Between two limestone cliffs in China the slackline pro Alex Schulz, who is part of the One Inch Dreams crew, extended the existing highline world record of Jerry Miszewski by 70 metres to 375m! The 23-year-old athlete from Rosenheim, Germany, already holds the waterline record with 271m and has already crossed the line between two glacier cable cars. Just back from China, he tells us all about the good vibes in the dense jungle.
redbull.com: Alex, congratulations! How was it?
Alex Schultz: Very exhausting, the conditions were not ideal!
Sounds weird, but we actually got asked to do it. Rio Zhang is the best slackliner in China and he invited us to a highline event at the Niational Park Shenxian Ju. The initiative actually came from the Tourism Authority. We immediately agreed and decided to add a few weeks to the journey.
You get a good reception?
The state television was on site and there were hundreds of spectators wanting autographs and pictures with us. At the beginning we enjoyed the attention, but at some point it really got stressful. We were exotic in two ways: slackers and Europeans...
Did you enjoy China?
China is quite incredible. A country full of contrasts, a country on the move. You have this surreal, noisy and giant cities, where you struggle to breathe because of the smog – and then you drive out of the city finding these amazing landscapes, which leave you speechless. It was strange and fascinating at the same time. I definitely want to go back.
For the record you then went to the Mecca Yangshuo?
Yes! A small town in the jungle, surrounded by this unique limestone – the perfect setting for a highline world record. We were searching for ages to find the right spot. To set up the fixed ropes we went on a multi-pitch rock tour equipped with machetes fighting our way through the dense jungle.
Sounds like the real challenge?
It was brutal. We had misjudged the distance between the hills. 350 metres was our maximum and at the beginning I didn’t think it was long enough. Additionally, laying the compounds in the middle of a thorn jungle, a bamboo forest and over rooftops was crazy.
Sounds like hard work?
Yes, the pressure was huge. We had to rebook our flights. My best friend and photographer, John, had eaten something wrong and was also ill.
But you were successful?
Yes, I managed to focus and even enjoy the surroundings. You have to focus on the essentials: deep breathing, slow walking. Just do not fear to fail. The further I went, the more I relaxed. When I reached the last third the wind picked up making the line swing. As I was only 30 metres away from the other side, I just thought: “Do not fall now!”
But you didn't! How does it feel to have pulled it off?
Incredibly happy! China was so intensive. I've learned to take the time I need, to not let my anxieties take over and become a bit more relaxed and happier. I really want to say thank you to all the people who supported me: Rio, Gert, Alejandro, Rex, the bike hire and our sponsors Elephant Slacklines and HD +.