Slacklining expert shows off his skills in Suffolk skies
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
Many of us have missed taking to the skies during the coronavirus but one Suffolk man is still flying high even during lockdown.
Charles Chater, 33, is a well-known slacklining expert and has been taking to the skies over east Suffolk on his specially designed ropes.
"I got into it in 2008," said Mr Chater.
"The sport has been growing for the last 10 years."
Slacklining is similar to walking a tightrope but the rope has less tension in it.
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Mr Chater said that one of the attractions of the sport was the connection you felt while doing it.
"You don't have time to think," said Mr Chater.
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"It's a nice way to clear your mind."
As well as being Mr Chater’s passion he also uses it in his day job as a rope access technician with companies like Spider Rope Access. Over the years he has worked in construction on some of London’s biggest buildings; including the Shard, the Heron Tower and The Wardian.
Mr Chater’s passion has attracted interest over the years and he has travelled across the world.
“One of the nice things is going to beautiful places and seeing beautiful views,” said Mr Chater.
“I have done some fun things with it.”
In 2019 Mr Chater featured on an episode of the Amazon Prime show The Grand Tour which saw him walk on a line between two moving cars, one of which was being driven by former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond.
Mr Chater was also called upon to slackline over the eight-storey high Twickenham Stadium to provide a ball for a rugby game.
“I am more relaxed and feel safer when I am up high,” said Mr Chater.
Mr Chater said that one of the key aspects of the sport was safety and that at all times the ropes used to support him could take a lot more force than was put on them.
He recommended that anyone interested in taking up slacklining head to International Slacklining Association's Facebook page where a lot of the community is based and to visit the R U Slack website for more information about training in the sport.
You can follow Mr Chater @knottychillibear on Instagram.