Tightrope walking (or funambulism) is the art of walking along a thin wire or rope, usually at a great height. One or more artists perform in front of an audience. When the term „funambulus“ (lat. “funis” – rope , “ambulare” – to go) came up in the year 260 BC, walking on ropes was already widely known.
Slacklining is a practice in balance that typically uses nylon or polyester webbing tensioned between two anchor points. Many people suggest slacklining is distinct from tightrope walking in that the line is not held rigidly taut (although it is still under some tension); it is instead dynamic, stretching and bouncing like a long and narrow trampoline. The line's tension can be adjusted to suit the user and different types of webbing can be used to achieve a variety of feats. The line itself is usually flat, due to the nature of webbing, thus keeping one's footing from rolling as would be the case with an ordinary rope. The dynamic nature of the line allows for tricks and stunts. Slacklining has quickly become popular due to its simplicity and versatility and its ability to be practiced in a variety of environments. Those who participate in slacklining are often called "slackers".Styles of slacklining
Urbanlining or urban slacklining combines all the different styles of slacklining. It is practiced in urban areas, for example in city parks and on the streets. Most urban slackliners prefer wide 2-inch lines for tricklining on the streets, but some may use narrow (5/8-inch or 1-inch) lines for longline purposes or for waterlining. Also see the other sections of slackline styles below.
First category is called timelining, which means a person is trying to be on slackline for as long as possible without falling down - one hour, two hours etc. This takes tremendous concentration and focus of will, and is a great endurance training for postural muscles.
Second is streetlining which is combining street workout power moves with slackline dynamic shaky bouncy feeling. Main focus are static handstands, super splits - hands and feet together, planche, front lever, back lever, one arm handstand and other interesting extreme moves that are evolving in street workout culture.
The inspiration comes from within by mindful meditation. In body and mind development it is important to have a balance between hard and soft exercises.
Tricklining has become the most common form of slacklining due to the easy setup of 2-inch slackline kits. Tricklining is often done low to the ground but can be done on highlines as well. A great number of tricks can be done on the line, and because the sport is fairly new, there is plenty of room for new tricks. Some of the basic tricks done today are walking, walking backwards, turns, drop knee, running and jumping onto the slackline to start walking, and bounce walking. Some intermediate tricks include: Buddha sit, sitting down, lying down, cross-legged knee drop, surfing forward, surfing sideways, and jump turns, or "180s." Some of the advanced tricks are: jumps, HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slacklining" \l "cite_note-5"  tree plants, jumping from line-to-line, 360s, butt bounces, and chest bounces. With advancements in webbing technology the limits for what can be done on a slackline are being pushed constantly. It is not uncommon to see expert slackliners incorporating flips and twists into slackline trick combos.
Waterlining is slacklining over water. This is an ideal way to learn new tricks, or to just have more fun. Common places to set up waterlines are over pools, lakes, rivers, creeks, between pier or railroad track pillars, and boat docks. The slackline can be set up high over the surface of the water, close to the surface or even underneath the surface, allowing for a very unique experience. It is important, however, that the water be deep enough, free from obstacles, and that the area should not be traveled by boats.
Highlining[ HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Slacklining&action=edit§ion=9" \o "Edit section: Highlining" edit]
Highlining is slacklining at elevation above the ground or water. Many slackliners consider highlining to be the pinnacle of the sport. Highlines are commonly set up in locations that have been used or are still used for Tyrolean traverse. When rigging highlines, experienced slackers take measures to ensure that solid, redundant and equalized anchors are used to secure the line into position. Modern highline rigging typically entails a mainline of webbing, backup webbing, and either climbing rope or amsteel rope for redundancy. However, many highlines are rigged with a mainline and backup only, especially if the highline is low tension (less than 900 lbf.), or rigged with high quality webbing like Type 18 or MKII Spider Silk. It is also common to pad all areas of the rigging which might come in contact with abrasive surfaces. To ensure safety, most highliners wear a climbing harness or swami belt with a leash attached to the slackline itself. Leash-less, or "free-solo" slacklining – a term borrowed from rockclimbing – is not unheard of, however, with exponents such as Dean Potter and Andy Lewis.Slackline Yoga[ HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Slacklining&action=edit§ion=10" \o "Edit section: Slackline Yoga" edit]
Another form of slacklining is Slackline Yoga, also referred to as YogaSlacking or Slackasana. Slackline Yoga takes traditional yogaposes and moves them to the slackline. It has been described as "distilling the art of yogic concentration." To balance on a 1" piece of webbing lightly tensioned between two trees is not easy, and doing yoga poses on it is even more challenging. The practice has many layers, simultaneously developing focus, dynamic balance, power, breath, core integration, flexibility, and confidence. Utilizing standing postures, sitting postures, arm balances, kneeling postures, inversions and unique vinyasa, a skilled slackline yogi is able to create a flowing yoga practice without ever falling from the line.
