Get on a slackline and walk as far as you can — that is the basic premise of a new type of competition.
In the slackline world, competitions are almost exclusively focused on the sector of the sport known as tricklining in which competitors use a 2″ wide line to perform trampoline-style acrobatics. While impressive to watch, few slackliners are skilled enough to participate.
But the “Slack-Pocalypse” event, new this year, is different. Competitors simply see how far they can walk on a 1″ line in eight hours.
Slack-Pocalypse founder Paul Cassedy combined his love for endurance sports, slacking, and the post-apocalyptic genre with this intro to competition instructions:
The end is near! (Well, maybe not the end end) and thus I propose a challenge!
In these darkest times we must find within ourselves the strength to walk. Who amongst us can walk the most feet on a slackline in a mere eight hours? Who will find their edge and push for a few more feet? Who will look for a way in rather than a way out? The time is now!!
Miles Of Slackline Walked
Slackliners from all over the U.S. took a stab at the challenge (including two GearJunkie editors), and the results were impressive, with almost everyone walking over 1 mile, and many moving into the 3 – 4 mile range.
Nearly every participant was surprised at the sheer difficulty of simply walking (and balancing) for that long. Blisters, dehydration, intense muscular fatigue (especially in the hips, shoulders and obliques), and delusions were common after a hours on a line.
Many walkers got so familiar with balancing on the line that it became difficult for them to walk on the ground.
“I kept wanting to move the ground underneath me, like I do on the line. But unfortunately that just doesn’t work,” said Chip Fieberg who accumulated more than 5 miles walking back and forth on a 90′ line.
GearJunkie’s own Chelsey Magness walked 4.33 miles on a 95′ line, and Jason Magness walked 6.2 miles (10k) on a 53′ line.
“I chose that line length exaclty. 100 walks = 1 mile,” explained Magness. “I was going for 1 mile per hour, but 4 hours in I was so destroyed I knew it was not going to happen. I kept falling off at each turn. I stopped after 7 hours when I reached 10k. The next day I literally could not walk [on solid ground] I was so sore.”
Paul Cassedy has plans for more Slack-Pocalypse endurance challenges in the future. But for now he is keeping them secret. “Most of the fun is just trying it and committing to something that you have no idea how it will work out.”