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Together with Tobias Rodenkirch, Samuel Volery is one of the 2 Founders of SLACKTIVITY. He has been slacklining since 2007 and since 2011 his main discipline is highlining and, in that, he has managed to break several World Records. 

His most famous project was a 540m long alpine highline in Switzerland. There he connected two of the Churfirsten as part of the Sommerchallenge on SRF.

Beside walking long highlines he has invented countless new tricks on the slackline – he has been the first to do a handstand or a shoulder stand on a highline. 

Also with dynamic tricks he has tried leading the way by being the first to stick e.g. a Yoda-Roll, a Flare or a Rocket Mount on a highline.

If you are interested to see him performing, you can book him for a highline show. He always performs with a safety harness, therefore it is totally safe what he does, even though it looks amazing and dangerous.

Below you may check some of his videos, the answers to some questions regarding Sam’s slacklife, and a bit more on his portfolio, by clicking here

A few freestyle moves and one of the World Records

Sam's Slacklife

When did you start slacklining and how did you discover it?

First time I stepped on a slackline was 2007. A year later I had a ski accident and tore apart my cruciate ligament. The slackline came to my mind and I used it as a therapy device. While still walking on crutches I set up a slackline between parallel bars to stand on my injured leg. When falling I caught the parallel bars. This therapy got me hooked to that sport with all its different disciplines.

What do you think is the biggest benefit of slacklining?

When I was 20 years of age I had back pain every single day due to a scoliosis (my legs have a length difference of 15mm which leads to an S-shape spine). After 3 years of slacklining this pain was almost gone and now at the age of 36 with regular highline training I have like 5-10 days a year with back pain…

Beside the positive effects in physio therapy, slacklining also helps me to free my mind in breaks between work and it helped me to get a better posture. But mainly, slacklining for me is fun and adventure. It takes me to crazy places and helped me meet amazing people from all over the world.

samuel volery
Photo Credits: Martin Knobel
samuel volery highline
Photo Credits: Markus Casutt Martinsloch Films

Why do you love slacklining so much?

Deep in my heart I’m a freestyler. I used to freeski regularly. I was never any good at it but I loved it. But then I got injured and realized that the impacts are not benefitting my body at all. In highlining I found a sport that still perfectly fits the freestyler inside me. 

But it is the safest and healthiest freestyle sport out there. Even now at the age of 36 I can rage harder than ever before, train almost every day, invent new tricks, take crazy leash falls. And the day after a huge session with 50 leash falls my body feels sore but super healthy. It is just so much fun to push into huge surfs and bounces, fly around in the air and trying to put crazy ideas into action.

What are your favorite slackline disciplines?

I used to trickline hard and loved it. I even became Swiss Champion in this discipline. But that was a while ago before I discovered highlining. Well, since that moment I am totally in love with highlining! And mainly with Freestyle Highlining on highline lengths of 60-80m.

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

For freestyle highlining I love setups of 50-65m pinkTube or 70-85m LSDTube. Tensioned with a 9:1 HangOver pulley and 1 person pulling.

For longer highlines between 100 and 300m I love the Y2K-Webbing with an additional 50m of pinkTube to give it the necessary bounce.

For highlines above 300m I love pure Y2K.

Do you have a permanent rig?

Fortunately yes. Since a 2021 I finally have a freestyle highline rig 5 minutes from home with the bicycle and I’m just so happy about it!!

How much do you train?

At the moment I highline about 5x a week. 

highlining over the ocean slacktivity slackline team

How do you buddy-check when you highline alone?

I tie myself into the leash. Then clip my HangOver into the line. Before rolling out, I check the figure 8 again, check also if the leash goes through both harness-loops. And I check if the harness sits correctly and tight. Then I roll out, sit onto the line and repeat the checking process one more time before starting the session.

What is your favourite trick on the line?

I really love the feeling of the flare and the rocket mount. Both are super dynamic tricks that are really satisfying to stick and both look cool for people watching.

Do you have any advice to learn that one?

For the rocket mount I recommend watching this video on left.

Don’t try to start directly from feet or to feet. But go step by step. Start from Korean, land in Korean. And having a short leash will help you to have less force on your hands and shoulders. And very importantly warm up and train your shoulders before trying!

What advice would you give to a slackline beginner?

Don’t expect to be able to walk on a slackline after 3 minutes. Keep trying to stand and fall for an hour and session 2-3 times a week for an intense hour and you will feel some progress really fast! Also rig your line a bit looser in every session. First session like 30cm sag, second session 40cm, third session 50cm until you have 1.5-2m sag. Once you can control such a line you fill find the flow!

Are you scared of heights?

I am scared of heights as long as I’m not secured. As soon as I’m tied in, the fear disappears and I feel safe.

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

Oh, there are many… I’d love to perform a highline show in a packed football stadium. I wanna rig 10 parallel bounce lines and have the biggest freestyle highline session of history, I’d love to walk a highline between the 2 towers of the Üetliberg (the home mountain of Zurich) and I really want to continue raging on freestyle highlines and keep inventing tricks for a few years 🙂 Oh, and above that there are some alpine peaks that are just waiting to be rigged!

slackline handstand samuel volery

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