Webbing lifetime and freestyle highline warnings

With the popularity of highline freestyle rising in today’s highlining world, permanently rigged lines (or perma-rigs) are becoming the norm rather than the exception. This intensive use and long exposure of the webbing can lead to critical weakening and failure.

In these publications, we adress the main factors we are aware of, abrasion and UV degradation. We also give some recommendations on what to do to avoid critical failure, the first of which is always to rig redundantly. We are constantly updating the ISA 41 Highline Webbing standard to be consistent to the currentl knowledge and practice of highline.

On the subject of abrasion, we adress 3 abrasion issues that were noticed specifically in the context of highline freestyle:

  • Leash wrapping around the line
  • Backup-loops wrapping around the main line
  • Abrasion in weblocks from cyclic loading

The main source of potential abrasion is always at the edge however, extend your anchor past the edge of the cliff and use proper padding.

Freestyle Highline Abraison Publication

The second publication is about lifetime of webbing. Webbing material, polyamide in the case of highline freestle webbing, degrades when exposed to UVs. In the case of a permarig, degradation happens even on a day when no one is using the line.

Webbings certified according to the ISA 41 Highline webbing standard have a recommended lifetime depending on their material and breaking strength. This lifetime is expressed in numbers of days used or exposed. We also recommend to take the same precautions for non-certified webbings.

Strength class ISA 41 (MBS)

PAD (nylon) PES (polyester) High-Tech All other

Type C (22+ kN)

180 days Not certified as single webbings Not certified as single webbings Not certified as single webbings

Type B  (26+ kN)

360 days 360 days

Not certified as single webbings

360 days
Type A  (30+ kN) 720 days Optical/haptical inspection 720 days 720 days

Type A+ (40+ kN)

720 days Optical/haptical inspection 1440 days 1440 days