‘Slacklining’

Well now. Here’s something you don’t normally get to see when you are out strolling around the gardens of ‘Canoe Lake’ down in Southsea.

Until yesterday I had heard nothing of this activity called ‘slacklining’, nor indeed of the skills and benefits the practice involves.

The day was a crisp fresh one as I parked the van up and placed the lead around Diesel our sons Boxer dog. There we stood in the biting wind, myself, my little missus, and unusually just two of our four grandchildren.

In fairness it was our Diesel who first noticed this young guy doing what I had at that assumed was tightrope training.

He suddenly sat completely still, and with a little whine of puzzlement he tilted his head to one side looking very curiously at the spectacle before him.

On closer inspection however, I saw that it wasn’t rope at all. It was in fact webbing which had been tensioned between anchor points.

It was though as it transpired, not a million miles off my initial thought. You see slacklining resembles slack rope walking and tightrope walking; as the line is similarly held under tension.

I then tried somewhat over ambitiously it turned out to fire off a few shots of this young guy doing his thing whilst at the same time being pulled in the opposite direction by Diesel.

What Diesel hasn’t yet quite grasped yet though, is that he is now a very powerful healthy specimen of a dog, who should he decide to walk away from his handler, will tend to take you with him.

Anyway, I eventually persuaded him to reluctantly wait with me long enough to introduce myself and get a minute or two to speak to the young guy involved.

So ladies and gents this is Mike Wellstead. Mike apparently is hooked on this relatively new sport; having only recently just returned from Switzerland where he was apparently put through his paces.

He told me people can also find loads more information about ‘slacklining’ for themselves should they be interested in trying it out.

Yep; it’s all there on the world wide web, and in particular on ‘youtube’

So cheers again my friend, and thank you for taking the time to explain what it was you were doing as well as kindly offering my two grandkids Megan and Harri who were out with me yesterday the opportunity to have a go.

Little girls though, as most people will know, do suddenly become inherently shy when asked to participate. But will nothing of then spending the remainder of the day asking repeatedly if they can now have a go, as they have since changed their minds.

I don’t know about slacklining… but by the time we had walked the kids for an hour and a half and answered their incessant questioning whilst occasionally having my right arm wrenched from its socket by an over amorous boxer; I felt more like flatlining to be truthful.

Cheers though Mike. I shall be looking out for you on future visits.

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