Comments: 67 • Responses: 22  • Date: 

abecedorkian54 karma

Who pays a professional slackliner to be a professional slackliner ?

kimweglin32 karma

Gigs mostly. There's actually quite the market in advertising/marketing, performances, modeling/commercial acts, teaching, etc. I also do graphic art/wedding design/signage/calligraphy/and manage a slack resource website, but gigs provide some nice income and travel on the side ;)

Katzenpuff12 karma

Does cheese belong on a fajita?

kimweglin19 karma

cheese belongs on everything

FollyBeachSC9 karma

How long have you been slacklining? (My autocorrect turned that into "slacking." Main reason I leave the autocorrect on, because of the hilarious stuff it comes up with.) How did you get into it in the first place? Are all your thoughts when you're up in the air concentrated on walking and balancing, or do you ever find yourself day-dreaming and have to shake your thoughts back to reality?

kimweglin8 karma

I've been slacklining for about 3.5 years now, and highlining for 3 years! I started in the park, as 99.9% of people do. I met someone slacklining and he got me on a line, and I tried it and instantly fell off and fell in love. I loved how hard and frustrating it was. With every fall, I HAD to keep getting back up to prove to myself that I could do it. I bought my first slackline that night, and I saw a picture of someone highlining shortly thereafter, and new I would do it someday.

For the most part, my thoughts are generally hyper focused on the moment and my balance and my walk....being hundreds or thousands of feet above the ground kinda does that to you ;) But there are good days and bad, and that's what I love about slacklining. It is a super humbling sport, and it really shows you what is going on in your mind and your body. Some lines I get on and I've walked them a million times and it's easy and my mind drifts and wanders, and when that happens, I know I am not challenging myself enough or pushing my limits, which I always seek to do. So then I know I have to try harder. And then other days, I'll get on the same line that was too easy for me the day before, and I can barely stand up or take a step. Usually when that happens, I have other things going on in my life, and I have to assess why I am so distracted mentally and feeling so defeated to the point where I don't believe I can't walk a line I've done a bunch of times before. There's a lot of self analysis that goes into highlining...I'd honestly say it is 95% mental and 5% physical.

It has been an interesting journey seeing the disconnect between mind and body. Sometimes my brain tells me to fall or give up, and I am 100% certain I am going to fall. I'm expecting it...and then my feet will keep walking. Or I'm certain that I am going to keep walking, and my feet will make me sit down. Highlining has really pushed me to get the mind/body disconnect back in sync, and showed me that nearly everything in life is just about making a decision--whether you are going to stand and fight and keep stepping, even if it's just one step at a time, or if you are going to let yourself be defeated and give up before you've accomplished anything.

whitewallsuprise8 karma

Let's say I just got a little bit of Cayenne pepper up my nose, how would you make it go away ?

kimweglin3 karma

I'd stick my finger up there and get it out for you.

Or I'd stick some up my nose too so you don't have to face this torment alone. I got ya back!

whitewallsuprise1 karma

I got to thinking. A warm milk netti pot drain would probably work. To bad I have neither of those things and I just blew my snozzle until it stopped sucking.

kimweglin2 karma

farmer blow it for sure

badamache7 karma

So what are the full-time jobs for professional slackliners? Which companies hire the most full-time slackliners? Is there a union? What are the contract opportunities for slackliners?

kimweglin3 karma

I answered a bit of this above so I am going to copy and past the first part: "Gigs mostly. There's actually quite the market in advertising/marketing, performances, modeling/commercial acts, teaching, etc. I also do graphic art/wedding design/signage/calligraphy/and manage a slack resource website, but gigs provide some nice income and travel on the side ;)"

There still aren't unions or anything like that for slacklining as it is still a relatively new sport, but it has been growing like crazy recently. It is about 50/50 getting offered jobs and having people come to you/pitching yourself to companies for potential jobs that you are interested in.

Mythril_Zombie6 karma

Soooo... Where did the consummation take place? Wait. I mean reception. Where did the reception take place?

kimweglin6 karma

Fat desert rave and bonfire for the reception. We built a 75 foot long, 10 foot high tent out of pvc pipe, plastic and wood, and lined every PVC pipe with LEDS. We had twinkle lights everywhere, lasers, LED balloons, 500 glow sticks, UV body paint (only rule was you can't bodypaint yourself), 3 generators, and our friend DJing the whole night. As far as consummation goes... #vanlife hahah. At least til we got back home

eastriverdriveII6 karma

What is your favorite place to be on Earth? if you could be anywhere

kimweglin9 karma

As much as I love the mountains and the sky, my favorite place to be is actually underwater...and my favorite place on Earth that I have been was this tiny island called South Water Caye off the coast of Belize, situated on their barrier reef. The snorkeling there was incredible. (I'm so excited because I finally get to go back there for my honeymoon!) Some other stand out moments would have to be: -Earlier this year, I went to Iceland and I got to highline on a glacier...I've never been so cold in my life, but it was one of the most spectacular things I have ever done/seen. -The town of Zermatt in Switzerland holds a special place in my heart. The way the Matterhorn and the alps tower over that tiny town is like no other. I recommend paragliding at FlyZermatt if you ever go there and visiting Papperla Pub! -Highlining in front of Vernal Falls in Yosemite with the thunderous, water crashing down a mere 20-30 feet away from me was one of the times I felt closest with nature and understanding this world.

