Picture this: an inch-wide strip of thick, flat climbing rope stretched between two stationary objects and suspended anywhere from two to 180 feet above the ground. Now imagine crossing it without ending up at the ER or, at best, looking like a complete buffoon.
For most, it would be a challenge, but for Andy Lewis it’s cake. It’s no biggie for him to backflip his way across the line, no strings attached. This isn’t tightrope walking, it’s slacklining, the ultimate test of core strength and balance. Unlike a rigid tightrope, slacklines are stretchy, and slackliners (like Lewis, who have mastered this art) bounce on them like a trampoline.
If you watched the Super Bowl this year, you probably saw him toga clad alongside Madonna, even scoring a kiss straight from the Material Girl’s lips.
“To perform in that show was incredible,” Lewis says. “The live crowd and the energy is impossible to define.” The reality of performing at such a major event hit him as he backflipped off the line and heard the screams. “I was hit by a wall of sound that held me in place, center stage,” he says. “That moment can never be reconstructed.”
Lewis, 25, took up slacklining just before he turned 18, when a friend taught him how to rig a line. “I took a liking to it immediately,” he says. “The next day, I bought all the materials I needed to have my own line, and after that I never left home without it.”
For Lewis, slacklining is more than a sport; it’s a way of life, not to mention it developed into a pretty solid career for him. “I see lines everywhere,” he says. “I consciously connect two points together with lines all the time.”
As for future plans, Lewis just goes with the flow. “The way I live my life is about the moment I am in right here, right now. Slacklife or no life. That’s all.”
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