Tag Archives: longline
It seems like every great thing starts with a ridiculous idea. Many of these ideas can be found within the messaging conversations between Jerry and I.
"Let's rig the 700 this weekend :)"
I was totally in.
I had helped Jerry rig the 700 when he crossed it and set what was the world record. We had projected the 1,003ft line together where I managed put in some solid crossings so going into the 700 didn't feel like an enormous commitment - Jerry had already broken that frontier open and I think that alleviated a lot of the pressure I would've felt otherwise. With that said, I had never even stepped foot on this line! When Jerry had it rigged and walked it for the record, it seemed so far out of my range that I didn't even sit on it. Up to that point, this line had only been sent by the man himself, mister Jerry.
By Saturday morning it was up and rigged by an awesome group of people. I was feeling relaxed and very physically/mentally ready, so I hopped on. Upon reaching the far anchor, I had made my first crossing with 6 falls - not bad! I was super stoked on it and laughed a little when we realized that Jerry's first crossing was also made with 6 falls. On the way back to the main anchor I made it across with 3 falls... as I dismounted the line it dawned on me that this thing might go over the weekend. I've been training a lot which I know has helped my highlining. I've been training primarily for this TV show called American Ninja Warrior that I made it onto for their 2015 season, as well as training on a lot of highlines lately. Coming from a triathlon background, I'm big on training. If you haven't noticed. Train, train, train!
That evening I got back on and still felt great, this time sending on the way out with two falls - I could feel myself figuring out the small mistakes I was making and being out on the line making crossings was teaching me a lot so I tried to stay out there and learn the movements and motions. I've been trying to do that - be more present out there and use the opportunity of actually being on the line to be taught the most important lessons. It's so easy to try to think our way across lines when we're sitting at the anchor but that's just not the way it works, at least for me. Being out there, exposed, no music, feeling the wind and hearing the water below me, feeling the hot sun beating on me, feeling my eyes getting blurry and my head getting dizzy, feeling alone, feeling totally exhausted - those moments were the greatest teachers for me. That in conjunction with long talks and problem solving with Jerry.
Then there was a fourth crossing-3 falls. Fifth crossing, 3 falls. Closer and closer but I was getting tired and started to overthink things a little. It really started to stress me out and it was translating onto the line. Food, water, and rest were in order.
Lines started coming down as everyone's Memorial day weekend was coming to an end, and the 700 quickly became the only line still rigged. Jerry, Justin and I relaxed around camp in the shade trying to maintain refuge from the sun. 1pm came and went. 2pm came and went. 3pm, then 3:39pm and out of nowhere my body decided it was time as I started mindlessly putting on my harness and taking off my shoes. It felt like one of those times when my body and mind were helping me realize that this line wasn't going to walk itself! Part of me was avoiding it- every crossing is a huge commitment and we were 3 days into a hot highlining weekend. But I was feeling it, my friends were there to support me and it was time to walk.
It was the sixth crossing now, I was about 400' out and feeling strong. The send pressure was there and I really just wanted to be across this thing already... and that's usually when this happens. BOOM! Catch. WTF was that?! For a split second I let my mind wander to the far anchor, lost my focus and a gust of wind knocked me right over when I was off guard. I clipped the line roller in and sat there for a minute, knowing I had to make a decision. I was tired, it was getting late in the day, and this line was getting derigged when I dismounted. I'd made a decision and rolled myself out to the far anchor. I knew it would exhaust me to finish that crossing, and now I knew I had one more shot and I would need all of the energy I had left.
Then it happened - the seventh crossing. As I sat on the line getting ready to stand up and walk back, it hit me. I don't know what 'it' is, but everything just lined up. Everything fell into place. My mind was present, my body relaxed, my breath calmed, the line just sat there showing me the way. It was kind of like a Bagger Vance moment as I saw the path I needed to take. It was one of the easiest, most difficult things I have ever done. I didn't know I was going to send it, but I knew that I wanted to send it and that I was capable of doing so. Everything that could've crept in and tested me did. Out of nowhere the wind would punch me, it happened twice where I was on one foot about to lose it, but I brought myself back, took a breath, kept walking. Before I started the walk Jerry's advice was to not always try to rush, if I needed to take 10 seconds to let things die down, do it. Count and take 5 breaths then continue. In the midst of amazing send pressure my intuition kept reminding me to be humble AND confident. It takes a perfect balance of both those things and for me that was the secret, as it is with most things. Logistically It was very much a combination of confidence in speed, continuing through transitions and stopping when I needed to and take a breath, straighten my back, refocus my eyes, then continue.
What an incredibly amazing feeling it was to dismount this line with my friends there cheering me on. The emotions hit me hard as this was an enormous mental barrier, one that is now broken. As always, I owe a huge amount of thanks to Jerry, Balance Community and everyone there who helped and supported this project. I'm very excited to see where we go from here!
