Daredevil and high-lining legend Andy Lewis slack-lines between two hot air balloons. 4,000 feet back to earth, and no safety line.
Air ballooning over the French countryside, or in Turkey, is one of those life long dreams of mine. Apparently that’s too boring for some, there is a need to make it an extreme sport. I’m good though, I’ll just watch from here.
If you have a little more time, this next video is great. You watch them set up the balloons and go up. A little behind the scenes action, some beautiful air balloon views, and some circus people doing the stunt of their lives.
Slacklining is different to tightrope walking. Obviously the rope is not tight. The line is flat rather than round, making it a little easier to keep balance. The amount of stretch in the line makes it more dynamic, like a long skinny trampoline. This means a variety of tricks can be performed on it.
People who do this sport call themselves slackers. But, slacklining is not officially considered a sport in society, yet.
Andy’s list of slacklining conquests is staggering, and some downright bizarre. You can see the full list on Wikipedia.
He once slacklined across a ravine in Utah naked, with the safety harness tied to his privates. If you must, here’s the photo gallery. He did that stunt with his best buddy Daniel Moore, who died base jumping later in 2013.
Andy spells out what the “slacklife” is all about in a 2010 interview.
“Slackers, living the “slacklife,” travel the globe in search of the most inspiring places to practice slacklining. Tricklining, longlining, highlining, and free solo are all separate facets of slacklining. Training all of these facets is an incredibly positive way to stay physically and mentally fit. This training is becoming a pseudo-religion amongst the community of slackliners.”
“Living in the moment, being immersed in the wilderness, challenging your body, developing your mind, confronting, controlling, and conquering one’s fear of death, and pursuing the pure, true, and honest unbridled feeling of freedom to do what you want is the foundation supporting the slacklife.”
That sounds amazingly inspiring. Andy, however, has had to face many deaths since that interview five years ago, including those of close friends, all living that slack life. Base-jumping, another of his pastimes, turns out to be the killer.
Having faced death, Andy has changed. He’s still the daredevil, only he takes safety much more seriously when training others and in running his Slackline business. He’s become quite skilled at weaving enormous nets.
Why does he do it though? What drives him? He wrote defiantly on his Facebook page:
“You can’t not be affected by all the accidents in our community lately, but I just want people to know that not one of my fallen comrades died in vain because they all stood for freedom, something most people these days take for granted… and soon it will be gone forever… and the sad thing is most people won’t even see that it’s missing.”
“What would you die for? Or would you die for anything? My bet is that most people in America would choose to be a coward like the rest of the brainwashed, default, uninspired, pathetic populous that crowds our lands like mosquitoes in a stagnant pond.”
ME? I stand for freedom, and it’s worth dying for. Where do you stand?