Alex Mason successfully created an all-natural slacklining ladder course up Onomea Falls on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Built all naturally by Mason and Andy Lewis, the Godfather of slacklining, deep in the Botanical Gardens of Hilo, the course includes over 300 meters (1,000 feet) of slackline and roughly 1,6 kilometer (one mile) of ropes and cables. This intense eight-line playground above 36m (120 feet) of waterfalls took the team over 200 hours to bring to life.
“A lot of people only usually set up one or two lines, so being able to set up a whole course is so unique,” said Lewis. “Slackladder is a challenging mixture of professional creative thinking, world class level tricklining, and high quality cinematic filming.”
Due to the nature of the terrain, the course offered many potential dangerous elements such as fire ants, shallow water, powerful waterfalls, and rocky landings. After the course was rigged, Mason took to the lines to creatively transfer up the falls, landing a double flip and a back flip to feet on the way up and exiting from a hand-made space net highline.
“I want to take slacklining everywhere, every aspect of it,” said the 19-year-old.
Slackline rigger “Sketchy” Andy Lewis says the project was “all about the slacklining life. That’s why this video is so cool — it’s outside of the competitive realm. It’s more like the artistic realm where the tricks that he did were not only an art of slacklining, [but also] caught on camera so we can share it with the public. I think it was really beautiful because when you see the footage you are transported into the jungle and you can actually taste it.”
Nineteen-year-old Mason opens up about battling the elements, his dream, his fear and fire ants. Read it in his words below.
Red Bull and I thought up the dream about a year and a half ago at an athlete summit. We brainstormed about cool ideas. We tracked down the right place and the right people to do it with. It morphed into this slackladder up the waterfall.
“We kind of took slacklining out of its natural habitat and we put it over rocks and water in all sorts of different ways and all sorts of different heights. We varied every line and it shows how many different ways you can do this. Learning how to slackline over any new terrain is probably where I’m going to take the sport.”
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