Our Favourite Summer Fun Outdoor Activity - Slacklining!
This summer our family has discovered a new passion - slacklining! It's become our favourite thing to do. As soon as the sun comes out, we grab our slackline bags and head over to Ashdown Forest, set it up and start playing, balancing and having a go at some tricks without falling.
It is amazingly good fun and the whole family can get involved. It develops balancing skills; it's physical, a challenge, and just plain fun outside under the trees.
What is a slackline?
A slackline is flat nylon webbing that can be tied to two anchor points. It is different to tight rope walking, which uses a wire or steel rope that has very little give. Slacklines are dynamic, meaning that they move with you. The line's tension can be adjusted to suit the different uses and users, depending on which tricks you are doing.
A slackline is simple to set up; you can travel with it and use it in lots of different places. Ideal for camping, picnic or barbecue afternoons and summer parties!
How to set up your slackline
Our slacklines are 17.5 metres. It is easiest to stretch between two trees using the ratchet included. The ratchet allows the slackline to be tensioned to suit you.
The best anchors for slacklines are trees. If using trees, it's important to protect them from abrasions and essential to redistribute the weight load over a wider area. You can buy our tree protectors with your slackline or you can make your own using old carpets, cardboard or towels. If you are going to be using your slackline regularly, we recommend that you do invest in tree protectors.
Why slacklining is good for you
Slacklining is great for your body and mind. It helps with balance, posture and concentration. What's amazing about this activity is that it builds up muscle that helps support the rest of the body. You strengthen your spine, back and stomach as well as making your ankles and knees stronger.
Some of the different types of slacklining
Urbanlining: slacklining in city parks and on streets.
Tricklining: often done low on the ground. It's about creating tricks on the slackline - sitting or lying down, surfing forwards, jump turns, flips and twists.
Waterlining: slacklining above water. Great way to learn new tricks.
Highlining: slacklining very high above the ground.
Tunelining: slacklining while playing a musical instrument.
YogaSlacking: practicing yoga on a slackline. Think I might give this a go.
What you need to get started
You can buy slacklines and tree protectors on the Conscious Craft website - we stock a great range from Kids at Work by Corvus. They come in different colours; yellow, orange, red or blue. Using two slacklines - one above the other - is double the fun! Our younger children can just about hold on to the top slackline. They love to pull themselves up and twirl.
Please send us images or stories on your adventures with slacklining. We would love to hear from you.