Slacklining swarms campus

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Norma Loya Junior outdoor education major Riley Cox shows off balancing skills on a slackline at the challenge course on Tuesday.

Norma Loya
Junior outdoor education major Riley Cox shows off balancing skills on a slackline at the challenge course on Tuesday.

What do you get when you mix a trampoline, a rope and a seat belt? Slacklining.

This wobbly sport requires balance and typically uses nylon or polyester webbing suspended between two anchor points, such as trees. The slackliner must attempt to walk from one end to the other without falling off.

Several students around Chico State have commented that slacklining looks very cool and is a great way to relax.

“Everytime I see a slackliner, I just watch and wish I could do the tricks they do,” said Calvin Ohtake, a senior chemistry major.

Riley Cox, a junior outdoor education major, has been slacklining for a year and a half and encourages others to come out and join.

Cox began slacklining in his backyard with his brothers by setting up his line between two trees. Now he roams around campus looking for new spots.

“One of my craziest setups has been over Salmon Hole in Upper Bidwell Park and it was thrilling,” Cox said.

The key to slacklining is finding a focal point and concentrating on walking across the rope while breathing calmly, Cox said.

Dom Valeriote, a freshman biology major, has been slacklining for six months. He’s regularly suprised by how the “relaxing” exercise works out his abs.

One of his favorite things to do is to force the line out of control, a technique called “surfing.”

Slackliners can also pull 360’s, spins, walk backwards and get into various yoga poses.

To get the feel of slacklining, participants must practice for a few hours and take baby steps before they actually walk the whole thing, Valeriote said.

“It took me eight hours of three or four steps before I felt comfortable,” Valeriote said.

Slacklining sessions usually take place throughout the week at various times for one to two hours depending on the size of the group.

“We encourage others not be afraid, to join a session and ask questions about slacklining because I’d like to see more students trying it,” Cox said.

Those interested in watching the sport — or trying it out — can catch the action by the George Peterson Rose Garden and the tennis courts.

 

Benjamin Marquez can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_sports on Twitter.