Sunday, October 21, 2012

RodeoLine Training

I can not believe I am slacklining for almost 7.5 years and I did not get into rodeo-lines before. I mean of course I tried and practice that kind of slacklining a bit. I just didn't think it can be so much fun. Well, it just proves again slacklining never gets old and always brings something new ...

For these who might not know, rodeoline is a slackline which is REALLY slack. That means there is no tension on the line at all and usually the line has LOTS of sag in it. Usually that means you have to climb your trees and attach your anchor high above the ground (for example for 20-25m line 3-5m is great!) If the trees have branches it is really easy to climb and fix your spansets (best placement for your anchor would be just above a branch so the spanset can not slide down). If the branches start really high above the ground you will have to climb the trees using two spansets. It is pretty simple; you wrap the tree with a spanset and girth-hitch it. You will need second spanset/sling fixed the same way. Then, simply, put both spansets as high as you can, put your foot in a free hanging loop of the first spanset and stand in it. Next, move the second spanset as high as you can, step on it, move the first spanset up and repeat till you get to the point where you want to fix your anchor ...

Soon, I will post whole article about how to set up your rodeo, different line types, gear tips, photos etc.

Rodeoline is great practice for longlines, highlines and your balance in general. I like how slow you have to react to any movement in the line. What really got me hooked though, was surfing it ("brah!")... It is not easy but also not as hard as I thought it would be. I definitely got lots of inspiration from 'rodeo-surf masters' such as Jerry Miszewski, Johannes Olszewski, Jordan Tybon and Basti Aldehoff.

Jordan going BIG (25m L/4m of sag, Type-18)
My first attempts to surf rodeoline took place during European Juggling Convention in Lublin this year. Piotr Błaszczak and I were doing slackline workshops for almost one week and I had lots of free time on my hands before the Urban Highline Festival. I spent almost whole time on a rodeo line set up with Gibbon 'Classic Line'. It was not a perfect set up but on this easy and short set up I learned all the basics (how to start, surf, sideways surfing, surf-walking etc.)

I followed continuously train rodeo lining and soon moved to 20m length with 3 meters of sag. I was using quite static Gibbon 'Flowline'. You can watch the video down below:

Nowadays I am in Berlin. Amazing place to be, with LOTS of slackers and great slacklining spots ... I went out few times with Jordan for some slackline training (mostly some longlines, 50m of loose threaded 'Slack Spec' and rodeolines rigged with Type-18) ...

On the 123m rigged with Core [OS-FM] (photo by Ingo Thomas)
We did few 25m rodeolines with about 4-4.5m of sag and tried 35m with 5-6m of sag (it was pretty beastly but we manage to progress on it a bit) ... After watching the video of the guy sit-starting while swinging on a rodeoline both of us wanted to learn how to do it. You can see the video below:

Both of us got it first session although Jordan and I have slightly different technique. Good swing and the timing is really important in this move. We had so much practice that right now we seriously can barely sit down because of the sores on our butts...

Swinging sit-start in progress (25m L/4m of sag, Type-18)
All of our session were really fun and we tried to go as big as we can.

Jordan going BIG ... (photo by Ingo Thomas) 
... like a fairy! (photo by Ingo Thomas)
I swear, one day we are going to spin full circle ;) Next ideas to learn are; sitting back down, turning, standing up & turning in one move ... And right now enjoy short clip from the last training session:

Peace & SlackOn!


  1. Thanks for the very inspiring post! I didn't even know what a rodeo line is. But I have been walking my short 15 line with no tension (1m sag or so) and find it really nice. Looking forward to going bigger. Maybe we meet in Berlin sometime.

  2. loving this! i've been slacking with Jerry M for a little over a year now and I'm just starting to get into rodeo lines. I love because they're so simple to set up and use a completely different style of balancing when compared to slacklining. I definitively need to try that swing sit start. Great stuff