In May, six members of the Boulder-based Gibbon Slacklines’ Pro Team attempted to establish multiple slacklining highline records, most notably the longest documented highline, in Moab, Utah. A highline is a slackline where the height of the line exceeds the length. The current world record for the longest highline is 240 feet.

The Gibbon Team of Andy Lewis, Micheal Payton, Emily Sukiennik, Jeremy Louis, Libby Sauter and Hayley Ashburn, rigged up at 330 feet across by 363 feet high, which would have pummeled the existing record by nearly 100 feet in length. But howling winds and hail prevailed over the slackers’ prowess, creating a line too loose, heavy and, ultimately, bouncy to handle.

Smackline: Gibbon slacker Michael Payton readies for the world record.

“The record was 28 steps, which is surprising considering Mike and Andy are two of the best highliners in the world,” Sukiennik says.

“I tried loosening the tension, leaving less than 1,350 lbs of force on the line (compared to the usual 2,300 lbs). Then I tried increasing the tension up to over 3,500 lbs of force,” says Lewis. “It didn’t matter. No matter the tension, the swing weight of the line was just to powerful.”

Sukiennik was able to onsite a 120-foot line, strung at the same height as the 330-foot line and the team plans on future attempts to set the record.
—J.O.