Yesterday was a great day. I didn't think this was possible and the idea seemed ridiculous only a few months ago. I was able to send my favorite 60m highline on an untensioned setup. This is what the line looked like:
The most surprising thing is that it wasn't that hard. Of course I did untensioned 30m highlines and one that had 50m, but the latter is not exposed at all. The 60m however is 30m high and is much more exposed. It has never been really easy for me.
The webbing we used was Strong II with a standard 9mm static rope. I was able to pull the webbing into the banana on my own before the send. (The pulley stayed in the car.) Here you see Dani lifting the webbing after his send (which was his first on this line - congratulations!):
A word about the name of this style: The term "hand tensioned" is used by some. I don't like it. "Tensioning" a line is different from what we do. We are just lifting the webbing and pulling sag into the banana. Whatever tension there is comes only from the weight of the webbing, not from our hands. You may find it a technical detail but "untensioned" is more accurate and – be honest! – it sounds much cooler.
Perhaps it's worth mentioning that several people are sending highlines at maybe even lower tension. But then I wonder why they use a tensioning system. Why not leave these bulky old tools at home?
After many years of slacklining I found myself a new challenge. Nice!