In 2005, Sam Salwei and Jason Magness began demonstrating yoga poses on a slackline at the Yoga Journal conference in Estes Park, later forming YogaSlackers. Since then, the members of team YogaSlackers have collectively taught over 5000 people to successfully embrace this form of asana. They have developed a special slackline and simple tensioning system, allowing for practitioners to learn safely and experience the benefit of a wide range of dynamic energies while on the line.
Another group of "slackline yogis" are the Rocky Mountain Slackline Crew out of Fort Collins, Co. The company has been involved with local and state wide yoga studios incorporating slackline into their class curriculum. They have created a series of postures, maneuvers, and breath rhythm to bring the riders a challenging and rewarding experience.
The History of Slacklining
Balance is essential for our lives. Our earth moves in a determined orbit around the sun and the moon rotates around the earth. Ocean streams and storms move over our planet. The seasons change as the earth travelling around the sun. Whether mountains or valleys, deserts or oceans, everything is perfectly interrelated, and we as human beings are part of it.Many things are normal for us that we did not give them any awareness. Mankind is developing new ways of life, which seem to depart from the natural life. Therefore it is becoming more important to regain a sense of our roots and to reestablish a dialogue between our body, our mind and the nature again.The idea of balancing is firmly anchored in different cultures. Even in the ancient Greece and Rome this art was known. At that time, different kinds of balancing acts on thin ropes existed already, including elegant dance movements and satiric routines.
Antic wall painting from rope artists in Herculaneum (50 n.Chr., Quelle: Perseus Digital Library))
There are also records from the Middle Ages. Acrobats performing on ropes were the center of attention on festivals and shows. In the 19th Century great rope artists such as Blondin and Farini were world famous. Various tricks were performed on a high wire, which spanned the Niagara Falls. In many Central Asian areas rope balancing also has a rich cultural tradition. In Korea, the Jultagi, a form of story-telling by rope acrobats, has been included in the protected cultural heritage.
Philippe Petit at the World Trade Center (New York 1974, © Jim Moore)
In the early hours of the 7th August 1974 Philippe Petit set-up a tightrope between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York and amazed a crowd of people by levitating for an hour above the awakening city. The police arrested him because of this unauthorized action, and as punishment he had to give a performance for children in Central Park.All these examples feature the fascination of the unusual and the skillful. A balancing act on a rope appears to overstep the limits of what seems humanly possible. Through great determination, dedication and courage a dream can become reality.
These rope acrobats were a source of inspiration to the pioneers of slacklining. But the story starts on another place. Undoubtedly it all started in the Californian ‘climbing-Mecca’ of Yosemite Valley. There as early as the 1960’s climbers started to balance on parking lot chains in their spare time. Even though in contrast to nowadays Slacklines the chains were neither flat nor dynamic they still showed the characteristic slack giving them their name “Slackchain”.
In the early 80th Adam Grosowsky came to Yosemite Valley for climbing and got in touch with the latter mentioned form of balancing, which seems to be unique for Camp 4. Back then he had already experimented with his friend Jeff Ellington to balance on climbing ropes and steel cable while studying at Olympia/Washington. Then the two pioneers where the first to rig a piece of tubular webbing commonly used for climbing: Slackling - as we know it today, balancing on flexible and flat webbing, was born. To tighten the webbing Jeff Ellington developed a special technique, the Ellington – a self locking pulley system. To our perception up until today this technique is in its core of simplicity and affectivity unexcelled and will continue to defend its leading position in future. The origin of the term Slackline can nowadays not referred to to a special person or time in history. However the term allows to logically conclude that it is derived from Slackchain and Slackwire (both terms which Grosowsky and Ellington had used to name their forms of balancing): the “slack” meaning the sag remained, however the medium to practice the sport on changed into something revolutionary new – the webbing called “line”.
Yosemite-Valley – birthplace of Slackline (Quelle: Wikimedia )
Scott Balcom, Golden Gate Bridge (1983, © www.slackline.net )Adam Grosowsky and Jeff Ellington were the first who appreciate the wonderful qualities of tubular nylon band for balancing purposes. In contrast to the usual balancing on steel or hemp rope the nylon band offers significantly more elasticity, is more lightweight, and has better walking properties. The dynamic webbing opened a new universe of balance forms. You can get drunken on this never ending wave while playing the game of gravity. Jeff and Adam pushed each other to new forms of movement on the line and inspire other slackliners.
Adam and Jeff also recognized the challenge of the vertical and started a try in 1983 to achieve the Lost Arrow Spire on a wire, in vain. Their idea took the young Scott Balcom, and after an attempt in 1984 he could celebrate the first walk of the Lost Arrow Spire Highline in 1985. The slackline, first used as playing and training tool for shaping the balance and coordination transformed into its second meaning - the break-up of psychological barriers and gaining a new sense of freedom.
