2 years ago
These guys might’ve just invented the world’s most bizarre new extreme sport. If RealClearLife had to name it, we’d call it “slack surfing.”
A group of BASE jumpers calling themselves “The Flying Frenchies” got creative with a slackline—basically a tightrope with some give to it. Outfitting the board with a zipline-like rig, the adrenaline junkies surfed along the 1,960-foot-high slackline, reaching speeds close to 50 mph, before leaping off into the air. Check out the results below.
The inspiration for the creative stunt came from a fellow aerial athlete. One of the Frenchies, Anicent Leone, was brainstorming how to come up with new ways to advance his group’s stunts with cohort Tancrède Melet. After Melet died while practicing for a tightrope show earlier this year, Leone was inspired to bring the dream to life. Together, The Flying Frenchies collaborated to bring a form of surfing to the rarified air around the Vercors mountains in France. In an interview with Red Bull, Leone said the best part of the project was the gratitude he received from the other participating athletes:
“It was all the thanks from friends who came and who admitted that they didn’t believe in it so much at the beginning. But then they tried it and loved it. Others thanked me for the investment in the project and for sharing it with everyone. The project in itself, too: It was so crazy to surf like that, after two years of dreaming about it. It was insane to be on a board at that speed, at a height of [1,600 to 2,000 feet]. It was awesome. And the fact to be two people together, you’d land and you could really share that with someone. That was also great. But aside from that, I learned so much about my own capacity to do things, on a lot of technical, research, and logistical aspects. It gives me a lot of self-confidence for future ideas—I know I can bring them to reality.”
But Leone and the late Melet have only been two members of the ever-rotating cast of The Flying Frenchies. The multi-talented collective has made a bevy of headlines since they first formed in 2008. Watch a clip from a documentary about them below.