Women in slacklining
Today is International Women's Day! It’s a day to celebrate women’s achievements and to celebrate female empowerment, not only through sports but in all aspects of their lives.
According to the Women's Sports Foundation, by the age of 14, girls are dropping out of sports at twice the rate of boys. But we want to tell a different story. On this special day, we are delighted to tell the stories of 4 amazing women who are part of our beloved slacklining community. We hope that through their stories, their practice, and their dedication to the sport, more women will take the opportunity to experience the benefits of being active and enjoy sports for longer.
I discovered slacklining by taking a "rest day" to highline while on a climbing trip. Once I saw what my friends were able to do on the line, I was inspired to learn! Yes - my first slackline was a highline!
Slacklining has impacted my life in countless ways. The slackline has taught me to stay calm in the face of adversity, it has given me opportunities to travel to beautiful locations and connect with amazing people. I am very grateful for the many ways the sport has had an effect on my life.
Being a female in this sport, especially in the earlier days, has been a unique experience. I've gained a lot of knowledge and experience from my male counterparts. I have been conscientious to place myself in sects of the slackline world where I feel a strong sense of community acceptance, regardless of gender.
Throughout my career as a professional slackliner and slackline instructor, I have lead many clinics and organized events that are focused on drawing women in. It is crucial to practice inclusivity in sport and my hope is to share my passion, inspire others to try the sport and to find confidence in creative movement.
The best advice I have is to have fun with it! SMILE AND BREATHE!
One of the projects I've done that is super special to me was walking the gaps at the Tower of David. The crew I was able to connect with in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv were so welcoming and psyched. Most of my projects are nature-focused, which is where I tend to find the most passion for the sport, but I found so much joy in the crew from Israel. I hope to go back someday.
Throughout my life, I have always liked to practice several sports and disciplines. The first time I saw the slackline, it completely caught my attention, I tried to walk on it a couple of times but it was a very difficult, that was not a set back for me, the more I failed more I felt motivated to keep trying until I managed to walk the line with ease.
It has been a super influential discipline in my life. I developed a passion for Slackline, it made me develop much better athletic skills in general, but not only helped me improve the other sports I practice but keeps me active and in shape in mind and body.
I want other womans to know that we need more of them in the sport. Slacklining was really challenging at first, not because I'm a woman, just because it is. The line does not know who or even what you are, it gives everyone the exact same challenges to overcome and we all can achieve them in so many different ways. If you're a woman reading this, please, dont feel overwhelmed or scared of the sport, there are many different line setups and I'm pretty sure there is no just one but even several that are perfect for you.
I try to inspire them using myself and other cool slack-women as examples that everyone can Slackline no matter what are their aspirations with the sport, whether to compete or hang out, I encourage everyone to just try it out.
My advice would be to never give up and to give everything you have to accomplish whatever you set out to do even if sometimes you get discouraged, just breathe and try it again. Every step you take and every second you spend on the like are huge improvements for your skills.
I do not really have a specific project so far... But I feel really proud to accomplish to introduce, guide and help so many people that wanted to learn or improve their Slackline skills.
My climbing gym in college had a few slackline setups - a few low walking lines and a trickline. It’s crazy rare to have a trickline setup in a gym, so I was lucky to get such early exposure to the sport and the opportunity to learn over pads. I would get so distracted from climbing as I watched Alex Mason and Breannah Yeh fly into the air and bounce on this impossibly thin line. It blew my mind. It was the most amazing spectacle of explosive beauty and impossible dope-ness. I learned to walk first, but once I got the hang of bouncing - I was obsessed. Well, I’m still obsessed…
Slacklining has given me the opportunity to travel, perform and make a living tricklining, but more importantly: slacklining is my form of mediation. It allows me to explore a mind-body connection that’s impossible for the conscious mind to tap into. Tricklining, in particular, has introduced me to my mental, physical and spiritual limits and given me the confidence to approach the impossible with focus, preparation, strength and pinch of optimistic hope. Also, the people I've met in the slack community are amazing!
There is so much opportunity for female slackliners! Watching someone kill it on a slackline is awesome. Watching a woman kill it on a slackline is better ;)
Since slacklining is still gaining popularity, I think exposing women to the benefits and beauty of slacklining is incredibly important. I’m so lucky to train in a publicly visible space where I can share my passion for the sport, teach others how to get into it and pass along my tips, tricks, best practices, and all around stoke :)
DO IT! Seriously, slacklining is the f*cking best. If you’re looking for an outdoor exercise that gives you abs, ass, legs-for-days, a strong core, cat-like balance, and a superpower talent - slacklining is your jam. If you have bad posture, poor focus, slow reflexes - this is your solution. Plus, the community is awesome - so many friends! It will feel impossible at first, but YOU CAN DO IT! Take it slow - be patient and safe. Just remember, bruises fade - epicness lasts forever.
I saw slacklining at my local rock climbing gym when I was 13, 11 years ago and immediately thought " that looks fun, I NEED to try that". My immediate reaction was this is so hard, but I want to get good at this! My friend at the time Alex Mason was one of the first people to start tricklining and we were both hyped on the sport.
Slacklining has impacted me both physically and mentally. It's such an amazing training tool for almost every single sport in the world. Every athlete could benefit from balance training. Slacklining as a sport has taught me so much. It's made me a true believer that anyone can be good at something, if they take the time to put in the effort and practice. Whenever someone is amazed at one of my videos, my immediate reaction and response is "you can totally do this". With every minute that you put into slacklining, you can see the progress. Slacklining is one of those sports where everyone starts at square one. A professional athlete and a regular person starting out for the first time, will be in the same place. No one will be able to walk the whole slackline their first try!!
ILike I said, no one is at any advantage in this sport. Everyone starts at square one, so never be discouraged! Slacklining is one of the rare sports where both a woman and a man hold the record for longest highline walked!
Be persistent with it, put in the time to practice. It may seem impossible now, but just know that every single pro slackliner that you see now could not cross the slackline when they first started.
If it looks fun to you, send it! I guarantee you in about two weeks you will be able to cross the line and you'll get addicted! I like to think, if someone has done it, I can do it too - regardless of gender! Just have fun with it!
One of the greatest projects that I have ever had a chance to be a part of was when I slacklined over Hong Kong. This specific project was one that I hold very close to my heart, because I was the first woman to ever successfully cross a highline, above a place where my parents and family are from. It was such an incredible feeling to be surrounded by my friends, while we were floating above Hong Kong. My family and my chinese culture has shaped me into who I am today and being able to share this sport with the people of Hong Kong was surreal.