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Highlining since 2016, Louise Lenoble has quickly progressed in the balance discipline. Being one of the first female trick highliners and the first to take an accordian up onto the highline, she has taken the slackline and performance world by storm.

Artist in the biggest highline performance crew, Houle Douce, Louise now travels the world rigging and performing for international audiences.

Qualified nurse and experienced musician, Louise’s passion for highlining has brought her all over the world for all sorts of unique adventures.

The Houle Douce

Houle Douce show mixes (aerial) live music, storytelling, and slacklining at great heights. Houle Douce rewrites its intervention from scratch based on each site. This capability is inspired by an investigation into a given location, its history but also by the large, constant range of of exchanges between the artists of Houle Douce (architect, circus artists, rope access workers rescue workers, ecologists, musicians, teachers, physiologists, high-level athletes). 

In addition to our team, we work with district authorities, city councils, and other artists present. Our artistic proposal is the bespoke result of these interactions. Within our interventions, it is our great passion to redraw a heritage with our own poetic stroke.

Louise and the Houle Douce

The SlackFaq's on Louise's Slacklife

When did you start slacklining and how did you discover that sport?

I started slacklining in summer 2016. I had already known about it for a few years but it had never attracted me before. One day I saw a guy in Strasbourg walking on a big rodeoline and it immediately sparked my curiosity! 

To me, slacklining was simply a discipline practiced on low 5cm wide webbings at short lengths. As soon as I discovered this new style of slacklining, I had to find out more! I introduced myself to the rodeoliner and it changed my life. 

Two weeks later, I accompanied him to a festival and discovered highlining. Seeing the sky-walkers defy gravity for the first time inspired me so much that just I had to try! Other than learning the sit-start on a lowline, my first true slackline experiences were on highlines.

What do you think is the biggest benefit of slacklining?

If I had to choose one benefit it’s definitely the improvements in mental strength! In the beginning, highlining was so scary for me, that I really had to push my personal limits and  leave my comfort zone like never before. I discovered a mental strength within me to which I had been oblivious. The mental strength I developed didn’t just come from fighting my fears but also from teaching my brain to focus calmly and to keep my body moving in balance. I use this mental strength daily. It helps me to stay peaceful and focused through tough times and allows me to feel more confident and able to manage my emotions. 
louise lenoble highlining
highlining on the snow

Why do you love slacklining so much?

Slacklining drives my life. I’m in love with the feelings of freedom that I experience when I’m on the line and through the slacklife culture. On the slackline, all eventualities depend on me alone. Each step is an unconscious union of my past experiences. 

I rely on myself and I love the improvement that I feel from each try. The slacklife culture has pushed me to make  decisions which have allowed me to practice my passions to the fullest. Living for my passions is a beautiful journey!

What are your favorite slackline disciplines?

My favourite facets of slacklining are walking, freestyling, and performing. For quiet, individuel moments I like endurance walking, be it on long or short lines. For high energy moments that can be shared with other slackliners, I hold a strong passion for highline freestyle. 

Watching and being inspired by others, discussing new tricks, and teaching beginners is what drives me in this explosive, athletic side of the sport. 

Performing on the line is a way in which I express my creativity. Spreading the artistic side of slacklining to spectators often creates a sense of wonder and bewilderment. This is why I love performing shows. 

What is your favourite setup (webbing, line length, tension)?

Without hesitation, my go-to setup for freestyling is 50m of nylon tubular webbing. Pinktube is my favourite webbing. It makes the smoothest bounces with the least effort so it allows me to make longer sessions, more efficiency! 

Do you have a permanent rig?

I had a permanent rig for two years when I lived in Grenoble and it was amazing, during that time, I found that I progressed a lot in highline freestyle. Also when highlining every day you start thinking about it all the time, you can get so into it! 

How much do you train?

My schedule is highly irregular! I’d say it depends on the season. From spring to autumn, I travel to highline, so generally, I’m less active in winter. My best training days are when I can do 3 sessions daily, 3 days in a row followed by one rest day to be able to return with a fresh start! 

That’s only possible when I’m able to highline all day long though. Otherwise I highline whenever I get the chance; it can be as frequently as every two days or as rare as once a month sometimes! 

louise lenoble highline - slacktivity slackline team

How do you buddy-check when you highline alone?

Really good question… My self-buddy-check is based on a routine that I’ve practiced and developed since my beginnings. I check my figure eight knot three times; once before mounting the line (before clipping my hangover to the line), once before sitting on the line (before unclipping my hangover from the line), and once just before standing. It’s a lot of checks but I see them as crucial safety measures to take before each highline session. The more times you check your knot, the more likely you are to notice a mistake. 

To check my harness’s figure eight knot, I count to twelve (ten for the knot, and two for the harness tie-in loops). 

I also always check the figure eight knot connected to the leashrings before mounting the line (which I count to ten).

I don’t recommend highlining alone. On the rare occasions that I practice alone however, I keep well within my comfort zone because I consider that the moments in which I’m the most likely to injure myself is when learning new tricks. So when I highline alone I just practice movements/tricks that I already know well! 

What is your favourite trick on the line?

I love landing tricks “to feet”, they’re not the easiest but definitely the most satisfying!

Do you have any advice to learn that one?

I want to give advice for learning the shoulder stand. For me, this trick was a really big struggle! My problem in the beginning was that the painful nature of the trick was bigger than my desire to learn it, so I waited super long before learning the shoulder stand! How did I overcome the struggle?

I just forced myself every day of autumn 2019 to stand on my shoulder on a short primitive line! At first it seemed impossible, but once I started trying every day, I picked it up pretty quick!  

What advice would you give to a slackline beginner?

The most beautiful advice I heard from a friend was: “take your time to go faster”.  The advice I feel the need to say when I see a beginner scared on a highline is: just enjoy your fear because you will have less and less with each try, and these are unique moments which you should try to appreciate!

Are you scared of heights?

I was really scared of heights when starting out. Today I only feel excitement when starting a highline session. Also I reckon that the exposure that we have when highlining is not the same as the exposure when climbing or in other ‘exposed’ activities. 

Over the years, I’ve gotten used to the exposure when highlining but I am definitely not yet comfortable when hanging off the edge of a cliff while climbing! For me, there are lots of height related activities that are difficult to compare! 

Do you have any major goal that you want to achieve in slacklining?

Absolutely, I have so many goals! If I had to choose one, I’d say a big goal of mine today is to be able to perform tandem highlining in shows.


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