Slacklining on the Rise

Step off the ground. Look forward. Breathe.

Those were Sam Salwei’s sole instructions last week when I stepped barefoot onto a span of inch-wide nylon webbing, its elevated length pulled tight and reverberating like a big guitar string hung 4 feet above the ground.

We were at the University of Minnesota, where the burgeoning sport of slacklining was being practiced between tall oak trees on a grassy mall.

Long a fringe activity associated with rock climbers, slacklining has grown in the past couple years, with gymnasts, yogis, cyclists, kayakers and even some soccer players embracing the sport, according to Joe Kuster, a climber who started Slackline Express LLC as a student at Missouri State University.

“We’ve now sold slackline kits to the U.S. gymnastics team, physical rehabilitation clinics and the New Orleans Saints football team,” he said.

Click here to see my full story on the slacker trend: http://www.startribune.com/1244/story/1415800.html

Related content: Check out Sam Salwei and Jason Magness’ slack-yoga website, Yogaslackers.com

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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.

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