Well-balanced students try out slacklining

Kelsey Terherst walks across a slack line. The rock climbing club meets on the green Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to test their balance on the slack line. Monica Herndon // Staff Photographer

Three days a week, Frankie Pereda and his friends set up their slacklining equipment in front of the Ashe building.

They string a 1-inch wide piece of nylon webbing between two trees, stretching it just enough so it bounces and acts like a long, narrow trampoline.

Then, they hop on, making their way up and down the line, trying not to fall.

Slacklining has become an interesting option for students looking to get away from the stress of daily life.

“Being relaxed is one of the main ways to stay balanced on the line,” Pereda said. “You need to be focused on keeping your center right over the line. With all of that, it’s hard to think about anything else.”

Though UM has no official club, passionate slackliners like Pereda set up weekly sessions on the Green in front of the Ashe Building on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The group has been setting up their lines for over two years.

Many of the frequent slackliners are also members of the UM Parkour Club and Rock Climbing Club who go to unwind after doing activities with those clubs.

Michael Greene, a member of the Rock Climbing Club, became involved after spotting some of his friends slacklining.

“I was returning to Mahoney-Pearson from class one afternoon, and recognized some of my rock climbing friends on the line at the Green,” he said. “I went over, tried it, and have been hooked ever since.”

Pereda, like Greene, became involved with the club last spring after watching members practice on the Green.

He hopes passersby will also take a chance on the line.

“We encourage people to try it at least once,” he said. “Many of the people that are regulars now tried the slackline once, liked it, and have been returning ever since.”