Darrin Carter, inspired by the first attempts of Scott on Lost Arrow, perfected in the early 90s the sport of high lining. He balanced several times without a leash to the Lost Arrow and could commit other highlines in this ultimate style. The basis for this new dimension were countless hours on "normal" Slacklines. Darrin again charmed the next generation of slackliners. The slackline was established with Dean Potter, Shawn Snyder and Braden Mayfield in the American Freeclimbing Scene and earned a strong resonance in the media.
At the beginning of the new millennium, more and more Slacklines were seen in European climes, and since the 1. European Slackline Festival 2006 in Scharnitz, Austria, initiated by Heinz Zak, the slack webbing experiences a real boom in Germany. However, e.g. in Norway, the Czech Republic or Poland, more and more people get on the line. The slackline has now emancipated from climbing and enjoys among skateboarders, surfers and snowboarders / skiers as "dry run" increasing popularity. Other future applications include physiotherapy and pedagogics.
Accompanying to the popularization is a greater diversity in the spectrum of slacklining. Artistic movement sequences are a key topic of the trickline. The length is the challenge for longlining. Balance over lakes and rivers is the aim in waterlining. The dangers of the highlining centralizes the relationship with internal fears. The city becomes a playground of the balance in urban space.
The fascination of slacklining is nourished by the movement in nature, active recreation, the delight in the ability to motoric learning or the meeting with like-minded people. Whether alone or with friends, you can experience amazing moments.Balancing on a webbing gives us the opportunity to focus our awareness for a moment to the very basic harmony and native beauty.
We are all together in the process of writing a new chapter in the long history of the art of equilibrium.
Nikolas "Nik" Wallenda (born January 24, 1979) is an American acrobat, aerialist, daredevil, and high wire artist. Self-described as "The King of the Wire", he is known for his high-wire performances without a safety net. He holds seven Guinness World Records for various acrobatic feats, but is best known as the first person to walk a tightrope stretched directly over Niagara Falls on June 15, 2012; the feat was broadcast internationally. The walk came after a two-year legal battle involving both sides of the Canada–United States border to gain approval. For the walk he was required to wear a safety harness for the first time in his life.
A seventh-generation member of The Flying Wallendas family, Nik Wallenda participated in various circus acts as a child. At age 13, he made his professional tightrope walking debut. He decided on high-wire walking as a career path in 1998, after joining family members in a seven-person pyramid on the wire. In 2001, Wallenda was part of the world's first eight-person high-wire pyramid. From 2002 to 2005, he performed with his family at various venues, forming his own troupe in 2005. During 2007 and 2008, he performed withBello Nock in a double version of the Wheel of Steel that he helped invent. In 2009, he set new personal bests for highest and longest tightrope walks, completing a total of 15 walks above 100 feet (30 m) in the air that year.
Wallenda's journey across the 457-metre wire, which was just five-inches in diameter, began at 10:16 p.m. ET on the U.S. side of the Falls.
As he neared the last few metres, inching across the wire that was only as wide as three pennies stacked end to end, a wide smile spread across Wallenda's face.
He paused before stepping onto the platform on the Canadian side of the Falls, pumping his fist in the air.
Prayer, concentration and training helped him make it safely across, Wallenda said after his walk.
Indeed, Wallenda used his faith to focus during the walk. He wore a wireless microphone during the walk and could be heard praying as he made his way across the wire.
Wallenda's crossing was the first time in history that someone crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope. In the past, other tightrope walkers have crossed the water, but only over the gorge located downstream of the Falls.
Wallenda was the first person to get permission for a highwire walk since James Hardy in 1896.
Though Wallenda's walk was successful, it wasn't without its challenges.
His body also felt the challenges of the walk.
Wallenda originally planned not to wear the harness, but U.S. television network ABC said it would not broadcast the live event without it.
Wallenda usually does not wear a harness during his stunts.
"I'm a man of integrity," Wallenda told reporters Thursday. "I respect the fact that ABC and CTV have told their viewers that Nik Wallenda cannot lose his life live on national television."
Though Wallenda's physical journey across the Falls began Friday night, preparation for the event began almost six months earlier for the performer, who is a seventh-generation member of the Flying Wallendas family.
Wallenda's original request to be allowed to perform his high-flying stunt was denied by the Niagara Parks Commission in December 2011.
The commission reconsidered the request and gave Wallenda the go-ahead during a public meeting in February. The New York Legislature also supported the event.
In the week leading up to the event, engineers and production crews descended on Niagara Falls to plan every last detail.
