Discovery+ Top Highliners Set Lines and Break Records

Slacklining crew hangs out in the snow
The highlining crew hangs out in the snow. Pushing the Line is streaming now on discovery+.

We all walk a tightrope from time to time, figuratively speaking. So why would anyone intentionally try to navigate a ridged piece of rope that sways and moves? As the interest in extreme sports grows, highliners are pushing the line attempting to cross between two mountain peaks hundreds of feet above the ground. The rope they use is one-inch and thinner than your belt.

Record-Breaking Solo Slackliner

Spencer Seabrooke, a world-class highliner, is among the top slackliners you can follow in an all-new series, “PUSHING THE LINE” that premiered on discovery+ on Sat., June 5, 2021. These adventurous athletes not only live together but also push each other to set lines and break records. Seabrooke holds the world record for the longest free solo slackline.

Spencer Seabrooke highliner world-record holder laughs while enjoying the outdoors.
Remaining calm and focused allows highliners like Spencer Seabrooke to reach new heights and break records.

Highlining Origins

Slacklining is not a new sport. Climbers in Yosemite Valley worked on their balance and stretching with the webbing on their days off as far back as the 1970s. How did Seabrooke learn about the sport? He found highlining intriguing while watching his fellow castmate, Andy Lewis.

He explained,

“I saw a film about his adventures in highlining and that really inspired me to try out the sport,” Seabrooke said.

Who’s most likely to try highlining?

Anybody can highline, Seabrooke said,

“As long as you have the mindset and willingness to try. Slacklining is calm. You really have to be in control of your adrenaline. And I think it attracts those who have a history of doing more dangerous things.” 

Preparing for a slacklining adventure
Spencer and Mia check out the view over the bridge.

Meet the Strength and Endurance Guidelines

What do you need to do to prepare for highlining? The answer is training, according to Seabrooke, and knowing what you can do on the ground before you attempt to walk high in the air. However, knot tying and rigging are the most important part of highlining.

How do you prepare your body and mind for highlining? Perhaps, you’re wondering if there are specific exercises or an established training regimen to get you ready.

“For me, I just like to be calm in my head. I put on some music. It’s visualizing what you’re about to do. That’s a crucial thing for me,” said Seabrooke.

Is Highlining Safe?

As long as you’re using the equipment properly, you maintain focus, and remain calm, Seabrooke said highlining is safe. Compared to other extreme sports like bungee jumping and skydiving that are physically demanding, controlled, and adrenaline-producing, he said highlining requires you to fight the adrenaline rush.

Safety First, Always

Even if one piece of equipment breaks, highliners always have another measure in place to save them from serious bodily injury or death, Seabrooke commented.

“All of the gear that we use is redundant. The equipment that we’re using is all rated for much higher breaking strength than what we’d reach,” he said. “As long as all the equipment is used properly, it’s completely safe. We double and triple-check it on the ground before putting it in the air where we know it’s safe.”

Thrill-seekers who want to try highlining should tune into Season 1 to learn more about the sport. Pushing the Line is streaming now on discovery+.

If you’re looking to join a group dedicated to highlining, Facebook has local community pages that are geared towards this extreme sport.

“One thing about the community is that they’re very inviting and happy to teach others. There isn’t a big market in teaching. Everyone is very happy to help out and share gear.”

Spencer Seabrooke

Love the outdoors? Get fly-fishing tips with my podcast guest, Tom Rosenbauer of Orvis.

Travel Journalists Bistro is a learning and support group that teaches travel writers the skills they need to become successful travel journalists

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