Slackliners practice art of balance

By Kelly Manalo, Staff Writer


Photo by: Anna Mills Kirby Grubaugh gets low for balance.
Photo by: Anna Mills
Kirby Grubaugh gets low for balance.

Slacklining in front of the PUB started in fall 2011 and was initiated by Tanner Bordonaro, Nathaniel Hippauf and James Mower, according to outdoor recreational major and junior Bordonaro.

In April 2012, the slackliners group started a Facebook open group called Slackers Anonymous, which now has 35 members. The purpose of the Facebook group was to be able to get the word out about slackline times, according to recreational management major and sophomore Mower.

Bordonaro tends to bring his slackline with him on a regular basis to school. The slackline fits right in his backpack, along with his textbooks and notebooks. “You can set it up with friction, repel rings and carabineers. It’s primitive, basically bare bones. That’s the way I prefer.”

There are different ways to set up a slackline. Another way to set it up is a ratchet kit, according to Bordonaro.

Slacklining times depend on class schedules and weather, and the activity is open to anyone, according to Bordonaro.

“It’s mostly spontaneous, when we want to go out we announce it on Facebook. Usually, we just set it up in front of the PUB so you can see it on your way to class,” said Mower.

“I started doing it as a balance practice thing and [it] developed into being more and more fun. It’s challenging, it’s difficult and it’s something that you’re not used to doing,” said Mower.

Slacklining is a really good, all-around workout because it works one’s balance and core, according to Bordonaro.

“What draws me is that it is so unusual and it’s actually quite difficult when you’re first learning, but it just becomes more and more fun as you get better,” said Mower.

A message to the students who walk past the slackliners and are interested bystanders: “Instead of just looking at us and saying you want to do it, just get out and do it. Everyone around is there and friendly, we’ll help you out, lend a helping hand. [We’ll] hold your hand as you walk across your first couple of times. It just gets easier from there,” said Mower.

Slackers anonymous is a very welcoming group to newcomers who want to learn how to do the sport, according to Mower.

“It’s a good way to meet people. It is one way to start making friends.” Curious people stop by and continue to come back, according to Bordonaro.

The fact that Slackers Anonymous meets outside causes the number of participants to continually grow, according to Bordonaro.

“As the weather progressively gets nicer we’ll probably be staying out later and longer. We’re going to make sure we have lines up almost all the time,” said Mower.