TimKerrick5 karma

What the fuck is slacklining?

PoliticalLava5 karma

Flat tightrope.

TimKerrick2 karma

Ahh the woosiest rope.

kimweglin3 karma

Yeah, it is a flat piece of webbing. Sort of like walking on a rubber band.

Kkatbat5 karma

What did you do to get your crazy flexibility?

Also, has anyone ever told you that you resemble Kate Mara?

kimweglin4 karma

I honestly just stretch every day! Not because I have to, but because I want to and it feels amazing and prevents so many health problems that most people experience. I am also a bit obsessed with contortion/handbalancing, as I think it is the most superhuman thing to be able to have 100% control of your body and bend and twist it any way you want. Not to mention it's a good party trick ;)

And thank you! No one has ever told me that before. I just looked her up and I definitely see it from some angles

neonontherun5 karma

How does one hang a spacenet over a gap like that (at your wedding) to ensure that it is secure and doesn't fall?

kimweglin8 karma

We set it up as we do with most highlines, except it required a lot more people to help. In general, we start by getting the anchors rigged. This net is pentagon shaped and required 5 different anchor points. 4 of the anchors were made up of bolts, and one of the anchors we rigged all naturally with spansets and rope by wrapping rocks. We then backed that up to bolts that were nearby. Then we focused on getting a tag line across the gap (usually a string of paracord or cordalette. We use a line that is not our slackline since we trust our lives to the strength of the webbing and don't want to risk getting it stuck on anything or abrading it on rocks). Once we have the line tagged, we tie the end of it to our slackline, and use that tag line to pull our slackline across. So with the net, we have to tag all the separate anchors, and have people at each anchor that are able to slowly let out the net/pull in the tag. This net in particular weights probably about 500 lbs, so this is not an easy feat, and takes a lot of hands to do. Once we get the net to where we want it in the middle of the canyon, we all take turns putting the webbing into weblocks (gear specifically made for highlining). We then put tension on the slacklines using a pulley system and line grip, and we are done!
Because this net is so large/weighs so much/and there's usually a lot of people on it, we also embedded dynamometers into each anchor in order to constantly measure and record the tension that we put on every side.

Sweetwill624 karma

Seems like that would increase the cost of the wedding, how much did it run you guys extra compared to doing it on the ground?

kimweglin7 karma

It actually saved us a lot of money doing it out there with all of our friends. We already have all the gear and the knowledge and friends to rig it, and we go to that festival every year anyways. So basically, we didn't have to pay for a venue, all of our friends from all over the world (germany, france, iceland, brazil, canada, australia, etc) were in town with places to stay and food to eat, and we added maybe $700 more paracord into the net to make it easier to walk on and another $200 for the aisle (since that was a new addition). Our aerial friends already had their silks/lyra. I just bought flower petals and tutus for the base jumpers, and took care of suits/bridesmaid dresses. We ended up having our friend who is an amazing chef do all the cooking, and he made a huuuuuge gourmet ass meal for over 200 people for super cheap compared to a normal wedding venue where food is like $40-50 a person at the lowest. I did all the invitations, signage, and wedding planning myself, and we built the 750 sq ft rave tent ourselves from PVC pipe, plastic, and wood. We paid our friends to take photos/video for us, and thats about it. The slack community is an amazing one, and because everyone banded together, we were able to pull off a wedding that should have probably cost $100,000 for what would be considered next to nothing in the wedding industry.

originalscheiss4 karma

Do slackliners ridicule tight rope walkers ?

kimweglin7 karma

hahah no! not at all! We all have the same mindset, and once you feel that headspace and flow state, you pretty much respect and instantly connect with anyone that has ever felt that too.

A lot of slackers do get pretty frustrated though with people calling US tight rope walkers all the time though hahah. Mostly because the name implies it is "slack", not tight.

originalscheiss4 karma

Are there at least some rib jabs around the water cooler about the relative simplicity of tight roping vs slack lining ?

kimweglin3 karma

Hahah kind of. One of my slacker friends did actually get to meet Philippe Petit in person a few years ago (the guy that walked the Twin Towers back in the day)! But they honestly just jived on how much they had in common.

