For over 10 years the Teva Mountain Games, a project of the Vail Valley Foundation, has hosted some of the most progressive outdoor sports competitions in the world, from downriver stand up paddling races, to mountain bike freeride trials, to World Cup climbing competitions. This year, the festival is pleased to welcome another emerging sport to its diverse event lineup—competitive slacklining. From June 1-3 at the Teva Mountain Games, the world’s top slackliners will battle it out head-to-head at the Gibbon Games International Slackline Competition, a World Slackline Federation-sanctioned event in Vail.
Slacklining is the act of balancing along a narrow, flexible piece of webbing typically anchored between two trees. Originating in the climbing world, slacklining has evolved into a cross trainer, a backyard activity, and now a competitive sport that combines balance, strength, agility and acrobatics. Gibbon Slacklines is the world’s leading manufacturer of slacklines and sponsors a team of professional athletes and competitions across North America.
“We saw our first slackline competition at the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City last summer and immediately realized it would be a perfect addition to our event,” states Michael Imhof, vice president of sales and operations at the Vail Valley Foundation, organizers of the annual Teva Mountain Games. “Because it’s so accessible, dynamic and fun, slacklining is exploding in popularity right now and we’re pleased to host one of the new sport’s biggest competitions right here in Vail.”
Slacklining got a big boost in exposure earlier this year when Gibbon professional slackliner, Andy Lewis, performed during the Super Bowl Halftime Show alongside Madonna. Lewis is slated to compete in Vail along with current national and world champion, Michael Payton, and numerous other pro slackliners from around the world.
“We’re excited to showcase our sport to the thousands of spectators that attend the Teva Mountain Games,” notes Emilio Torres, vice president of sales and marketing for Gibbon Slacklines USA. “With a cash purse on the line, the competition will be intense. It’s going to be fun to watch.”
The Gibbon Games International Slackline Competition at the Teva Mountain Games starts on Friday, June 1, with single elimination qualifying rounds judged on difficulty, creativity and performance. The finals are scheduled to take place on Sunday, June 3.
In addition to the pro competition, an interactive demo area will be set up for anyone to try slacklining throughout the festival. For more information, click here.