Current Coordinator(s): Rachel Dobos and Vedant Desaig

Slacklining is a sport and art that can be a balance training, recreation, and a moving meditation. It is similar, at first glance to tightrope walking, and is accomplished by stretching and tensioning a 1”– 2” wide length of nylon/polyester webbing between two anchor points, most often trees. Its origin has most commonly been attributed to the rock climbing community in Yosemite National Park as a way of passing time while maintaining concentration, fitness, core strength and balance skills. Most styles of slacklining can be divided into the following categories.



Any slackline rigged over water is described as a waterline. Walking over water tends to be unexpectedly difficult, as the movement of the water influences the ability to control balance since our visual sense of level ground is distorted. Waterlines tend to be one of the safest forms of slacklining, as there is a low injury potential for landing in water.



Despite the extreme appearance, highlining has a strong safety record and the community does a great job of self regulating in terms of safety and promoting Leave No Trace ethics. While the media sometimes describes highliners as thrill seekers, it is actually quite the opposite. Highlining requires a very calm approach and a focus on self control. Additionally, highlines are always rigged with redundancy, meaning that every component in the system is backed up, often with multiple backups so that no single point failure can cause the line to fail.



Tricklining is a combination of gymnastics, acrobatics, and slacklining in which the slackline is rigged with a stretchy webbing under higher tensions, allowing for a trampoline effect. Trickliners bounce, jump, flip, and spin with a rapidly growing collection of tricks being developed.



Many slackliners practice some form of yoga slacklining or yogalining, in which common yoga poses are adopted on a slackline. The movement of the slackline increases the difficulty of otherwise simple yoga poses.



In recent years, rodeolining has become increasingly popular both as a training method for highlining and in its own right. Rodeolines are especially loose, often rigged by simply anchoring each end of the webbing without any tension, forming more of a U-shape than a line. Slackliners may intentionally cause the line to swing from side to side, a practice called surfing. The loose tension provides a different sort of challenge from tensioned slacklines, and is great training for longer and looser highlines.


Information credited to Slackline U.S.


Believe it or not, Pittsburgh has one of the most active slackline communities in the country. In an effort to build a space that guarantees access, safety, and fun, we are active advocates for Leave No Trace ethics, safe slackline practices, community-based education.

Useful links:

Slackmap: You’re guide on where to rig a slackline anywhere in the world -

Slackline Pittsburgh: Join to hear about news, meetups, & events -

Slackline U.S., essentially the Access Fund of the slackline world -

Steel City Slackers: Pittsburgh’s non-profit for all things slackline - @SteelCitySlackers

Slackchat: Global forum for slacklining -

Global Slackline Reddit -

Pittsburgh Slackline Reddit -