own. Another activity that was a hit was zip lining. During the camp Zack and I strung up some mini zip lines that everyone in camp enjoyed. The favorite set up was down in a meadow at the hot springs. Zach and I rigged up a 100 ft zip line that one could get quite a bit of speed going. At camp there wasn’t really down time because there was always something to be done like making food, cleaning up and entertaining the kids.While I was at the camp I met some really good people including the other camp counselors who I came to know quite well and will miss. I hope this is one event that Slackline Visions will see every year.

Brought to you by Slackline Visions
Written by Josh Beaudoin