Suspension Paths

So I went to SCRUE the other day and had a really good conversation with GrayDancer and Provocations about rope skill levels and the issues around what is intermediate, but one of the things that really jumped out to me Gray’s comment that we treat suspension as a monolith, you turn on or off the switch, when really it’s several different skill levels, styles and kinds of knowledge needed.
Anyway it make me think about how you might structure a series of classes on suspension.

Suspension basics
baby’s first ‘suspension’ would be a chest or hip harness where the bottom can entirely self rescue by standing, the top gets to practice running a up-line but neither top nor bottom need to feel the stress of a full inversion.
perhaps a second tie is a hammock or M suspension, you work on managing more up lines but it’s not too stressful for the top or bottom.
and this is all you really need for basics.

From here we branch into a few kinds of advanced suspension.

Advanced ties
Fancy harnesses (aguras, elaborate body harnesses etc)
Arm loading harnesses (tengu, TKs etc)

Dynamic ties

  • Dynamic rigs (puppet suspensions, up lines for jumps, jolts and other dynamic movement)
  • partials (fall safety, fatigue management, body manipulation)

(understanding shock loading, up line safety, advanced rescue methods)

  • accessory transitions (not changing the mainlines but using legs and waist lines to shift weight or shape, body mechanics to help shift the bottoms comfortably)
  • Major transitions ( switching from chest to hips, face up to face down,)
  • inversions and coming out of inversions (single point foot/leg hangs, advanced safety and rescue procedures)

Curious what other people think and if there’s various other niches within suspension I’ve overlooked.

It also struck me how a lot of people will say “you must/must not” have synthetic up lines, if you’re doing dynamic rigs or major transitions…you really do need synthetic up lines. However but if you’re just doing basics with no shock loading it’s much much less likely to ever be an issue for you if you rig average to smaller bottoms.