Slackliners petitioning Vancouver for right to park space
CTV British Columbia
Published Friday, August 16, 2013 6:50PM PDT
Last Updated Friday, August 16, 2013 7:03PM PDT
Slacklining enthusiasts are petitioning Vancouver’s park board to let them set up their slacklines in city parks.
The up-and-coming sport involves stretching a nylon cord, similar to a seat belt, between two trees, and walking along it like a tightrope. Slack liners say it’s a bit like yoga.
“But it’s more fun,” said Xavier Vivas, founder of Slacklining Canada. “You have to use your mind, your body, your core, your strength.”
Slack lining isn’t officially banned in Vancouver, but Vivas said he frequently gets told to pack up and leave by park staff.
He said it seems to stem from two issues: damage to trees, and safety risks.
Vivas said he always uses tree protector pads when he attaches sets up his lines, saying they prevent damage to the trees. His group works to encourage all slack liners to use tree protectors.
He said the sport is perfectly safe, and he and his peers do their best to put up their slack lines away from pedestrians or cyclists, so they aren’t tripping hazards.
He and fellow slack liners such as Spencer Seabrooke are hoping to eventually have an area dedicated to slack lining, out of the way of other park users.
For now, they’re having trouble getting a clear answer from the park board as to why they’re not being allowed to slack line in city parks.
“It would be nice to know what I can and can't do,” said Seabrooke.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Norma Reid