Drone video shows slacklining above giant waves in Nazare

A slackliner cuts a lonely figure walking above monster waves in Nazaré, Portugal, in this stunning drone footage.

A group of slackliners called the Western Riders recently installed a line connecting the Cliff of Praia do Norte in Nazaré to the Guilhim Rock, a famous landmark known from viral photos of huge wave impacts and water explosions during the Portuguese Big Wave Season.

The slackliner on this video is Emerson Machado, 28-year-old from Brazil. According to Machado, the line was installed days before a big swell arrived in Nazaré, and everything was cautiously planned, checked and re-checked to provide the maximum level of security possible to the slackliners performing the walk. “It’s calculated risk, we are not crazy like it may seem at first sight.

In reality, everything was planned to the minor details. Over the years, we’ve performed walks in many locations, including Nazaré, and we take this very seriously,” Machado said. “Over the course of two days, we’ve performed dozens of walks between the cliff and the rock in Nazaré, and no one was ever injured during that time. It’s relatively safe when performed by an experienced crew, working together with planning and caution,” he adds.

This extreme sport is called slacklining, although this version performed in Praia do Norte is known more specifically as highlining. It involves balancing on a rope suspended above the ground (or above the sea in this case) and anchored between two points. It looks like a sport made for daredevils, but well-trained slackliners believe all the gear and equipment they use is all made, tested and certificated for this activity, making it perfectly safe. ​

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