Now just into February 2013 and already Slackline makes BIG headlines again. This time it is the effort of the most accomplished, tenacious, amazing, young Female Slackliner, Faith Dickey.
Faith is the Premiere Female Sackliner in the world, holding several world records in various disciplines with in Slackline/Highline. Late last year her walk between moving trucks, filmed in Europe for a commercial, went viral within a day of having aired.
Today February 9, 2013, on her 24th birthday, Faith spoke at the TEDxAustin 2013: Fearless Conference.
In a clear, powerful, humble voice Faith introduced herself as a professional Slackliner, honoring the effort and dedication of many who like herself know firsthand the power of Slackline, and thereby legitimizing it as a sport. She shared her journey of self discovery and on going study of fear vs. intuition through Highlining and free soloing. She continues to inspire us all on and off the Line.
Congratulations Faith! Well done!
(She comes in at 2:22:11 of program)
Renowned Slackliner Andy Lewis performed during this year’s Superbowl 46 halftime show with Madonna, taking Slackline to the tipping point in front of 9 billion viewers. In the days that followed all media world wide was talking about Slackline even public radio. All amazed at Andy’s talent and Balls of steel, but that’s another story! A few weeks later Slackline performer Andy made his appearance in Conan’s show …
In this footage is chronicled his amazing historical performance during Superbowl 46, his great humor, and arsenal of tricks on a slackline. Joined by long time friend and equally awesome Slackliner Alphamike and members of the US Pro team.
French slackliner Damien Mercier is planning to break Christian Schou’s highest highline record (direct exposure) which was set in Norway. Click here to read the article about the preparations for his attempt. Best of luck to you Damien on your world record aspirations!
Up and coming longline walker Jerry Miszewski walked a 514 foot long slackline in his local park last December, and this is believed to be the longest slackline walked by an American, just shy of the alleged world records of 550 feet and 600 feet set in Europe. His account of the walk can be seen here
Jerry claims that a 600+ ft slackline is definitely possible and he hopes to be able to set the new world record soon. Jerry walks on the “white magic” webbing which is seemingly ideal for long lines. Congratulations Jerry on this awesome accomplishment!
Typically, slacklines range from 15-50 feet for those just getting into the sport. However, if an extra challenge and thrill is desired, long lines can prove to be extremely difficult. Anything over 100 feet requires increased concentration, balance, and skill. Because of this added difficulty, many people have embraced long slacklines in the same way that they embrace highlines; it creates the necessity to be completely focused. Many notable slackliners have pursued long slacklines, but only in recent years have attempts been made to set a “world record”.
The first known attempt to establish a world record slackline was made by Heinz Zak in August of 2005. He is believed to be the first person to successfully walk a 100 meter (328 feet) slackline. This is now the idealistic goal for many longline walkers. The magic of the 100 meter line draws many people in.
This record stood for nearly two years, until Slackline maven Damian Cooksey (also known for landing the first frontflip on a slackline, among other accomplishments) walked a longer line in 2007. On march 4th of that year he successfully rigged and walked a 405 foot line in Poland. The video of this walk can be seen below:
About two months later, this record was broken, as Andreas Thoelke walked a 443 foot line on May 31st. Not to be outdone, Damian walked a 506 foot line on July 10th, 2007, smashing the old record and leaving a lot to work up to for slackliners to come.
Long lines should not be taken lightly though. The forces involved in rigging lines of such length are staggering, and any gear failure at these tensions can cause severe injury. I know from personal experience what this looks like (see left)
Surely the record will be broken again in the future. Who knows what we are capable of? Only time can tell. Talk has already begun of lines longer than 700 feet. (Yes there are pieces of continuous webbing that long).
This is a youtube video of Kristina at the 2008 Bisik Slackline Festival. We believe that she may be the youngest person to walk a highline (at age 10).
Congratulations Kristina! That is quite an accomplishment!
On July 13, 1985, Scott Balcom became the first man in the world to walk across the Lost Arrow Spire Highline. A towering 2890 feet (880 meters), above the valley floor. 22 years and 3 days later, Libby Sauter became the first woman to cross the lost arrow spire highline. This has become the most coveted highline in the world. Congratulations to Libby!
Hal Hallstein writes:
Out of a sense of responsibility to slackline history and the development of the practice, I feel it is important that a important subplot in slackline development be revealed. In 1999, Renan Ozturk, Tyler Knower, Rick Harbison, Mike Wiley, Eric Crabtree, Jake Beren and Mike Lee began to develop a new style of slackline practice. Unknown on the west coast, its roots took hold at Colby College,