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SlackTech is a company devoted to slacklining. SlackTech was founded by Jason Fautz in May of 2013, literally in a campground, the Smith Rock State Park Bivouac to be exact. It was a result of being frustrated with the systems and hardware available for slacklining. Because Jason’s initial friend group consisted of a ragtag group of slackers, climbers and general dirtbags, they had a lot of time to sit and complain about how they thought things should be. Eventually, they got to the point of saying, "Lets freaking do something about it!" Luckily, that rag tag group of slackers, climbers and dirtbags also had education and professional experience in manufacturing engineering, product design, machining, advanced physics, computer programming and some of that legal stuff. They figured they knew enough collectively to make things work.
Jason created SlackTech so that he could share his enthusiasm and unique skill-set with as many people as possible. He aspires to provide resources to the growing slackline community to safely practice every facet of slacklining in a progressive, safe, and responisble way.
Early in life, Jason wasn’t that great of a student. He would focus on what he was into, and school was... whatever. At the age of 7, Jason was building competition quality slot cars with his dad. By 14, he had saved up enough money to purchase his first real car, a 1969 VW Beetle, and almost completely overhauled it by the time he was 16. He gave it a big motor (which he had to rebuild a few times because he kept blowing it or its replacement up), new interior, an upgraded suspension, and he dreamt of a nitrous oxide fuel injection system. Unfortunately, his parents didn’t go for the nitrous system.
Jason’s hands on approach to life got him a job as a carpenter during his first years of college. At 19, he was exposed to rock climbing, slacklining, and product design and development. He attended the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and obtained a bachelor of science in Industrial Technology. These were very formative years for Jason because he not only got a technical education as applied to manufacturing and product development, but he was also introduced to a technical outdoor lifestyle that fit his attitude and outlook wonderfully.
Armed with a full-fledged college degree, Jason went out to get the job of his dreams… That didn’t happen, but he did get a pretty awesome opportunity. Jason started working for Gallo Glass Company doing new product development and project management with the largest family owned winery in the world, Gallo Winery. As fortune would have it, the job was in Modesto, Ca. Only 2.5 hours from Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Nevada mountain range. If Jason wasn’t working, he was playing on rock with ropes or training and studying for it. A few years into it, he got romanced by the outdoor dirtbag lifestyle, quit his job, sold almost everything he owned and moved into his VW Vanagon for a little more than a year and a half. During which time he traveled along the west coast and to Europe seeking adventures on rock. He also got his first real exposure to the bolder side of slacklining. Prior to that, slacklining was just a fun cross training activity for rock climbing. But his initial experience with Brian Mosbaugh and a 150 ft slackline with 6 ft high anchors, planted the seed for what would soon become an obsession.
As time went on, his slackline gear stash and his physical abilities grew, as the dollars in his bank account became few. Jason ran out of money and had to find another job. He landed in Seattle and started working for an aerospace company outside the city. They made composite interior and structural components for various commercial and non-commercial aerospace companies. Jason’s role there was to design and modify assembly processes/procedures as well as teach Lean manufacturing principles to employees. During lunch, he would go out for a quick slackline session and fantasize about the outdoor life he used to have.
About a year into that job… Jason made the choice and was back on the road again, heading to Mexico. Drastic life changes sometimes have unintended consequences, but they can also create unexpected opportunity. After a few weeks of travel, he landed at Smith Rock and started the company shortly after. It started with the idea of creating and manufacturing the most innovative webbing anchor ever made. Once accomplished, the SlackTech online store was created which now offers multiple unique SlackTech products, rigging resources and anything and everything needed for rigging slacklines.