Slacklining debuts new scoring format |

Slacklining debuts new scoring format

Alex Mason wows the crowd with his aerial moves during the Slackline Invitational men's finals at Solaris Plaza on Sunday. Pro slackliners from around the world competed head to head for $10,000 in cash prizes.
Townsend Bessent | |


GoPro Mountain Games

1 Tauri Vahesaar

2 Felix Carreira

3 Kota Hayasaka

VAIL — Competitive slacklining made its debut as an objectively judged competition at this year’s GoPro Mountain Games, to rave reviews from competitors.

While people have been using slacklines for decades, the competition aspect is relatively new to the sport. When the Mountain Games introduced it several years ago, and up until this year, a team of judges would evaluate and assign a score to a competitor’s performance based on overall impression.

Go Big or Go Home

This year, every trick is scored and totaled to determine a winner. Competitors were given two attempts to lay down their best run on the slackline, with the score from their better of the two performances used.

Tauri Vahesaar, of Estonia, came out victorious.

“I love this new format,” Vahesaar said on Sunday. “You can put everything down and really see who’s the best.”

‘He Came Out of Nowhere’

Two years ago, a 19-year-old Vahesaar made his debut as a professional slackliner here at the GoPro Mountain Games.

“He came out of nowhere,” second-place Felix Carreira, of Brazil, said of Vahesaar. “I was here at his first ever comp, now he’s killing it.”

Estonia Backflip

Vahesaar came in from Estonia just for the Mountain Games. He said it was his signature move, the Estonia Backflip, that guided him to victory.

Vahesaar’s Estonia Backflip starts with him having both feet on the slackline, he then flips one-and-a-half rotations to his back, then bounces to his feet again.

“This is what I came here to do,” he said after the win. “I felt really good. It was all I could do.”

Rounding out the podium was Kota Hayasaka, of Japan, in third.

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