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

 

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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





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.





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.