In this year’s Radical Reels showcase of epic adrenalin films the infamous ‘Lapporten Skyline’ film will be shown. Set between Lapland and Sweden (The Lapporten Gap), elite highliners plot a daring two-kilometre highline between snowy peaks.
So we sat down with Arthur Pera to learn all about slacklining in Australia and get more hyped about the sport!
Hailing from Brazil, Arthur embarked on his exhilarating journey into the world of slacklining at the age of 17. It all began when he stumbled upon an adventure channel on television, featuring the awe-inspiring art of highlining. Captivated by the daring feats of balance and the breathtaking vistas, Arthur was instantly drawn to the sport. Determined to master this challenging discipline, he sought out the local slacklining community in a nearby park and began his rigorous practice regimen, dedicating himself to honing his skills three times a week.
- What is the difference between slacklining, highlining and skylining?
Essentially, slacklining involves securing a stretch of flat webbing between two fixed points and skillfully maintaining balance as you traverse this narrow path. Highlining takes the challenge to greater heights, quite literally, as it entails suspending a slackline well above ground level. Here, a comprehensive array of safety systems and protocols comes into play to ensure both balance and safety. Skylining, on the other hand, catapults us into the realm of extreme adventure. It involves rigging a slackline at high altitudes, often soaring beyond 500 metres above the ground, typically spanning the void between towering cliffs or even secured to majestic hot air balloons, amidst vast exposed landscapes.
When asked about one of his most unforgettable slacklining experiences, Arthur fondly recalls his pivotal role in orchestrating and traversing the longest highline ever set up in Australia, stretching an astonishing 1.3 kilometres in length. This remarkable feat marked a monumental milestone in the Australian highlining community, shattering the coveted “kilometre mark.” Through meticulous planning and assembling a skilled crew, Arthur and his team embarked on this audacious journey, ultimately achieving their awe-inspiring goal. It was a momentous event that showcased not only their dedication but also the boundless possibilities within the world of highlining.
- Are there popular locations around the world that are on a slackliner’s bucket list? We’d also love to know about your personal dream project here!
Yosemite National Park serves as the birthplace of this passion, a destination that every dedicated slackliner aspires to visit at least once in their lifetime. As for myself, my dream project at the moment is to legally install a highline amidst the towering skyscrapers of Sydney, with the aim of dispelling misconceptions surrounding the sport and demonstrating its incredible potential within an urban landscape.
- You are also involved in the Australian Slacklining Association, what is this about and what are your thoughts on slacklining as a sport in Australia?
The ASA is a non-profit organisation and the preeminent body to represent Slacklining in Australia, aiming to protect land access rights for all forms of slacklining, promote the benefits of the sport and foster safe practices within the Australian community.
Slacklining is a relatively young sport and not many people know what it is in Australia. We are committed to ongoing efforts in educating the public and spreading the joy of balance. You can contribute to our mission by becoming a member of our association and reaping the rewards of membership, all for just $10 per year! HERE
When we asked Arthur if he has any upcoming slacklining adventures on the horizon, he divulged that there is a planned trip to India in January 2024. He plans to engage with the Indian Slackline community and anticipates with great excitement the opportunity to build connections with the local crew and set up thrilling highlines amidst the stunning heights of valleys and mountains. Whilst being stoked with the chance to deepen his understanding of Indian culture, Arthur is committed to conducting highline rescue workshops during his visit, with the goal of enhancing safety awareness and acquainting more individuals with international safety protocols.
- In this year’s Radical Reels Film Tour, we’ll show the film ‘Lapporten Skyline’ , are you familiar with this project and what would be the biggest challenges in organising and completing a major project like this one?
At the time, The Lapporten Project achieved a remarkable feat by setting a Highline World Record, spanning an impressive 2130 metres in length. Situated in an exceedingly remote region, the venture posed formidable hurdles, necessitating the use of a helicopter to transport all the essential gear to the summits. Coordinating the involvement of highly skilled athletes from across the globe added another layer of complexity to the project. Additionally, the arduous task of deploying the tagline across such vast distances would have been a laborious and time-consuming endeavour.
- Is there anything we should ask you about slacklining, that we might not think of as novices to the sport?
It is important not to get frustrated in the beginning. It might look easy when you see someone doing it , however the first couple of weeks are hard and you might get discouraged. Remember not to give up and the more you practise, the quicker you will progress.
- For those who want to get into slacklining in Australia, what’s your best advice and how can they find a community in their town?
The best way is to join the nearest Slackline Facebook group to you and introduce yourself, asking where the usual meetup spots are. The community is very friendly and will receive you with open arms like they did to me.
- There are some good slackline films online right now, some with you in it, can you give us a few titles (links) to watch so we can get even more excited about this sport?
You can catch Arthur at the upcoming Radical Reels screening in Wollongong where he will participate in a short Q&A on stage with our host. Get your tickets HERE!
Images by Aidan Williams
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