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A Few Simple Slacklining Tricks

Updated on June 2, 2013

Once walking along the slackline has been mastered you can start to move onto more fun and impressive parts of slacklining! This guide will teach you how to walk backwards, lie down, jumping tricks and 360° spin.

Walking Backwards

This is a good trick and general skill to learn for slacklining. It is also very simple and is not really that much harder than walking forwards. Remember to keep looking at the end of the slackline and carefully go to step backwards. As you move backwards you may find it easier to sway slightly towards the foot you are stepping with, do this whilst keeping your hand high up so you can carefully adjust your weight whenever needed. After your first step, almost immediately step back with the other foot following the same process, when walking backwards try to keep in a rhythm and try not to move the slackline very much as this will set you off-balance. Try this a few times and you should easily be able to perform this!

Jumping

This is where the tricks start to get really fun and look impressive!

Straight Jump

Prepare this trick by maintaining focus on the end of the slackline. whilst doing this move your feet from the normal parallel/diagonal to the slackline to a position in a near right angle to the slacklining. It will be harder to balance like this so you will have to complete this jump relatively quick so as not to lose balance for the actual jump. With your feet to the side bend your knees to shift your weight as if jumping on a trampoline. Now jump in the air. when doing this jump up in straight line and not sway away from the slackline and keep your feet ready to return to the slackline. when landing, soften your land by bending your legs as you land.

All going to plan you have completed your first jump! the thing to master here is to be confident with your jumps and you should learn pretty quickly and as with anything in slacklining its thorough practice that will secure this trick for you.


180° Jump

Although this sounds far harder than a normal jump, in practice it really isn't much harder at all! First of all prepare your self like a normal jump with your feet at right angle to the slackline whilst keeping your body twisted and facing the end of the slackline. Now you need to perform the jump. You will be better off trying to jump slightly higher for this if your normal jumps are small as you will need the extra time to finish the turn. create the momentum for the turn from the spin of your upper body (this may take a while to judge). now with this whilst you jump spin around 180° with your upper body leading the way fixing your gaze onto the other end of the slackline and as with before cushioning your landing. this should be easier than it sounds and after normal jumping is completed this should be learnt pretty easily.


360° Jump

In principle this trick is just an extension of the 180° jump, however, this trick is very hard to master, the main reasons being its very hard to keep track of balance and also because you have to have a lot of confidence to commit to the jump. Once you can do this jump though it's a huge step-up in achievement from the normal and 180° jumps. My only advice for this would be to practice off the slackline a lot before actually doing this to try to figure out the force you will have to put in, although this will need some practice on the slackline as it will be slightly different. It also differs from the 180° jump in that the head must spin a full 360° also and return to looking at the same end as before the jump. good luck!



Spinning

180° stationary spin

The idea of this is to turn yourself around to face the other end with more grace than stepping around. Luckily this is very easy. You have to keep your feet against the slackline and raise your heels ever so slightly from the line. Now whilst keeping in the same pose turn on the ball of your feet with arms raised high for stability and focus shifting towards the other end of the slackline. You're done!


360° stepping spin

This is a lot harder than the other spin, but with a bit of practice not hard to learn! With this it is all about maintaining balance whilst changing the way you are facing. It is also very important to do this with a steady rhythm and to not disturb the line too much. to start this trick walk along the line and for your first spin step place your foot at a right angle to the slackline and to the other foot. Now stepping onto that foot spin your body around for your next step placing your foot at a 180° angle to the other foot and 90° to the slackline. Now for your third and final step this is the hardest step as you have to cross over yourself. Take your other foot and step forwards placing it parallel to the line. This is quite hard to learn and requires much practice getting the rhythm of this right.


Lying Down

This is my favorite of the tricks, looks really good and means you can rest on the slackline!

First of all, in a normal slacklining position, bend your front leg downwards whilst hooking your preferred foot around the slackline with the other. You should continue this until you are sat on the slackline just behind your favorite foot bent in as if you were sitting cross-legged but with the other leg stretched out forwards. Now carefully lay your back down onto the line whilst out-stretching your preferred foot and hooking around the slackline. Once you have maintained your balance you can let your arms drop down balancing you in that fashion.

Now, to get back up. This is basically just the opposite of the technique to lying down. you take your preferred foot back and put it back into a cross-legged position on the slackline whilst sitting up off the slackline. With the momentum from sitting up you should rock over this foot and with your other foot you should now step on the line and push to continue this momentum into standing up. If you don't get the right momentum you may need to bounce the slackline a little to give you the force to get up.

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