Benjamin Schmidt (GER)
Date of birth: 02.09.1994
Place of birth: Waiblingen
Zodica sign: Virgo
How did you get into slacklining?
I first came in contact with Slacklining through my cousin Josua. He had one stretched in his backyard and I tried my first steps on that. I immediately liked it a lot and ordered one for myself. The more often I stood on the Slackline, the more fun I had with it. I permanently tried new tricks and to walk longer lines until Lukas Irmler contacted me, whether I would like to try for adidas.
What's so great about this sport?
Slacklining ist not like other sports e.g. soccer or handball where training three to four times is usual, but it’s a trend sport where you meet friends and have fun together. There is no pressure to succeed, you can just be yourself on the line and do what you want.
What do you need to be a good slackliner?
Most important is to have fun by slacklining! Useful can be: having a good body control and fortitude, which means being able to accept small injuries, pulled muscles or even a bone fracture and not letting those stop you.
Did you start breaking records?
No, not quite yet. I’m rather interested in managing even harder tricks on the line.
And what was your inspiration?
The excitement is always there to try out new tricks and to improve.
What's your greatest success to date and what are your most memorable moments in the sport?
Definately the World Cup 2011 in Munich. It was just so much fun to slackline and to compete with the world’s best. I made it into the last 16. However, I have to say that it’s not so important to me to be successful in winning. For me success is to have fun by doing sports.
How do you go about preparing for a highline?
It’s not a big deal actually, I try to keep calm, breathe and look forward to it.
How intensive does slackline training need to be?
I think training is the wrong term in Slacklining. You just go out and enjoy the line. If you are not in the mood, no reason to force yourself.
What goals have you set for yourself? What do you still want to achieve inthis sport?
My only goal is to keep the level and as I mentioned before several times to always have fun.
What has been your most beautiful line so far?
So far I have only done two highlines, however, no other comes close to them. One was at the Mediterranean Sea of Sardinia during the sunset. I definitely I want to experience other highlines that are even more beautiful.
Have you every experienced a scary situation on a highline?
When I first stood on a highline my legs were shaking strongly. I knew nothing can happen, yet you have to get used to the height first.
What would you say your strengths are?
My strengths lie in tricklining. I’m particularly good in turns and I feel relatively safe on the line.
And your weaknesses?
I don’t like static tricks. Probably because I don’t do them so often and therefore enjoy them less.
A lot of people go barefoot on the slackline but you wear shoes. Why?
It’s smarter wearing shoes by tricklining. You have a good hold in them, more grip on the line and if falling down from a certain height, shoes are much more comfortable since they function as a cushion.
What kind of shoes are best for slacklining?
I think shoes with a flat sole and good hold. These conditions are for example given by skater shoes and of course you should like the design.
Do you practise any other kind of sport or at least do fitness training?
I do other sports but not for compensation. Any particular strength training, I think, is not necessary.
Is there an upper age limit for slacklining? How long do you think you can go on practising this sport?
It just depends on how to exercise the sport. If you just want to walk on it, you can do it as long as you walk on the ground. Doing crazy tricks it stops around the age of 30 and by 40-50 you might be able to jump a bit but that’s it.