I get asked this question often: Can I set up aerial silks/hoop/trapeze at my house so I/my child can practice aerial? And I totally get it! When I first started, I wanted nothing more than to be in the air, getting strong, being upside down, flying!
But here is the reality: Aerial can be very risky and until you (and your child) are more experienced, having a set-up at home without supervision can be very dangerous.
There is also the cost associated with it. Did you know that many homes are not built to withstand the dynamic weight load of a human doing aerial? A human body in motion on an aerial apparatus produces far more dynamic weight force than their actual body weight. If you were going to install an aerial point, you would need to pay a structural engineer to evaluate your home’s structure. If they said it is not sufficient to support what you are wanting to do, you would have to retrofit (AKA remodel) the entire structure of your home.
Even if you were to do all of that, there are myriad other risks involved with beginners being on aerial equipment unsupervised.
Do you (or your child) know:
How to properly rig aerial equipment, including what type of equipment to buy?
What a safe rigging point looks like (and what an unsafe rigging point looks like)?
How and when to inspect aerial equipment and identify when it should be replaced?
What type of mat to purchase?
How to rescue someone who gets tangled in the silks?
What kind of insurance you have to have (and how having an aerial point in your home can affect your homeowner’s insurance?)
Why you shouldn’t learn skills off of YouTube or Instagram?
In addition, do you:
Have the body awareness to understand which skills are safe and which are above your current ability level?
Have a plan for friends/family who are not taking classes but want to try aerial?
Here’s the thing: I know it sounds like I’m just trying to get people to pay for classes at my studio. Of course, I want people to come take classes because our teachers are really great and we have a blast while being really safe. BUT the reason I am encouraging that option over putting up your own rig is that while aerial is so much fun, it is also a high risk activity, and my goal is to make sure that people stay safe while they are doing it, whether at my studio or elsewhere.
Bottom line is: people do get seriously injured or killed in this industry. It’s important to weigh the level of responsibility you would assume if you had an aerial rigging point in your home.
I’m always available to answer questions, either by email or on Facebook.
Happy (and safe!) flying!