Under 21 scene: Walk the line
Who knew that tightroping between trees would be the new summer obsession?
Otherwise referred to as ‘slacklining,’ the sport involves balancing on a nylon web rope stretched between trees or anchored between two points above water.
Kevin Schwerin, a longtime slackliner, describes it as, "mainly just a balancing act to get across."
Three main types of slacklining are lowlining, waterlining, and highlining. Lowlining is when the rope is fastened low to the ground allowing novices to practice some basic tricks like walking backwards, turning, and tandem.
The second type, waterlining, involves slacklining above water like pools and lakes. Waterlining is a good way to practice new tricks, but unfortunately, there aren’t very many places to try it out in Park City.
The third type of slacklining is highlining, in which the slackline is placed high above the ground or water. To ensure safety, highliners will often secure the falling areas with padding and wear climbing harnesses. Nevertheless, it should only be done by very experienced slackliners.
Another form of slacklining that is increasing in popularity is yoga Slacklining, which involves doing traditional yoga poses on the slackline while trying to maintain stillness. Yoga slacklining can be a great core and balance workout.
Jessie Sharp, who is mainly a spectator, thinks slacklining is popular "because its so hippie." Walking barefoot back and forth between trees serves as "an ideal setting to relax and be part of nature." She describes slacklining as "taking lots of focus. It is fun, but it is also very physically challenging."
With the booming popularity in Park City, "A ton of kids have been getting really into it and creating new tricks," says Schwerin. The nylon webbing serves as a flat, belt-like rope that can bounce and absorb movement like a thin trampoline. The slackline is "generally a half-inch thick, and can be set it for any distance and tightness."
According to Schwerin, slacklining can be used for balance, tricks, or just "trying to get across." Regardless, its main purpose is "to kick back with friends in the park and have a good time."
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Hideout’s original master developer is suing the town and planner for $100 million.