Level 3: Suspension

My personal belief is that suspension should be approached in stages (first practicing the basic skills, then working with partials, eventually moving into full suspension until finally starting to work with transitions), and with someone more experienced than you. I don’t think online tutorials are adequate teachers for this.

I also believe that suspension work shouldn’t be attempted until the foundations are solid (including a strong understanding of the risks and precautions) and you are very confident in whatever specific tie(s) you will attempt to use in the suspension.

As a personal example, I studied for a year (usually working 2 to 3 times a week for 2 to 3 hours at a time with someone much more experienced) before starting to learn suspension, and my first suspension bottom was a bucket. Once I could successfully work that bucket, I practiced on the person helping me learn so that he could immediately tell me what I was getting right and what I was doing wrong. I didn’t suspend anyone from a box tie until I had my basic suspension skills down solid and could correctly tie that box tie in under 3 minutes while blindfolded. I’m not saying you have to do the same thing, I’m just urging caution and proper respect for the dangers that suspension introduces.

Suspension Safety

(Additional safety concerns specific to suspension, in general and throughout the items below)

Suspension Progression

  • Practicing with an Object
  • Partial Suspension
  • Full Suspension
  • Self-Suspension
  • Suspension and Orientation (face up, face down, side, inversion, etc.)
  • Working with Transitions

Anchor Points & Suspension Hardware

  • Understanding Load vs. Weight
  • Anchor Point Options & Evaluation (ring, carabiner, pole, etc.)
  • Using Multiple Anchor Points
  • Suspension Hardware Options

Managing Suspension Lines

  • Review Rope Type and Strength
  • Connecting to the Body
  • Lift Line Options (lifting from cuff, bight, or carabiner)
  • Raising and Lowering Techniques
  • Securing the Line (on ring/carabiner vs. pole, etc.)
  • Working with Multiple Lines

Suspending from Common Ties

  • Hip Harness Suspension
  • Chest Harness Suspension
  • Adding Leg Lines
  • Leg Tie Suspension
  • Adding Waist Wraps
  • Box Tie Suspension