Have you ever wondered how long your focus could last while walking on top of a one-inch-wide piece of slackline webbing? Theoretically, if a line continued in distance for as long as the eye could see, at what point would you fall off? At what point would the world’s best balanced athletes fall off? The discipline of “longlining” attempts to answer this question and the numbers continue to exponentially grow as webbing technology advances as so does the skill level of slackliners worldwide. This question of length then becomes the main focus and adversary for “longliners” who naturally take this challenge to great heights as well.
In the world there exists a very small niche community of highly trained slackliners who devote their balanced practices to pushing distance and height. In my experience of being surrounded by these talented individuals, the majority of them aren’t doing this to stroke their own personal egos or for any real claim to fame. After all, walking across a slackline is a very arbitrary and personal accomplishment all things considered. Instead, what I’ve noticed is that their deepest motivations and desires to push the limits of body and mind stem from a profound need to be the best version of themselves. To explore their outer limits and see what is humanly possible when strict rules and definitions are ignored. During this Fall season, those limits were pushed longer and higher than they ever had been before.
As it stands, the current world record length highline crossed without falling has been claimed by Theo Sanson. Naturally being a frenchman, he was also joined by his traveling companions Antony Newton and Thibault Arrappiccatu to give this challenge some serious attempts and keep the psyche high. This line spanned across iconic Castelton Tower all the way to The Rectory just outside Moab, Utah, in Castle Valley. Arguably one of the most beautiful slacklines I’ve seen in person, its total distance was 1,617 feet and was rigged with less than 300 pounds of standing tension. For anyone out there that doesn’t want to think about math, that means the line had about 80 feet of sag with an average sized person in the middle. Add to the equation that the summits of The Rectory and Castelton Tower don’t stand at equal heights, with about 100 feet of altitude difference between them, you start to get a visual for the very loose and sagging monster feat this was.
Living in this vast desert landscape where adventure enthusiast are constantly flocking here year after year, I consider it a huge privilege to witness and be a part of these monumental accomplishments. It reaffirms to me that the expanding boundaries of what is humanly possible remains a very dynamic and constantly shifting reality. Surrounded by such inspiring artist, riggers, slackers and athletes over all, continues to facilitate growth in my own personal life and I hope this all transpires down the line to everyone else as well. To all those who were a part of this impressive project I want to personally thank you all… Until the next personal or world record is broken, which I’m sure is bound to happen in no time at all, this remains in my memory as a historic time to be living and thriving outside.