Ultimately, they're just different disciplines and hard in their own ways. Everyone rigs their lines differently, and some people like to put a lot of tension on it and walk it tight like a tightroper. But most people in the sport leave it pretty slack as we realized it is much easier to walk a line if it is looser than tighter. If you can train your body and get used to the completely different style of walking, then it seems to be the most successful way to walk long lengths in the sport. Tight ropes fight you A LOT, and it is really hard to walk long lengths if the line is tight. Any bad energy you put into it, travels through the line to the anchor then bounces off and comes back to you and knocks you off. Even if you relax on a tight line, it is still extremely challenging. Whereas if you can just learn to relax on a loose line, it will relax with you, making it easier to walk longer and longer distances. (The current world record highline is over a mile now).

originalscheiss5 karma

If your husband one day says he's going tight rope 100% , would that be a game changer ?

kimweglin3 karma

hahahah oh man this is a good question, and maybe the only thing we haven't actually discussed. This actually made us both laugh pretty hard.

but nah, we have WAY too much gear to give up this sport that easily. we both would be super interested to try tight rope walking some day though. Good training.

originalscheiss1 karma

Is this world record a straight line distance or a rope length. Because I think some tight rope walkers may have some turse words over this

kimweglin1 karma

A lot of people have started recording both direct line distance and rope length as there is a lot of sag in the webbing. Check out these crazy photos on the sag of the world record 1662 meter line here and here These are the specs on it: length : 1662m height : 340m off level : 48m standing tension : 600kg (reaching 10kN when the wind was blowing with 40km/h gusts)

I couldn't find it off the bat, but I know they have it written down somewhere how long the actual rope distance was too.


Wait a sec, tight rope is easier than slack line? Why the hell do people always try to teach slack line then?

kimweglin2 karma

They're not easier, just different. The only people that say one is easier than another is because they specifically train for that discipline...thereby making that easier for them than the other.

lloyddobbler3 karma

Hey, Kim -

Congrats to you & Ryan. Freaking awesome setting. I'm curious - how long did the rigging take for this spacenet, and what was the additional time needed for this one (due to the 'aisle')?

(Side note - I used to jump with Sketchy Andy on occasion at Mile-Hi. Small world!)

kimweglin3 karma

hahah rad!! Definitely a small world, especially in our line of adventuring. And thank you!

It actually only took us about a day and a half to rig this and the aisle...would have been faster if we had more people. This is the first year we did it way before the GGBY festival, and we added over 2 miles of paracord in the past month, so it was way heavier and harder to get down to the bowl and rigged than the other years. We actually had been planning and brainstorming the aisle for most of the past year, but actually only sat down to do it pretty much a day before we planned on setting up the net, and then Andy and the SlacklifeBC crew figured out most of it as we went. We weaved a lot of paracord into the aisle the net was already up and rigged haha

ShinjukuAce3 karma

How do you get over a fear of being that high? I did silks classes for a while and even being 15 feet in the air was daunting.

kimweglin3 karma

Honestly, the fear never goes away, it just becomes much more manageable with repeated exposure. For the first year and a half of highlining, I would have panic attacks every time I got out onto a line, but I figured if it scared me that much, that's exactly why I should do it. Fast forward 3 1/2 years, and I very rarely get panic attacks. I still feel fear and nervousness, but I am able to consciously choose to not be overwhelmed by it. It is also relative... I train in Yosemite a lot, which is extremely exposed (most lines are about 1000-3000 ft up), so when I go highline somewhere that is only 400 feet in the air (like where I got married), that height doesn't scare me too much anymore. Every single time that I choose to get out there, it gets easier in the long run. You said you "did silks for a while," did you stop doing silks because of that fear?

JeepXJlife3 karma

I read this as "professional slackers"!!! Then I think "hmmm wonder what professional slackers do for a living". But I read it again and see slackliners lol. Anyways congrats on the marriage, looked absolutely beautiful. Was this somewhere out in Utah?

kimweglin2 karma

Hahah I mean, we do refer to ourselves as slackers, so that's fair ;)

And thank you! Yes, it was in the Moab, Utah, area.

SpoopyTheGreat2 karma

Have you ever had something go wrong on the job?

kimweglin6 karma

We've had some things ALMOST go wrong a few times, but what we value most in the sport while rigging our lines is redundancy. Highlining is actually one of the safest sports in the world, as there have been no deaths from highlining in the nearly 50 years it has been a sport. If everything is rigged correctly, then there will be backup systems in place for any type of failure situation you could imagine. If it is rigged correctly, it is almost statistically impossible for everything to go wrong at one time that would need to go wrong for our systems to fail. (Minus the entire cliff face falling off...but if that happens, then I can accept that's just my time to go haha.)

Comparatively, other disciplines of slacklining are actually much more dangerous such as tricklining and slacklining close to the ground in the park, as people break their bones/necks/backs etc when they fall off the line and hit the ground. Whereas up high, you just fall and hang on your leash. Even slacklining over water is dangerous as a lot of people have popped ear drums by falling off the slackline into the water the wrong way.

DontRememberOldPass2 karma

What does the leash attach to? The line?

I’ve done a bit of rigging for Search and Rescue, and my palms will be sweating until I get a reply. 😧

kimweglin3 karma

Yep! The leash is embedded into the system. We have two forged steel leash rings that go around the slacklines (we walk on two slacklines up high...a main and a backup webbing in case something were to happen to the main)