"Sketchy" Andy Lewis on Slacklining and Being Epic


Sketchy Andy Base Jump, Sketchy Andy Slackline

Everyone has felt it at one point or another, that drop in your stomach when you pluck up the courage to look down from high up.  It's an unforgettable feeling that triggers our most primal survival instincts and makes everything else seem irrelevant, even if just for a short time.  That adrenaline rush is what Andy Lewis, better known as "Sketchy Andy," lives for.  We had to know more so we asked him a few questions on following your passion and staying epic!    

So first things first, how did you get the nickname Sketchy Andy?  Was there any one event or video made the nickname stick?
I would probably say from the time I was a kid. I have always been Sketchy Andy, but the name came about during the time I was free solo high-lining a lot as well as getting into BASE jumping.

For anyone who’s unfamiliar with the sport can you tell what is slacklining is and the history of it?

Slacklining is learning to balance on a 1" piece of webbing that’s stretched from one point to another. It started hundreds of years ago during the gold rush then in the 60's, 70's, and 80's it gained popularity as a more mainstream sport.  It reappeared in the early 2000’s and then became exceedingly  popular in the late 2000's, where I got my hands on the sport, and have been helping to evolve it the last 11 years.

 

What is the scariest landing you’ve had to date?

(Feel free to link to the video - like landing on tall skinny mountain top)
I would say the scariest landing to date I have ever had was a malfunction that nearly cost me my life.  I was trying to jump 2 parachutes, open one, cut it away, go back into free fall, and open the other. It all went horribly wrong and I crashed under half a canopy from over 1000.

If you had to pick your best moment in your action sports career what would it be and why?
The best moment in my action career is waking up in my bed and looking out the window at the beautiful day ahead of me. Nothing is worth it unless you feel truly alive, and when you get that sensation, you must embrace whatever it is that gives you that feeling ;) I'd also have to say that those introspective moments where I realize how large of a community has been created and to see how it’s grown into this awesome family makes me smile a lot too.

Most difficult challenge you’ve overcome and what motivates you to keep putting yourself out there?
Hardest challenge I have ever taken in action sports was trying to break the world record free solo. It took me three full years of dedicated idiocy.  My motivation is the internal fire that it ignites in me, it’s hard to explain.  It's just who I am that gets me out there and if I wasn't out there slacklining or BASE jumping I'd surely find another way to be out there.

What is your career Goal?
My career goal is to keep having fun doing what I do. To not let myself get absorbed by anything else other than the true and unbridled ability to do what I want to have fun, all the time.

Where are the top 3 places you’ve BASE jumped and is there a place you've always wanted to jump but haven't yet?
I've always wanted to jump the Burj Khalifa in Dubai but haven't yet.  As for my top three places I can't really say I have any because any day I get to do what I love is a good day.

How do you deal with that "haters" or safety obsessed that don’t approve?
I would say that I am safety obsessed, and to all the people who hate me, I usually just don't give them any time or energy. I just focus on what's next.