World record! These guys crossed a 1km slackline

The sport of slacklining has gone to new lengths – a full kilometre, as a matter of fact.
© Photo: Nathan Paulin
By Josh Sampiero

Slacklining is a sport with a lot of records, but trust us when we tell you this one is cool.

Nathan Paulin already had the record for the longest highline walk in the world – and now he's beat his own record.

In Aiglun, France, on Tuesday, April 19, the highliner and balance athlete, along with Danny Menšík, set a new record for the longest slackline ever – over 1km.

See this incredibly impressive feat in the video above.

Hiking up the line 

Nathan Paulin, Danny Menšík and friends hike at Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
Nathan Paulin, Danny Menšík and friends hike up © Pierre Chauffour

Oh, by the way – getting the line to the location meant a 1.5-hour, 4km, and 500m vertical approach to get to either of the anchor areas. The rope and accompanying gear weighed over 80kg in total – so they split it into three backpacks and hiked in formation.

The highline was strung between the Paroi Dérobée and the Créte de Mont Mal, high above the river La clue d'Aiglun, the famous climbing area near Aiglun. It took them two days, eight people, and the help of a drone to set up the line, which attached to a tree on one side and four bolts on the other. 

A little aerial assistance

A DJI Phantom drone used to rig the slackline at Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
The guys used a drone to rig the line © Pierre Chauffour

The drone took a fishing line across the gorge, followed by two bigger fishing lines pulled by the first one, which they then used to pull a 4mm rope, which they then used to pull the slackline and back-up rope. (By our calculation, that’s a minimum of 5,000m of rope and line. Just for the record.)

The drone was key. "With the drone, it took us only eight minutes to get the fishing line across," says Menšík. "With people walking the line, it would likely have taken a couple of days." But that was the easy part – up next was hauling all that line across the windy gorge – it took them five hours of pulling on rope, and they finished at 10 o'clock at night. 

Reeling in the catch 


In Aiglun, France, on Tuesday, April 19, Nathan Paulin and Danny Menšík break the longest slackline record.
Fishing wire came first © Pierre Chauffour

The line stood 600m off the ground at its highest point over the river, and was in fact 1,020m long – giving them quite a bit of margin on their 1km goal.

While walking 1km sounds easy, it’s a different story when the world is moving under your feet. Says Paulin: “You need to stay concentrated all the way. The hardest part was the end; I thought I was so close, but I had 200m to go.” The day after, his friend Menšík sent the line as well.

That’s a big dip


Nathan Paulin crosses the 1,020m slackline at Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
Nathan Paulin on his way across the line © Pierre Chauffour

For Paulin, the short 1km stroll took approximately one hour and 15 minutes. (1km at walking speed takes about 10-12 minutes for most people.) The line moved a fair amount under Paulin, who was walking with bare feet. Menšík, who failed to on-sight the line, did manage the walk in just 40 minutes, on his third try.

You can clearly see the bend in the line from all the wind – but it's not hurting, it's helping. "A light, steady wind actually helps stabilise the line," says Menšík. "But it's true that if it gets strong, the line starts acting like a viper." 

Blowing in the wind


A slackliner crosses a huge gap during a breezy moment
The wind is blowing things around for Danny © Pierre Chauffour

Where’s the next massively high, incredibly long line going to be? To be determined – but there’s no question a line like this won’t be crossed for a while. Paulin agrees: "It's the furthest we've ever gone, and we've doubled our previous record. Now it's not about length – it's about finding incredible new places."

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