By the end of 2014 we heard the story of a daredevil slackliner who walked across 50 storeys up between two skyscrapers in Toronto. That event was a first of a kind, at least in Canada, and it showed how easy it can be to set an urban highline and even more so, what highlining is about. Even though this event did not count with the permission of the city of Toronto or the owners of the buildings, it was relatively “safe” from a perspective of an experienced slackliner.
First of all, Gerald Situ – the highlining performer – has been slacklining for many years and knows how to safely rig a slackline and use all the necessary gear to do so properly. That includes the use of a safety harness in case he misses the line and falls, which is the most common practice for highliners around the world. Furthermore, proper highlining equipment is very safe and the webbing used in this activity is very strong and has been tested for extreme situations.
Slacklining is still a growing activity in Canada and around the world and public demonstrations like an urban highline can only make it more popular. However, Toronto as well as other Canadian cities such as Montreal and Vancouver is still far from being as “slacklinized” as European or South American cities are or even our southern neighbours. Perhaps this year will prove to be the breakthrough of slacklining in Canada as there are more and more slackliners in parks, festivals and even a Canadian slacklines’ brand: Absolute Slacklines.
What seems to be a curious fact that we have encountered when asking experienced slackers about sharing their passion with others is that many have stated that slacklining is that kind of thing that you either love or hate. Certainly, there are a lot of potential slacklining neophytes around there but many of them are shy to approach the slackers at parks, or simply don’t think they are capable of walking on something similar to a tightrope or even try but quit too soon.
With all the huge amount of public parks around Canadian cities, something many other cities overseas don’t have, it seems a bit odd that slacklining is not more popular… yet.
Either way, it is just a matter of time for more people to join this addictive activity, which for some is also a way of life. At any rate, if you are ready to try it we will give you a couple of important slacklining tips: take your time, don’t quit too soon and enjoy the present moment!
For more slacklining tips please visit our Tips & Tutorials‘ page.