Adventure, thrill and meditation rolled into one – that is what highlining is all about. Similar to tight rope walking, highlining is an extreme sport that requires one to walk or balance on a piece of webbing high above the ground. And when we say high, we mean really high. One piece of advice though – this death-defying sport is definitely not for the fainthearted.
Since these slack lines, or webbing, are suspended at an extraordinary height, safety is the utmost priority in this sport. The position in which the webbing is placed is a crucial part of the preparation process. Equipment considerations include the webbing’s breaking strength, weight, stretch, and thickness, as well as where the slacklines are tied to.
Highlining Vs. Slacklining
Highlining is actually a type of slacklining. The general sport of slacklining is defined as “the activity of walking along a rope or narrow piece of strong fabric that is stretched above the ground between two points, less tightly than a tightrope”. While for highlining, it is basically slacklining at a much higher elevation above the ground or water.
While there are various other types of slacklining activities, highlining is seen as the peak of the slacklining sport. This is due to the intense height which one stands from, which could go from hundreds to thousands of feet above the ground.
Before moving on to highlining, most people proceed with the relatively simpler types of slacklining as a form of practice and training at a lower height.
Birth of the Slacklining
Before highlining, there was slacklining. Modern-day slacklining was actually invented by climbers in the late 1980’s. Climbers Adam Grosowsky and Jeff Ellington, founded the sport by rigging inch-thick slack lines between two trees during one of their climbs at Yosemite National Park. The two got hooked to the sport and the rest is history.
Benefits of Highlining
Although this sport may not be for everyone, it still comes with benefits of its own as well. For instance, it helps to correct bad posture by increasing postural control. Furthermore, it also increases one’s lower body and core strength. Besides its physical advantages, it aids the brain as well. It enhances your concentration, memory and focus.
One word of caution though? Attempting this sport could be a matter of life and death. You wouldn’t want to try this without a professional! But other words, proceed with care, folks.