Ever wish your living room was 607 square feet? How about if it was suspended 492 feet above the ground, and 213 feet from the nearest piece of solid footing? That was basically the idea behind the "pentagon space net" – a slackline-suspended, over-sized hammock that hung above the Fruit Bowls outside Moab, Utah.
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“It's the first space net of this size,” says 'Sketchy' Andy Lewis, world-renowned slackliner, as well as the brains and funding behind this project.
3... 2... 1... See ya!
“The plan was to create a shareable space for two communities who were meeting in the Moab area at the same time – the BASE jump community and the slack line community. It was also to honour the memory of a very good friend of mine, Daniel Moore, who brought such an incredible stoke to life – I wanted everyone to share that stoke!”
This is How You Get in the Hammock
The plan was to create a mid-air hang-out area that could support 18-20 people, and a viable launch (and landing) for BASE jumpers. But taking the space net from "crazy idea" to "holy crap, we actually did it" was no small task.
First, it involved a lot of material. It was suspended by five double-stacked slacklines totalling over 1,969 feet in length. The net itself required two 230-foot climbing ropes, 197 feet of line for the "ring" and 16,404 feet of paracord.
Check Out the Exit
“Actually, we wanted 21,325 feet of paracord,” Andy said. “But we ran out of time when setting it up!” It took three full days of on-the-ground rope work from dozens of people to get the net ready to hoist. One of the people helping? Hayley Ashburn, who we featured for her epic highline in the Dolomites.
See Hayley's Chilly Winter Highline Below
Once it was up, the fun began. Access to the totally legal (yes, they checked) space net was one of three ways: Cable-car sling (for most), slackline walk (for some) or skydive (for Andy).
Getting there via the air was arguably easier than slackline – since the net had 49 feet of sag, the slacklines were anything but stable. “Only the most talented slackliners in the world can pull off a walk like that,” Andy confirmed. The most people ever on the hammock at one? A total of 17 – they could have had more, but as Andy said, "Everybody kept jumping off!"
Andy's Steps were Stable Enough for the Slackline
The space net hung for over a week and well over 250 people visited the net, with quite a few spending the night. There were over 200 BASE jumps made through a circular hole in the middle of the net, where there was a safe, but wobbly, take-off.
While it wasn't cheap – Andy estimates the material and costs to be nearly $50,000 – but, all in all, the project was a major success. “It was awesome because the BASE jumpers wanted to highline, the highliners got to see BASE in person,” Andy said. “It was really cool! And a huge help to all the Moab Monkeys – people like Brian Mosbaugh, Hayley Ashburn, who made it happen!”
Check Out the World's Longest Slackline
What's next? “I'd love to take the space net to a city – Vegas, Dubai – somewhere urban, or maybe to the fjords in Norway," Andy said, "Or possibly string it up between hot air balloons!” Wherever it is, we hope we get an invite to the party!
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