Though Wallenda made history Friday, even after months of planning the daredevil wasn't above the law. Wallenda carried his U.S. passport in a plastic bag in his pocket during his walk and he was greeted by two border guards when he stepped onto Canadian soil.
"What is the purpose of your trip?" asked one guard.
Wallenda's answer was simple.
"To inspire people around the world," he said.
Wallenda will walk a third of a mile across a wire suspended 1,500 feet above the river. (In comparison, the Empire State Building in New York City is 1,454 feet high).
The 34-year-old is a seventh-generation high-wire artist and is part of the famous "Flying Wallendas" circus family — a clan that is no stranger to death-defying feats and great tragedy.
His great-grandfather, Karl Wallenda, fell during a performance in Puerto Rico and died at the age of 73. Several other family members, including a cousin and an uncle, have perished while performing wire walking stunts.
Nik Wallenda, who was born a year after his great-grandfather died, began wire walking at the age of 2, on a 2-foot high stretched rope. He grew up performing with his family and as a teen, had an epiphany.
"It's an honor to be carrying on a tradition that my family started over 200 years ago," Wallenda said during a news conference on a recent day in Florida. "When I turned 19, I told my family I was going to set out to make sure everyone in the world knew who the Wallendas were again."
Over the years, Wallenda has performed some dangerous stunts, but his walk across Niagara Falls in June of 2012 placed him firmly in celebrity territory.
Wallenda became the first person to walk on a tightrope 1,800 feet across the mist-fogged brink of the roaring falls separating the U.S. and Canada.
Other daredevils had wire-walked over the Niagara River but farther downstream and not since 1896.
Niagara Falls, Wallenda said, was a dream of his. So is the Grand Canyon.
For the last two weeks, Wallenda— has been practicing in front of crowds in his hometown of Sarasota.
Each morning and evening, he glides across a two-inch cable strung on the banks of a river. Hundreds of his local fans show up every day to watch, and talk — Wallenda usually will stop and sit on the wire and take questions from his fans from high above.
Wallenda, the self-described "King of the High Wire," took 22 minutes and 54 seconds to walk 1,400 feet across the crimson-hued canyon with just a distant ribbon of the Little Colorado River beneath him. The event was broadcast live around the world.
Wallenda, the first person to cross the canyon, made the walk without a tether or safety net.
Daredevil Nik Wallenda has successfully completed a high-wire walk across the Grand Canyon without a safety harness.
The Florida aerialist performed the quarter-mile crossing on a two-inch thick steel cable, 1,500ft above the Little Colorado River Gorge in Arizona.
The 34-year-old took around 22 minutes to finish the feat, kneeling twice to "get the rhythm out of the rope" and murmuring prayers to Jesus almost constantly along the way.
His leather shoes, which had an elk-skin sole, helped him keep a grip on the cable as he moved across.
Mr Wallenda said he had wondered what it would be like to cross the Grand Canyon since he was a teenager.
The stunt comes a year after he traversed the Niagara Falls - becoming the first to cross since 1896.
Mr Wallenda is a seventh-generation high-wire artist and is part of the famous Flying Wallendas circus family - a clan that are no strangers to death-defying feats.
Several other family members, including a cousin and an uncle, have died while performing wire-walking stunts.
The event was broadcast live on the Discovery Channel.
Slackline history in short notes
500 v. Chr. - Rope acrobatics in ancient Greece and Rome, separation between balance on strong ropes (Funambuli) and thin organic strings (Neurobatae or Aerobatae)1500 - heute - the tightrope in its different variations takes place inside many cultures in Asia and Europe1974 - Philippe Petit walks a 40m long tightrope between the Twin Towers of World Trade Center in New York
1970-80 - Yosemite (Californien/USA) and other climbing areas over the world - inside the climbing community, slacklining is popular for cross training the body control, even world class alpine skiers Ingemar Stenmark and Bode Miller using the rope balance as training method1982 - Jeff Ellington and Adam Grosowsky using a tubular Nylon webbing (originally used for set-up belay points inside climbing routes) for balancing - the Slackline was born1983 - 1. Send of a high slackline by Scott Balcom and friends under an highway bridge in Pasadena/Californien/USA1985 - 1. Send of the Lost Arrow Spire Highline in Yosemite by Scott Balcom1994 - 1. Send of the Lost Arrow Spire Highline without safety leash by Darrin Carter1998 - media attractive send of the Lost Arrow Spire Highline by Dean Potter - the slackline is getting popular1999-2005 - the slackline becomes more important under american climbers, even in Europe there are some Slackliners outsideJuli 2006 - 1. european Slackline Meeting in Scharnitz/Tirol organized by Heinz Zak, the Slackline-Fever is unleashed in Europe2007-2009 - Slackline is booming in Germany and Austria and becoming a trendsport
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