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Big News, Small Town

The Best Unconventional Sport

The Best Unconventional Sport

When someone thinks about a traditional run-of-the-mill sport, they usually think about a sport that includes teams, scoring, some sort of ball, etc. While those are all aspects of the best sports of all time, the best unconventional sport has none of the traits. 

Slacklining isn’t the most memorable or recognized sport, but that doesn’t stop it from being great. Whether it be its accessibility, simplicity, trick capability, or its low risk, slacklining is a great sport for almost everyone.

Slacklining only requires two anchor points and the slackline itself. Due to this minimal amount of gear, setting it up is incredibly easy as you only have to secure the line to the two anchor points, whether they be trees, poles, etc. Along with this a slackline isn’t very demanding when it comes to space. The line comfortably folds upon itself, compacting it and making it easy to store and move. You can further reduce the space it takes up by buying a thinner one or not bringing the overhead lead rope. This clever design allows for simple transferability and accessibility in various locations. All these factors allow for a slackline to be very accessible.

Slacklining is a very simple sport, if you want it to be that is. Once the rope is set up, the most common thing one does with a slackline is to try and walk across it. While it does require a great deal to a decent amount of balance, depending on the person, learning how to walk across the entire line in one go is pretty uncomplicated. It’s also just a line with some buoyancy, so it doesn’t require much thought to do. These simple aspects allow for anyone willing and physically capable to enjoy the sport without much thought.

While just walking on the slackline is the most popular form of using one, tricks are also possible and look pretty cool no matter what you’re doing. When someone thinks of a slackline they probably don’t think about tricks. But don’t be fooled because there’s an abundance of tricks possible on a slackline. Tricks on a slackline can be as simple as jumping on then off to as complicated as flips. Spins are incredibly popular when it comes to slackline tricks due to their simplicity and low skill cap. Slackline tricks can be separated into two groups, static and dynamic tricks. Static tricks are tricks where when you get on the slackline, you hold poses or just do things that don’t involve constant movement. On the other hand, dynamic tricks involve constant movement. For example, hopping on, balancing, then either getting off or switching to another pose can be classified as a static trick. A buttflip to backbounce to a 360 however would be classified as a dynamic trick due to the constant movement. While tricks can be as hard as handstands to the one mentioned before, they can be as simple as standing on one leg to doing a 180 on the line. This wide array of tricks allows for easy progress gain as most of the tricks have an easier version beforehand that you can learn. The simplicity to complexity of tricks possible on slacklines allow for novices and professionals to enjoy the sport while still being able to challenge themselves. 

Finally, the maily low risk of slacklining completes the sport. While it can be dangerous depending where you set it up, say a cliff, it is low risk in the majority of places possible to set up in. While falling can hurt, falling on or off the slackline isn’t very painful as long as you’re not over a hard surface such as rocks or pavement. Rope burns are also possible and sometimes are completely unpreventable, but if you learn how to bail off the line when you fall, you can keep your burns to a minimum. So with proper placement over a relatively soft surface and learning how to avoid the rope best you can when falling, slacklining doesn’t put you at much of a risk.

All these factors contribute to why slacklining is one of the best unconventional sports that you don’t see very often and why it should get more recognition.

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About the Contributor
Beck Lupyak, Staff Reporter
Beck Lupyak is currently a Sophomore at Truckee High and this is his first year on staff. His personal interests outside of school include snowboarding, sculpting, archery, and spending time with his friends. One of, if not his favorite things in the world is his cat Piggy.

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