For all you budding aerialists, I know when the circus bug bites it really bites, so it won’t be long before you’re thinking about buying your own silks or trapeze. Today I’m sharing where we buy our equipment and what to look for in each piece.
Spansets or slings are what you wrap around a beam to hang your apparatus. A three foot will wrap around most beams. If you are using a lyra I’d recommend getting a six foot as well unless you want to be right up against the beam.
We buy all our spansets from Sapsis Rigging. The also make spansets with steel inside – this is what we use to rig our equipment for class and rehearsal because it will be left in place for longer periods of time. You’ll want them rated for at least 5000 lbs.
A note on spansets and all rigging equipment – don’t cut off that ugly orange/purple tag. It tells you the rating (how large of a load it can carry) and is your warranty if the equipment breaks. Cut it off and the company will not replace it.
We buy swivels and carabiners from Amazon. I use these gold biners, a Black Diamond swivel and this rescue 8. Aerial Essentials also sells tons of hardware. I prefer screw gate biners over twist lock as they’re easier to unhook when you’re rigging in the air.
Our silks come from Aerial Fabric Acrobatics. When purchasing fabric you’ll want enough to go from the floor, to the ceiling, and back down to the floor with two or three feet of extra fabric on the ground. My red silks are 15 yards (which is about perfect for 18ft ceilings) and my white silks are 18. I usually end up trimming a few inches off the edge to make it a little thinner width-wise. Stretch fabric is a little more bouncy, which is nice for drops but also cinches tighter.
We have a trapeze from Trapeze Rigging and our lyras and chandelyra are from Brett Copes (tell him The Weird Sisters sent you). Brett not only makes custom equipment, but is a professional rigger, so if you’re interested in rigging your own equipment I’d definitely recommend his workshops.
You can find more information on how to properly rig, equipment ratings, tying silks, etc at Aerial Essentials.