A slackliner claims to have broken the world record for the highest free solo highline walk.
Phillippe Soubies is a highlining slackliner — which looks similar to tightrope walking at first glance. However, these athletes use nylon or polyester webbing between two anchor points, like trees, to balance on, instead of rope or wire. The practice is often done recreationally or meditatively in places like yoga studios or obstacle courses. Highlining on the other hand is the most extreme version of the sport because it is done at much higher elevations.
Nevertheless, most highliners use numerous safety measures including a harness and leash in case they fall. Except for those who do free solo — like Soubies. The athlete doesn’t wear protective gear. In fact, in this video of him crossing a 170-meter high gorge, he’s barefoot and shirtless.
Soubies crosses a canyon in Spain’s Basque Country. He’s high above the treetops and all that’s below is rock and earth. He slowly moves across the web and it takes him about 14 minutes to complete the journey. When he arrives at the other side he throws his hands up in joy and a few people can be heard cheering him on.
Cool as it might look, you definitely don’t want to try this at home. While free solo highling is the most dangerous version of slacklining, it is still considered relatively safe.
“Even in the case of a highliner soloing, the risk is lower than that of solo climbing as the soloist can catch the webbing on a fall, a basic highlining skill that becomes reflexive,” according to Slackline.us.
If you enjoyed this story, check out the Slovenian daredevils who created a water swing using a massive pendulum swing.
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