Hey everyone! My name is Slush, creator of Slushropes.
If you're in the Rope Flow community, chances are you're following / have seen Alpaca Flow's page in your feed. In every community, there are leaders in the space in which the community gravitates to. Alpaca Flow is one of them.
But what is HIS name? Where is he from? Who is HE?
In this interview, I'm diving deep with the one and only Alpaca Flow as we launch our collaboration rope together! This rope is very special. It has brought so many smiles and pure joy from the community. With the Alpaca print on the rope, it's not surprising why!
"What is your name? Where are you from?"
My name is Siniša. I’m originally from Croatia, but I moved around quite a bit (Sweden, Switzerland, US) and now I’m back in Sweden. The name Alpaca Flow started off as a joke.I had to layer up to flow outside during the Swe winter, so many of my early flow videos showcased me wearing an alpaca sweater. The used a lot of jump turns and direction changes in my style, so there was a running joke in the comments about the flow being driven by the power of the alpaca sweater.
At some point it started making perfect sense that I should adopt the alpaca image for my online brand. the image of an alpaca represents rope flow as a practice accurately: friendly, playful, but qualities like perseverance and resilience too. Anyone who’s been hit it the face when unlocking the Cheetah’s tail understands what I mean by that.
"How did you end up in rope flow? What is it about rope flow that resonates to you? What are some things you continue to come back to compared to other modalities?"
I was drawn to rope flow from the very first video I saw on Facebook(three-ish years ago). Something in my body lit up as I watched those first videos, and there was a clear sense of “I want, NEED, to move that way”. I got my first rope and started practicing, going through the initial phase of frustration and then finally started “groking it” nine months in. Then it took another year before I felt like I was moving the way I wanted to. If I reflect on those first moments of seeing rope flow, it was the martial art aesthetics that really resonated with me, and that’s something that still drives my practice. There’s also an aspect of never-ending skill and style building that never gets old. Either learning completely new skills, or going into deeper layers of base patterns, there’s always something to explore.
"What is one thing you've found in rope flow that you can't find in any other practice?"
The capacity of rope flow to draw out our innate movement intelligence is quite unique. If we approach the practice with curiosity, it helps us grow confidence in our own body’s capacity to solve physical problems and express itself. Once you integrate the fundamental principles from WeckMethod (rather than just learning patterns), it’s like having an inner master coach. There’s this milestone in our practice where we switch from emphasizing external coaching, cues and tutorials to trusting internal cueing and awareness. With time, that shows up as refinement of a personal flow style, and there are as many styles as there are practitioners.
We should also never forget that we have something else that’s special: the rope flow community. Friendliness, support, sharing, inspiration, and teaching, everyone pitching in in different ways to grow rope flow globally.
"How does rope flow benefit you as an athlete and mover?"
Rope flow has done wonders for my body awareness, coordination, mobility and balance. I was actually couch-bound before starting, in pain and stiff, dissociated from my body and reluctant to move because of past injuries. Rope flow has changed all that. Now there’s a sense of freedom in the way I move, and that sense gets renewed every time I pick up the rope.
I have grown confidence and curiosity to pick up other tools and modalities. Rope flow skills have a tremendous carryover to other tools like clubs and maces, as well as more general athletic pursuits. Now I spend 1-2 hr per day moving and exploring movement with and without the rope.
"How did you hear about Slushropes? And what part of Slush Culture resonates with you?"
I was following you from my early practice days, before you started making your own ropes! One of my favourite moves, Slushi roll (what I now know as the insteer one hand matador) comes from your early tutorials.
That’s what I like about Slushropes, and the value we have in common: expressing our passion for rope flow by sharing knowledge and community building. It’s about wanting rope flow to be a success as much as we want personal success.
"What does this collaboration mean to you? And what would you like for others to know when they buy your rope?"
The collaboration is an opportunity for me to join forces with one of the pioneers and icons of Rope Flow! It’s a chance to showcase my passion and have a rope I can stand behind and that I enjoy rolling every day.
Anyone who’s tried finding a rope that feels “just right” knows how much of a hit-and-miss that process is. And now that I found a rope like that, I want others to try it out.
"Do you teach any modalities? If yes, what do you teach? How can people in your local community reach you?"
I have been teaching rope flow for a year and half now, both online and in person. Recently I started giving indian club swinging lessons too. I hope to show people that these two tools complement each other and can be used to get around some sticking points in our practice. One month ago I completed the WeckMethod qualification training and will be drawing on that knowledge as I teach.
So far I coached a lot online, but am looking to build a local community of practitioners and start teaching more in person. We moved to Stockholm area only 6 months ago, so I’m still looking into opportunities to reach more people and locations to practice. At the moment, the best place to reach out is via my instagram account.
"What is your favorite style of rope flow practice? (For example: drilling, bpm match, free flow, tricking, etc. etc.)"
At the moment I really enjoy drilling the fundamentals and coming up with new transitions/sequences of movements. I usually start with a simple pattern or a transition, and then look for variations. This happens by adding patterns, varying the expression/timing of what’s already there, changing footwork, or by flourishing the moves with tricks like flips, releases or wraps. I then integrate the new moves in free flow (usually with some music).
My posts are mostly free flows so people might get a wrong idea about how much drilling (80%) is in the background of those flows (20%).
" Do you have any practice advice for the community, especially the new practitioners?"
1. Get really good at fundamentals. Don’t stop at unlocks, go back to what you learned first, polish it, own it and build on it.
2. Make sure you understand the principles and why they’re useful (cardinal laws, planes, coiling, head over foot, steering…) . If you’re confused, ask questions and get someone to coach you. Proper understanding will accelerate your learning way beyond what simple reps can do.
3. Record yourself from different angles. This will help you troubleshoot your practice and self-coach. Beyond that, it will help you develop your own style. You can pick up surprising things you did (and then immediately forgot) and develop them as personal style elements. Work on your strengths and interests, and dig deep into patterns that spontaneously flow out of your body. That’s where the gold is.
4. Ask for feedback, people are happy to help you out and watch you grow!