I’m always looking for ways to incorporate fitness into our family activities. From playing catch in the yard, to swimming and hiking together, I really believe that staying fit and active can be a great way to have fun and spend quality time!
So when we took a little staycation to Golden recently and happened upon a slack line demo at the park near our hotel, I was instantly intrigued. The idea couldn’t be simpler…it’s just a length of nylon strap, like a seatbelt, pulled taut between two trees and used like a tight rope. But actually walking on the thing is anything but simple! It actually engages your whole mind and body, and requires a LOT of skill. Just a few of the many benefits include:
- Total body workout: it’s AMAZING for your core. After just 20 minutes of practice, I could feel it in my abs, back, shoulders, and legs. And once you’ve mastered the basics of walking the line, you can incorporate yoga- and gymnastics-like stunts for an even deeper workout.
- Mindful meditation. The key to slack lining is to concentrate without actually thinking about what you’re doing. Does that make sense? No? Well hop on a slack line for about 3.5 seconds and you’ll know exactly what I mean. It’s not easy to maintain your gaze on a single focal point, and concentrate on keeping your core tight, while trying to block out the fact that you’re standing a foot and a half off the ground on a 2-inch wide piece of nylon!
- It’s super affordable to get started. A basic starter kit that includes everything you need (you supply the trees) for your whole family will run you less than $90. For many summers’ worth of fun and fitness, that’s a small price to pay!
- It supports local business. Slackline Industries is a homegrown company, started right here in Louisville, Colorado! Their product range includes different types of lines for everyone from the very youngest beginners to super stunt-performing pros, and their website makes it easy to find just the right one, as well as helpful tips to get started. Their lines are a real value because they come in “True Length” sizes, meaning the actual, walkable length of line. Some brands include the ratchet or pulley line in the overall length, which is not walkable. As your skills improve, you’ll want that extra length to challenge yourself and show off!
- You can do it anywhere. Just find a couple of trees that are sturdy enough to support the tension on the line (at least 1 ft in diameter) in your own yard or at a park that allows slack lining (some don’t, so call your parks and rec department first!) Make sure the ground between the trees is a safe landing spot that’s relatively even and clear of debris, and you’re good to go! Special man-made slack line parks are popping up all over the metro area, as well.
- And best of all, it’s FUN! Whenever we set up our slack line, we draw a crowd of people who are curious about it and want to try it. And when it’s time to take it down for the day, it’s hard to tear my own kids away!
Ready to give it a try?
The best way to get started is to order a kit from Slackline Industries. The Base Line kit ($89) is perfect for older kids and adults–it’s a little softer to allow some “bounce” for learning stunts and providing a good challenge, while the Play Line kit ($79) is more stiff and comes with an “arm position trainer” line, that makes it great for little kids and those who are a bit less confident. Both kits come with tree protection and an instructional DVD.
Find a couple of trees, a buddy to help you set up and spot you, and you’re ready to spend the summer “slacking”!
Slackline Industries provided me with a Base Line starter kit in exchange for this post. No other compensation was made. All opinions, images, and text are my own.