340 m Polyester World record
The longest polyester slackline of the world. A bavarian meadow full of sheeps, good friends and beautiful autumn weather were the ingredients for this undertaking.
In mid of october 2012 Hannes, Anatolij, Friedi, Klaus, Sonja, Ben, Luce, Niklas and me took full use of the last warm summer days. After having examined an urban highline spot in the center of Munich and having done an urbane slack action, both on Friday night, we went to Luce’s hut out in the farmlands surrounding Munich in order to spent a relaxing weekend there and possibly rig a 300-400 m long slackline. While Luce was getting the second group of people from Munich in his car, I was already searching a suitable spot. The first two suitable spots would have had more than 10 m sag, so that I would have been standing at least 6 m above the ground in the middle...
Luckily I afterwards found a spot with an assumingly perfect profile: 340 m long and at the middle 4 m lower than at the trees (that's what it looked like to me, I should realize later that it was actually quite flat).
Once everybody had arrived at noon, we started with the setup of this line. Thanks to the 9 headed crew and a 9:1 BASE pulley with 130 m of rope the tensioning went quite easily and fast for such a line. At 2 o'clock we took a lunch break with a “Schweinsbraten mit Knödln” which Luce's dad had organized from a local farmer. Despite this strengthening meal, we needed 3 more hours to finish setting up the line. Once the line was nearly straight at a tension of 10 kN, we realized that the line was fixed much too low at the tensioning tree because of a hill at a third of the length. So we had to put the line to a height of 4 m here. That was a problem as the trunk was not thicker than 30 cm (12 inches) at this point. The solution was an equalization with 3 of these branches.
When the dynamometer showed 15 kN, I tried the line without checking the sag before. It went surprisingly good, but after 100 m I already touched the ground. So we retensioned to 17 kN. I didn't try immediately again but rather postponed my other tries to the next day. Instead we all ”played” with the line, e.g. Ben tried bouncing sit starts in the middle. In the end we had the best idea of the day when Friedi lay in chest bounce position on the line: we pulled the line out as far as possible and let it go so that he shot off at breakneck speed and swung back and forth quickly.
The experienced acceleration and speed was big fun for Friedi himself and everybody else who let himself be catapulted as well.
After a good “Chili Con Carne” and an enjoyable evening we went to sleep at midnight. Because of the short night before we all slept long and then had a substantial breakfast. At noon we went to the line again. First action was retensioning. After the dynamometer showed 17 kN again I started my first attempt which I had to cancel after 50 m as the farmer in her mowing machine went under the line. We had to wait for about 2 hours for the grass to be cut. At 3 o'clock I could finally go on the line again. But at my first try I touched the ground shortly before the middle as the tension had dropped a lot meanwhile. So we had to tension another time.
Now I could finally try without any incidences. At first things didn’t go smoothly. When I had walked a third of the line at my third try, I realized there that the fear of falling blocked me mentally. So how could I overcome this blockade? During one fight I concentrated fully on the thought that I had the means of controlling the line at this very moment and in fact I was able to convince myself of it. Thus I managed to feel more relaxed and as a consequence my tight muscles loosened up and I could control the line again.
The closer I came to the middle, the more comfortable I felt walking the line. Nevertheless I had to be incredibly careful.
When I took more than 2 steps per bounce, I could hardly control the line as I made mistakes.
It was also important to hold myself back because one mistake would create big problems two steps later and could throw me off the line at once.
Instead I had to stop and concentrate on the slow movement of the line and my correct reaction to it. Mentally, that was really hard.
On the last third of the line bouncing was easier, however, during the very last 50 m of the line I experienced a violent struggle. I tried to avoid additional movement, but failed and the bounces and thuds became more violent.
So each step was more than a wild ride and I expected a blow that would throw me off at any minute.
Yet, as I had succeeded in getting that far, I did not want to fall off on no account.
That thought helped me persevere and walk on. Not far from the tree did the oscillations finally became weaker.
Three more meters and I could sit down. These were incredible 25 minutes “on line”.
Before dismantling the line all the crew enjoyed being catapulted by the line partly with spectacular stunts.
My thanks go to everybody involved making this great weekend possible.
I’d also like to express my gratitude to Luke’s parents for their hospitality and to the farmers for their tolerance.
Last but not least, my special thanks go to the Multitool for its various use and Elephant Slacklines for the 400 m long piece of blueWing webbing.
length: 340 m (Lasermessung)
base tension: 17 kN
sag: 3,5 m at 70 kg body weight
webbing: BlueWing from Elephant Slacklines (30 kN breaking strength, 63 g/m)
tensioning system: 9:1 Base with Edelrid Eddy as rope brake, 3:1 multiplier, 135m 9mm static rope, Linegrip and 8 friends
sending style: Half Man (=one direction)
date: october 21st 2012
place: Mitterbuch (colse to Munich, DE)