Gaps, Highlines, Great Heights at ‘All Girls’ Slackline Fest

The U.S. All Girls Slackline Festival took place last month in Oregon. We caught up with one of the founders, slackline veteran and GearJunkie athlete Chelsey Magness, for a quick Q&A.

—All photos © Bri C Stachowski.

Gear Junkie: Where did the idea for the All Girls Slackline Fest come from?

Chelsey Magness: The idea and inspiration came from Faith Dickey, a well-known female slackliner pushing the sport in many areas. She created the “Girls Only Slackline Festival” in the Czech Republic, which has been going on for three years now.

Why girls only?

Slacklining has been a male dominated sport. So my main goal for this festival was to create an environment where women from all over could share, inspire, learn and challenge themselves in a supportive and encouraging atmosphere.

Water below to catch a fall

Why is it more of a guy’s sport?

Please pardon my gross generalizations, but I believe men tend to have less fear, they think less about outcomes, and have somewhat higher pain tolerance for certain types of “traumatic pain.” While women are generally more cautious and really like to think things through. Of course there are exceptions to this, but this is what I have seen and felt in my five years as a professional athlete.

(More images from the U.S. All Girls Slackline Festival on page 2 of this post)

Who came to the fest?

Women of all levels were present, from beginners to advanced. We wanted to showcase the many different styles of slacklining out there. You don’t have to be a high-liner or a long-liner to be a slacker.

Instruction at the Fest for beginners and advanced slackers

Did the Fest focus on one area of slacking?

No, we had slackline yoga, trick-lining, high-lining, long-lining drills, line mounts and even “slackro,” which is a blend of acrobatics and slacklining.

Setting up the highline

You walk highlines over huge, airy gaps. How did you work up to this?

Personally, it took me a long time to get to the point where I “wanted” to highline. Now I want to do it to challenge myself mentally, and am also curious and intrigued about how it makes me feel and react to my fears.

—All photos © Bri C Stachowski. See more about the event at

Balance and focus required to walk the highline

More images from the U.S. All Girls Slackline Festival on page 2 of this post

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.