Last updated on July 31st, 2023 at 06:35 PM
Perched at a height soaring more than twice that of London’s Big Ben, Slackline world champion Jaan Roose, balanced precariously on a 2.5cm wide slackline bouncing in the high winds.
Amid his most demanding slacklining challenge yet in Qatar, Roose remained hyper-focused, ultimately setting the record for the world’s longest single-building slackline.
Embarking on his aptly named “Sparkline” challenge, Estonian athlete Jaan Roose traversed a LED-lit slackline suspended between the scimitar-shaped Iconic Towers in Doha’s Lusail City. The daring feat took place at an altitude more than twice that of London’s Big Ben.
Spanning an impressive 150 meters on a line just 2.5cm wide, Roose demonstrated his skills amidst the stunning backdrop of the setting sun on the Qatari landscape.
With unwavering balance and focus, his walk required the precision of navigating a distance equivalent to 1.5 international football pitches, all while being suspended high above the city.
The sport of slacklining, initially born in the climbing community in the 1980s, requires athletes to maintain balance on a flat band suspended between two points. Roose, a three-time Slackline World Champion, is one of the pioneers in the field, pushing the boundaries of what is considered possible.
Upon completion of the daring act, Roose shared, “The Iconic Towers posed a challenge that I was eager to embrace. This walk was one of my most demanding challenges to date, especially considering its length and height.”
Adding to the complexity of the event, Roose mentioned, “The desert’s fluctuating heat and wind conditions required spontaneous adjustments while I was on the slackline.
Additionally, the LED lights’ weight introduced a different dynamic to the line’s behaviour under my weight. It felt somewhat like skateboarding on a heavy tree trunk, rather than a lightweight board.”
— Roose also expressed his admiration for the chosen venue: “The Iconic Towers were a fitting backdrop for this endeavour. It has indeed been an unforgettable maiden visit to Qatar.”
Roose, now 31, has a history of conquering some of the world’s most unique and challenging slackline routes. He was the first person to navigate a slackline across the ‘fangs’, striking limestone formations of Kazakhstan’s Bozzhyra tract, also known as the ‘Sugar Castles’ that were carved out by an ancient ocean.
In 2022, amidst the rugged beauty of Kazakhstan’s landscapes, Roose challenged the extreme conditions and successfully traversed the 500m slackline set at a height of 200m, despite gusting winds and sweltering 50°C temperatures. These formidable pillars, created by the ancient Tethys Ocean millions of years ago.