Slacklining is a sport very similar to slack rope walking or tightrope walking, with the difference being the type of material used and the tension applied. A flat length of webbing is suspended between two locations, but the tension applied is less than with a tightrope. It means the line can stretch like a long trampoline and the tension can be altered to suit the athlete. Slacklining may have been around for centuries, but the more recent origins as a sport can be attributed firstly to American Adam Grosowksy back in 1979. It was further used in exhibitions and specifically at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where professional Brazilian athlete Giovanna Petrucci performed on the beach at Ipanema. Today the International Slacklining Association (ISA) is the world governing body with the purpose of supporting the slacklining community and developing greater awareness worldwide. One of the particular focus points for ISA is ensuring the safety of the sport is of the highest quality and a priority for all involved. In addition, education on safeguarding the environment is equally important as slacklining is mostly an outdoor sport. ISA was officially formed in August 2015 and is currently based in Bern, Switzerland.
There are several different types of slacklining. Urbanlining, as the name implies, is practiced in parks or on the streets. A type of urbanlining is timelining where the aim is to stay on the line for as long as possible. Tricklining is where several tricks are performed on the line. These include bounce walking, turns, walking backwards, or sitting down. Normally the line is constructed near the ground. Highlining is regarded as the pinnacle of the sport. The line is constructed at an elevation above the ground or water. The most important feature with highlining is the anchor for each end of the line. These must be solid to secure the line in position. Highliners wear a safety harness or swami belt with a leash attached to the slackline. Slackline yoga brings the traditional yoga poses to the slackline, which is very challenging. The slackline is usually anchored by two trees or posts. For a relatively new sport and with equipment becoming more sophisticated each year, slacklining continues to grow and become more and more popular worldwide as athletes are drawn to the various challenges the sport presents.