Prepare yourself to learn the pinnacle of balance, the wobbliest of walks … the slackline! Simply put, a slackline is a cross between a tightrope and a trampoline, hung high between two immobile objects, such as trees. Let’s take that high and mighty feeling and run with it. Maybe start with walking first, though.
Step 1: Unlike most hippies, slackliners will tell you not to hug the tree — the tree will be your downfall. Start farther into the line with no tree to rely on for support.
Step 2: Slackline is all about balance and equality on all sides. Keep your feet mostly parallel to the line or suffer the inability to vote, or abort, or have equal pay.
Step 3: Once you are ready to stand, just go for it; hop up like Richard Simmons using an aerobic stepper.
Step 4: Once you mount the line, it’s time to stop what you are doing. You may feel your feet wobble and your whole body might mimic a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man. But just stay on it for as long as you can! Tip: It’s a waiting game; the line wobbles, you wait, then the line stops wobbling, you take a step.
Step 5: Now that you’ve learned how to be patient again, you can gradually shorten the waiting period in between steps until this action resembles walking.
Step 6: Don’t rush; afterall, once you make it to the other side all that’s left to do is turn around and walk back.
Step 7: We need to talk about falling. It’s bound to happen, and our motto is, “When in doubt, bail out.” This is how you avoid breaking something vital like a spleen or appendix. The generally preferred approach is to tuck your shoulder and roll out. My preferred method is to go limp noodle and pray for the best. Tip: If you can’t do either of these methods you will probably figure them out soon after your first big wipe-out. This is when most people quit. But not you, you resilient and brave soul!
Step 8: Rinse and repeat, mostly because you’ll probably be dirty after falling. So dust off and hop back on.
Step 9: Get tricky with it, and learn something extra. Some people keep it simple, and others push the boundary and test to see just how far 2 inches of slack can go.
That’s it! You’ve learned all the fundamentals! Now get out there and bust your ass a few times.