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Slackline Trickline

All beginnings are hard. Once you can stand up and walk confidently on a slackline you might ask: What comes next? Welcome to tricklining. All tricks demand high concentration and good judgement of your skill-level, to keep control and prevent accidents. As you play with the line you need to be aware that there high chance that it will kick you off because a trick-line is usually under high tension.

trick-artic1Basically you can accomplish every trick on any trickline. It depends only on the skills, preferences and habits of the slackliner. Depending on the material of the line (stretch and foot grip), the tension, the tightening system and set-up, a slackline behaves very differently, so these factors influence the way the line responds to your walking or jumping on it. Sometimes the line is temperamental, other times it is more stable. Sometimes it forgives you a lapse of concentration, sometimes it takes a tribute. High and long jumps or great amplitudes when surfing, optimal trick performance requires an individual adjustment of the line according to personal criteria.

There are two kinds of material used for tricklines - dynamic and static. The difference is caused by the elasticity of the material. Dynamic material (polyamide, commonly tubular webbing) is more elastic. It feels like a fresh soft chewing gum when you walk on it and, in general, it is harder to control. This material is well-adapted to wide, harmonic amplitudes while surfing. Static material (polyester, commonly belt webbing), is far less elastic feels like used hard chewing gum. The line reacts harder and more direct. This is very convenient for precise jumping and landing. Tricklines have a length between 10-15 meters. You can also create a line which is loose enough to surf (in the middle) and tight enough to jump on (at the ends).

The tension of the line is essential for tricklines. In general most tricks become more easy with increasing tension because the slackline doesn´t tend to swing so much and is more controllable. Tension is especially important for jumps because high tension is necessary for bouncing. High tension provides the opportunity for long 'flight' phases in your jumps and, with that, time for rotations and twists, and other moves. High tension increases the hardness of the line and makes the edges sharper. This increases the risk of abrasions, bruises, and being whipped by the line if you fall off.


Meanwhile you see more and more people doing back flips and twists. These can be quite dangerous. Surfing, jumping and bouncing are classic tricks. They look simple but you shouldn´t underestimate them - they are not easy. Bouncing and jumping are different. With bouncing the line moves up and down and your feet stay on the line. With jumping your feet leave the line. Surfing is a sideways, swinging movement which reminds you of a surf ride.

Slackliners have developed normal tricks into impressive manoeuvres and routines over the last few years. You can broadly differentiate between two kinds of tricks - dynamic tricks and static tricks. Static tricks range from standing figures up to slow movements, comparable to the elements of Yoga or Tai Chi. Dynamic tricks are characterized by quick twists and jumps, comparable to gymnastic moves on the high bar or the trampoline. Note that some dare-devil acrobatic moves are not as hard to perform as less impressive static tricks. A lot of static tricks are harder to accomplish than they seem.

There is no clear line between dynamic tricks and static tricks. Many moves such as jumping out of poses or having two slackliners together on a line combine both static and dynamic aspects of tricklining. Just do what you want and don't worry about the definitions.The stylish stringing together of different tricks is called combos. The appeal lies in combining the single elements elegantly and fluently like a freestyle event in gymnastics.

trick-artic3There are already a lot of helpful suggestions and sources of inspiration. They range from video clips on relevant websites and forum discussions, to your slacking friends in the local park. Also other sports such as parcour, gymnastics, classical circus and martial arts. 'Copy and paste' is the possibility to amplify your portfolio.

Find your own style. It doesn´t need a definition or a categorization to feel good.

Ask yourself: What is slack-lining about for me? This is a question which you can ask now and then to reflect and clarify your own view. This is a good way to develop yourself and the sport further.