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Circus is deeply rooted in Community. We want to ensure our community stays safe and informed so we created this page to share some of our knowledge and resources with you.

Our equipment: 

We only use the best quality, fit for purpose equipment. All of our rigs are safety checked periodically by a trained professional and daily risk assessments are carried out prior to any training. Rigging is serious business! And we're sad to say that out there on the market is a lot of unsafe equipment and hardware for sale that is not suitable for the purpose of aerial training, even if it advertised as such! 

Things to consider if you want to rig and train outside of our Space:

  • Rigging installed inside a house will require a structural engineer to properly assess the space, load capacity and structural safety and will likely invalidate any home insurance you have.

  • Load capacity of the aerial point: A person moving on an aerial apparatus generates a lot of force, far more than their weight when they’re standing still on the floor. 

  • Industry standard for aerial rigging is that any aerial point must have a load capacity of no less than 2000 lbs safe working load (that's heavier than a large male grizzly bear) and a minimum breaking strength of no less than 8000 lbs (the weight of pick up truck).  This capacity must be independent of any other loads in the support path – (e.g. Snow loads on the roof).

  • Rigging from trees is also unfortunately very unsafe without hiring an Arborist to assess the tree. 

  • If the rig is for your child, they will need to be supervised. To be able to effectively supervise and spot them, some understanding of how to enter/leave moves/apparatus is needed, Aerial teachers spend years training to understand the skills inside & out to keep everyone safe in class. Things that can go wrong: 

  1. Your child becomes tangled in fabric and can’t get out safely

  2. Your child falls out, potentially landing on their head or spine resulting in serious injury. 


So how do we rig at home? Follow this process if you want to be sure your home rig is safe:

  • Consult with a structural engineer about the installation of the rigging point

  • Purchase rigging equipment from reputable suppliers – (Home Depot or Ikea might seem to have what you need but these will not be fit for purpose)

  • Purchase Aerial apparatus from reputable circus equipment suppliers – the apparatus must be load tested & engineered specifically for aerial training.

  • Mats: sufficient padding under and around the apparatus is necessary to prevent injury.  If a person practices with only a hard floor under them, they can easily sprain or fracture any body part hitting the floor by accident, or more serious injury can result if they fall.  Good quality gymnastics mats are important for minimizing these risks.

  • Insurance: aerial points are not included in homeowners’ or renters’ insurance and must be added on.  Installing an aerial point without insurance specifically covering this can result in cancellation of your home insurance.

  • Inspections: you will need to hire a qualified aerial performer rigger & structural engineer to do regular inspections, ongoing maintenance, & repairs to the aerial point.

How can I work on Circus at home if rigging is not an option:

Good news:  conditioning and flexibility work can be done easily at home with far less expense or risk! 

Things you can do:

  • Install a pull up bar to work on upper body/core strength

  • Use a stability ball for core work

  • Resistance band training

  • Home weights to work on strength

  • Use a yoga mat, blocks and a wall to help you work on flexibility! 

Using good training habits greatly reduces the risks and makes aerial arts far more enjoyable! 

If you have any further questions about any of these points, please don't hesitate to reach out 

Happy and safe training! 

With love,

the Island Circus Space Team

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