Length: 704' long x ~350' high
Rig: 7/8" spidersilk w/ 1/4" amsteel backup ~150lbs tension
Sag: Standing ~20', ~35' walked
Every year I try and make a trip out to Europe for some sort of slackline adventure. This year I decided to spend some time in Germany, Poland, and Czech Republic. It turned out to be one of the best trips i've ever been on. I met so many wonderful people, saw so many wonderful things, and walked tons of incredible highlines and slacklines.
After short rest day in Davis caused by sustained rage-time in Castle Crags, Jordan and I were off to Yosemite Valley. The destination which consists most of our goals for the trip. It was really awesome to get back to the Valley after 3 years since our last visit. I was even more psyched because this time I was going to touch Yosemite granite and do some climbing. I mean, don't get me wrong, highlining is really cool and we had and still do have lots of crazy plans on a high slackline but climbing in the Valley was always my dream.
Last weekend Jordan, Jerry and I had a pleasure to visit Arcada during first 'Humboldt Highline/Longline Festival'. Humboldt is mainly known from the THC (trickline competition originally started by Andy Lewis, which is on now for quite few years). It must be said even though the highlines rigged during the festival are tree-highlines they are really epic and some of them pretty exposed. Red Woods is quite magical place. Massive sequoias covered with moss, green dells coated in ferns makes it really cool experience and perfect highline spot. I had no idea that sequoias have common root system so they are one of the biggest if not the biggest living organism on our planet (!)
Jordan and I spent last couple days in Davis hanging out with Jerry Miszewski (founder of Balance Community, world record holder and great friend) and his wife Susan. It was really fun times and I'm looking forward to repeat it pretty soon!
First day after we arrived we had a pleasure to visit BC warehouse and were just amazed by amount of the slackline gear we were faced with ... Slackline Porn to the maximum in a best quality available!! Of course we touched every piece on a display, had endless conversations about slackline rigging methods and did other interesting things slackline nerds like us do.
We went together to do some abrasion tests on the new Mantra MK II and Type-18 webbings and it turned out to be lots of fun. After setting up slanted line I had a pleasure to zip-line on it hanging on the haulbag filled with 50kG of shackle. Adding to it my weight (which is around 65-68kG) and small ring on which all of that weight was sliding on the webbings should be destroyed. Both Mantra MK II and Type-18 took this beating really well presenting only small abrasion, leading to important conclusion - the webbings are beefy and definitely suitable for highlining purposes. We decided to test both webbings further more next day in real life. After enough testing action we set up nice rodeo line and surfed as hard as we could.
I am here in US for few days already and so far the trip was really nice even though Jordan and I didn't make it yet to one of our main targets, which Lodi/CA. After arriving in Tacoma/WA we had a few chill days. Jordan got a bit sick so it wasn't as active as we planned (meaning no bouldering or climbing) but we managed to organize few important things for our trip, pack and we even went for a short slacklining session. It was kind of weird to slackline after almost 2 months brake but it helped me to realize how much work I have to do. It is time to get back on it!
Together with Jordan we went to Chambers Bay Park to set up a line on this amazing structure. I think Jordan was thinking about setting this line for quite a while but apparently someone already did it before us and he was in EU for really long time too. It was really nice to do this line together at his home spot. I wish the park had some big trees - it would be such an amazing longline location. We had only few hours to sesh the line but Jordan was able to take some nice pictures. We also used my fresh green Type-18 webbing from Balance Community for the first time and I must say it's a great line. You can check few pictures from or session ...
I can not believe I am slacklining for almost 7.5 years and I did not get into rodeo-lines before. I mean of course I tried and practice that kind of slacklining a bit. I just didn't think it can be so much fun. Well, it just proves again slacklining never gets old and always brings something new ...
For these who might not know, rodeoline is a slackline which is REALLY slack. That means there is no tension on the line at all and usually the line has LOTS of sag in it. Usually that means you have to climb your trees and attach your anchor high above the ground (for example for 20-25m line 3-5m is great!) If the trees have branches it is really easy to climb and fix your spansets (best placement for your anchor would be just above a branch so the spanset can not slide down). If the branches start really high above the ground you will have to climb the trees using two spansets. It is pretty simple; you wrap the tree with a spanset and girth-hitch it. You will need second spanset/sling fixed the same way. Then, simply, put both spansets as high as you can, put your foot in a free hanging loop of the first spanset and stand in it. Next, move the second spanset as high as you can, step on it, move the first spanset up and repeat till you get to the point where you want to fix your anchor ...
A small demo of slacklines setup in a beautiful park in Prescott, Arizona. Several people came out to try slacklining for their first time!