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On the tight belt

I'll talk about two sports that I met first time ever in Estonia.

The first one is 'Kite Surfing'. Standing on the surfboard while handling a parachute far up in the sky and sliding on the sea. Mixture of wind surfing and parasailing, can you picture the sport? Well, the principle is quite simple, although the equipment is very complex. Grab a motor bike like handle and control the parachute. Of course, both foot are settled on the surfboard. The wind above looks stronger than the sea surface. Once you capture the wind, the board slide on the water in full speed, runs hundreds meters in a moment along the beach. It cannot be played swimming or surfing area. So the play area must be limited. I saw the Kite Surfing in Latvia too. It seems to have already certain population to play with.

The second sport is 'Rope Balancing (or Slacklining)'. One evening I saw a guy trained to walk on the tight rope sustained between trees in the park. "Is he a performer or circus member?" I was interested in it and looked closer. The line which I had thought rope wasn't rope in exact. It's a 10 cm wide belt. The material looked tough enough. The belt was settled 1 meter high from the ground. The each end was anchored on the trunk of tree. Is this a special belt for Rope Walking? He said it's a sport, and he wasn't circus member. Trained it for hours every evening. "Wanna try it?" Oh no, I cannot be on the super unstable swinging rope even for a second. As trying difficult technique again and again, his arms were scratched. The belt was very edgy so easy to be hurt. "The Rope Balancing (or Slacklining) is a sport. Have a look at the You Tube" He pointed a smart phone monitor. Amazing! A guy in the video was flipping freely on the 10cm wide belt. You can jump using the suspension of the belt like a trampoline while you can walk on it like a balance beam. This sport may be much deeper than I expected.

For me, Rope Walking had been a performance, for example crossing on a wire between the 110 floor twin towers in New York in 1970s or walking on a rope putting a vessel on the head in India. They balanced holding a long horizontal bar. "Ah, I saw a documentary movie about the Twin Towers. That's Performance Art called Tight Rope Walking" The guy said.
Rope Walking is approached form Performance sometime, then approached from Sport the other time. Anyway there are no difference in the fact it needs a high skill and it's dangerous. Actually, to be make a high technique like flipping on the belt the special facility is needed for safety. To get the circumstances, he gotta go to the big city at least 200km away he said. Rope balancing is not so major in Estonia. The equipment are imported from Italy, he described.
There are many sports still I don't know. However it could get more popular in a future coz it's simple. What you need is just two tree trunks and a belt. Anyway that people can explore new sports all based on the freedom, richness and maybe peace of the society.

Oct. 2016

Today's piece
" Rope Balancing " Parnu, Estonia 2016

fumikatz osada photographie