What’s worse than spraining an ankle, fracturing a wrist, pinching a nerve, and having your spine swell up all at the same time?
Slacklining can be a frustrating sport. Session after session can go by with seemingly little progress, and new tricks can seem impossible for months on end. While international athletes continue their clear and obvious progress towards ever-more impressive displays of skill and agility, a poor session at the park often leaves us feeling we’ve gone backwards. It’s only until we look back a ways to where we have come from that we can truly appreciate the progress we’ve made, and gain some motivation to press forward – to persist at that trick that’s been evading us, or try something new and a little scary. The new year provides the perfect opportunity for such reminiscence.
I’m constantly amazed by the social groups among which I find slacklining prevalent. Coming from a climbing background, there was a time when I naively thought all slackliners had some connection to the climbing community. In the time since, I’ve realized I couldn’t have been more wrong.
If you believe everything you read about slacklining, you’d think by participating in this sport you become less prone to injury, develop a wickedly ripped core, get smarter and be able manage ADHD-like disorders completely drug-free. The internet has no shortage of anecdotes supporting each one of these claims. Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? The question is, do these claims really stack up? Is there any scientific evidence to support such statements? This article hopes to give an overview of some of the research that has been done, both slackline-specific and related to more general balance training benefits.