Aerial Silks

A Complete Setup for Aerial Silks Equipment

Doing aerial silks exercise doesn’t mean that just got on to the silks and just do it, one should always understand the equipment and the behavior of material first if you want to grasp the best of it. These informations will be useful too for those that would like to set up silks at home.

Understand the Rigging Part

Starting from top, for any home ceiling or studio ceiling, a ceiling hook is needed to hold the silks, there are a few versions available, they are for heavy-duty use and look similar like below picture. The ceiling must not be plaster ceiling because they need to hold heavy weight.

Some studio, performing stage or any other venue might not use the ceiling hook, they will have a rigging point and the rigging hook will look similar as below image. These rigging hook holding from the rigging point with steel chain and the height of rigging hook can be controlled to go up or down, so that the silks can be hook without climbing up to the top. Below version of rigging hook is with swivel type, so that it can create spin.Next this hook will connect with a carabiner. There are two types of carabiner: auto-lock type and screw type.

Auto-lock type carabiner, as the name said, it is auto-lock. To unlock it, one will need to push and twist to unlock, after hook just release and it will auto twist back to lock.

Screw type carabiner, one will need to screw open to unlock and screw back to lock.Both types of carabiner are widely use and it depends on preferences. For performance, one can choose the auto-lock type carabiner to get quicker hooking time, anyway if rigging hook is used then screw type carabiner can be choose too, just need to press to unlock the rigging hook and hook the carabiner in.

Next is the ball bearing swivel, to make the aerialist spin, ball bearing swivel is a must. Swivel type of rigging hook can only create limited spin, not fast enough compare with a ball bearing swivel as below image. To connect a ball bearing swivel, two carabiners are needed.

And lastly it is a figure 8 descender to tie the silks.

Understand the Fabric Part

There are two types of fabric to use as aerial silks, two-way stretch Polyester Lycra and Tricot Nylon. Types of fabric is depends on personal preferences. Silks can have low stretch and medium stretch. Low stretch is suitable for beginner because it is easier to climb. Medium stretch is harder to climb but is it nice for drop.

Width of silks fabric for adults normally is around 75″ to 90″, longer the width, thicker the silks when gather all in hand.

One long silks will bend into half and the middle point is used to tie on the figure 8 descender, thus there will be two side of silks. Height of silks can be varied depends on the venue. To do drop, at least 20″ to 25″ is needed for a normal or double star drop.

Now there are plenty of nice color available for silks.

The Complete Sequence

The complete sequence is as below:

Ceiling Hook/ Rigging Hook – Carabiner – Ball Bearing Swivel – Carabiner – Figure 8 Descender – Silks

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