Long Lining in Singapore

By nature, I love feeling the pump in my heart and adrenaline. Be it when i jump out of the aircraft from 24 000ft or making a awkward move 1500feet above the ground on a offwidth crack, I’m sort of afraid yet enjoys the feeling that makes me afraid (I know it sounds weird). The feeling of looking back and saying ‘hell yeah’ to yourself after doing this kind of shit just sweeten the deal like condense milk on donuts.

My cockpit high up during one of those flights
My cockpit high up during one of those flights
Sky diving in Perris Valley 10th jump with my instructor (Photo by Ng Seng Huat)

Recently Kelly and I got featured on Today newspaper for that wall we climbed a while ago (Today news ) . After i got back from my 5 weeks of climbing from Yosemite, I found it really hard to get back to the life in Singapore, without rocks around me and only climbing gyms around just kills it. Don’t get me wrong, I still love climbing be it indoors or outdoors but it just gets increasingly harder to keep myself motivated and head back to the gym and climb that blue route or the Yellow taped route in the corner. Put it simply, if I had the chance to chose between climbing Half Dome or the Blue Route, I would choose the Blue Route. Yah right.. -_-

That coloured route
That coloured route in Yishun Safra (Photo by Kelly)
Climbing on Half Dome the Regular route
Climbing on Half Dome the Regular route

So obviously the amount of bitching sounds like I’m really bored and need to do something a little different from the usual. So I found slacklining and I found highlining. I love highlining but the lack of legal place in Singapore to highline just makes it almost impossible to put up highlines and do something every weekend. So I thought, instead of struggling to find new highline areas in Sillypore, let’s do a longline project!

Me highlining in Taiwan, Long Dong. (Photo by Charity)
Me highlining in Taiwan, Long Dong. (Photo by Charity)

The first Longline I did was in Krabi in 2011 Dec with Anicet Leone (not sure if this is his name?), the french slackline group in Tonsai in Dec 2011. He set up a 50m line and it looks like a huge monster. I was walking along Tonsai beach and not knowing who he is, I went up to him chat him up and asked if i could try the long line. I didn’t it was going to be hard at all since i could dance and do laps on that silly classic line that I had so whats the big deal about walking a 1 inch 50m long line?

Anicet Leone
Anicet Leone (Screen shot from the movie The flight of the frenchies)
Im scared so i close my eyes !
Im scared so i close my eyes ! (Photo by Weida)
Thats how long the line looks like on the beach of Tonsai!
Thats how long the line looks like on the beach of Tonsai! (Photo by Weida)

1st try 3 steps

2nd try 5m

3rd try 10m

I was sweating like mad after the fight with the monster. I found out that I couldn’t keep my focus on and had a hard time looking for reference point! The delay feedback from the lines also keep throwing me off balance and I was taking more steps backwards than forward. I was like shit, Im totally hopeless at this. That struck my mind and I thought a Longline project would be great to setup and we could probably do it every weekend! I putted in a order for a 100m Bluewing from Elephant Slacklines being well aware that Alex Schulz just finished a 300m long line.

The 100m bluewing came in a myterious looking box.

Fal loves the mysterious box.. with blue tapes..
Fal loves the mysterious box.. with blue tapes..
Can't wait to start once the box of lines arrive in Singapore! (photo by Fal)
Can’t wait to start once the box of lines arrive in Singapore! (photo by Fal)

I rang up Fal and asked if he was free on a friday afternoon. He told me he was bored and needed a slackline session and when he found out about the Bluewing’s arrival in Singapore he sprang out of his house and met me in West Coast Park. Setting up the long line was simple, but not as simple as I thought. Given the knowledge of gorge crossing and tension systems we used in US Marine Corp Mountain leader course, I thought I would have no problems with tensioning up a 100m line. Well, I was proven wrong after a few setups and many nights of youtube research. I search the internet about trees, tensile strength and pulleys on various website like http://www.balancecommunity.com made me realized that whatever tension system I was using was inefficient and old school. A job that could actually be done by one person or 2 is taking up to 4 -5 pax to tension lines of up to 65m only!

Tug O war with Blue Wing obviously we lost..
Tug O war with Blue Wing obviously we lost.. (Photo by Siok)
With 25m or less a ratchet system is still ok..
With 25m or less a ratchet system still works great..
The first kit we came up with.. it was all messy and had loads of friction. 40m line at Onsight Climbing Gym
The first kit we came up with.. it was all messy and had loads of friction. 40m line behind Onsight Climbing Gym
Using Rig as the brake, Rock Exotica Machined pulleys and a 11m rope. We got a 55m rope to great tension (East Coast park Stone table line)
Using Rig as the brake, Rock Exotica Machined pulleys and a 11m rope. We got a 55m line to great tension (East Coast park Stone table line)
Line is right and its time to start walking! (photo by Siok)
Line is right and its time to start walking! (photo by Siok)
I think this photo was snapped just seconds before i fell. 4m from the tree! (Photo by Siok)
I think this photo was snapped just seconds before i fell. 4m from the tree! (Photo by Siok)

Everytime we setup a slackline in the park there will be a lot of curious passerby standing around looking or joining us for the session. In the last photo you can actually see those people stop in their tracks on their bicycle to cheer me on to send the line. Sadly I fell just 4m from the end, I guess its just the mental bubble bursting. =(

I love Longlining, its gives you a great workout physically and mentally. During action, I have to send the mind into a a state of blank and automation in order to keep focus. Focusing on the positive things during the walk is important. All these too familiar heard from daily work during pistol training ranges. My legs also burns up after a long line send or work out. I’m loving it and hope to send the 100m line really soon this year!

Next up we will do a gear review on long line setup! Stay tuned!

Rigging the line with the Gri Gri in 0 angle (Photo by Garick Bay)
Rigging the line with the Grigri as the brake in 0 angle (Photo by Garick Bay)
Sending 45m in East Coast park (Photo by Garick Bay)
Sending 45m in East Coast park (Photo by Garick Bay)
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