Dave interviews Appalachian State University students on campus to get to the bottom of why hammocking and slacklining are popular at App.
Dave Blanks: Well, hello once again folks it’s me, Dave Blanks with another Dave by the Bell. A podcast where I wander around Appalachian State’s campus and interview Appalachian State students about a single solitary question. The topic today is hammocks or hammocking also slacklining. Both have seen a huge surge in popularity in the last few years. If you walk around Appalachian State’s campus when it’s not freezing outside, or sometimes even when it is really cold, you are sure to find somebody in a hammock or bouncing on a slackline. Both very popular at many college particularly at Appalachian State. Why is that? That is the question for the day let's hear what Appalachian students have to say about it.
Voice 1: I think people at this school are a lot more laid back than farther east in the state. That is what I’ve noticed. People try to relax a little bit more. You do not even actively have to be doing something outdoors that is why hammocking is so popular. People just want to be around grass, sunshine and the fresh air.
Voice 2: It is a way for people to have their own little cocoon to be by themselves, but still in nature.
Voice 3: I do hammock on a regular basis. I think it is just a really good way to be outdoors first off and also a good way to relax in a space of your own to do homework. A lot of times living on campus with a roommate you don’t have your own personal space.
Voice 4: It is my own personal escape from the hustle and bustle of being a music major surrounded by everyone who is freaking out. That’s why I do it.
DB: That’s a great answer. Now here are some people slacklining on Sandford Mall. Why don’t we talk to them about slacklining? Let’s talk to some of the spectators first.
Voice 5: I think it is just a relaxing thing to do and it gets your mind off of school work for a minute.
Voice 6: I think slacklining is popular because Appalachian State is more of an outside school. It is something fun to do and I think the community here likes to try new things because it is college. I think it is just something fun to try out and do in between class.
Zachary Stanley: I’m Zachary Standley.
DB: I understand you are a sponsored slackliner, is that correct?
ZS: Yes, that is correct.
DB: That’s cool! So you’re actually so good that somebody pays you money to slackline.
ZS: I haven’t gotten straight checks, but I have gotten materials for slack lining.
DB: Sweet. Why is it so popular at college campuses and in particular at Appalachian State?
ZS: I think it is so popular here because of the sense of community. Everyone that slacklines here is super friendly and super open to teaching people. When freshman get here this is a place where they can hang out and they just kind of stay.
Voice 8: Hammocking and slacklining are not specifically a western North Carolina thing, but especially here is Boone it is a big part of the culture. I don’t know anyone in Boone who doesn’t have an ENO or isn’t out here slacklining. It is a great way to get some casual exercise and be outdoors. Just because you’re outdoors doesn’t mean you have to be out here running or doing something crazy. It is a good way to be casual and still have a great time outside.
Voice 9: I think hammocking, slacklining and all the other outdoors activities that people do here are so popular because this campus is so beautiful. I know it does get pretty cold here and in the second semester a lot of people stay inside for a good part of the year. During this part of the year it is fall it looks so great outside, it feels good and everyone just wants to be outside.
Voice 10: I think slacklining is popular around here because it is a fun way to hang out with your friends and meet new people.
DB: Have you ever done it?
Voice 10: I have not.
DB: You never have?
Voice 10: I’ve always wanted to.
DB: You just go over there man they almost tried to make me do it... Oh there are people hammocking right now, let's go talk to them about it.
Voice 11: It is convenient. It’s less than a pound in your backpack and you can set it up anywhere on campus. Helps you to unwind, relax and enjoy the beauty of our campus.
Voice 12: I think hammocking is so popular at App State because of the number of the number of trees that are the perfect distance from each other for hammocking. You can hammock like millions of places on campus because they’re so many places for it. It is the perfect thing to do between classes, it is comfortable and easy.
Voice 13: I think hammocking is really popular at Appalachian State because it is always nice here and it is a good way to relax. It is a portable way to do it as well.
DB: Do you do it?
Voice 13: I do, I love my ENO very very much!
Voice 14: I think it is really popular at App because they’re a lot of people who are into outdoorsy activities. It is nice up here when you can see the mountains in the distance. It is relaxing and just a good way to relax between classes and even to do homework and other stuff.
Voice 15: I think hammocking and slacklining are so popular here because at App or in Boone because we have such a beautiful place to be outside in. Those are just two wonderful things that you can do outside. I think they really embrace the idea of relaxation and self-care you know the whole Appalachian spirit.
DB: Hammocking and slacklining are all about being outside and also about community which I didn’t really expect. I thought most people would just say it’s a cool way to hangout and chill which a lot of people did say, but the community aspect of it is really cool and it’ clear that people hammock which seems like a solitary thing to do they will be in a little group. They have their cocoons in a group. It’s individual and social simultaneously. Slacklining just looks like a ton of fun. Thanks for listening I’ll talk to you next time. I’m Dave Blanks and this has been Dave by the Bell.
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About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls nearly 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.