top of page

Aerial Rigging at Home Safety



If you do decide that an at-home rig is a priority for you, here are some important safety tips and considerations:

  1. Ask your instructor if you are ready for your own rig. Make sure that you are ready to train without instructor supervision.  Generally, if you are in Level 3+ you might be ready.  Still ask us please.

  2. Consider taking a rigging course, read books and educate yourself before buying your own equipment. Learn to safely rig and inspect your equipment from experts in the field.

  3. Check out local laws and make sure that your at-home rig does not violate your homeowner’s or renter's insurance policy. Make sure you are not violating any laws that may prohibit your rig’s height. Homeowners insurance can often liken at-home rigs to trampolines or pools. 

  4. Contact a structural engineer to assess your beam that you want to use for your rigging set-up. Make sure they do a thorough inspection. Bonus points if they have experience/expertise in aerial rigging.

  5. After getting approval from a structural engineer, contact an experienced rigger to help you install your rig. 

  6. Rigging at home can be costly, but should NEVER be a DIY project. A more affordable and safe option is getting a reputable, third party tested, freestanding aerial rig. We can recommend ones for you.

  7. LIABILITY!  Say your child has a friend over or a friend wants to play on it.  And it breaks or they injure themselves.  Are you ready to take on the potential law suit?  

To see information on purchasing silks click here.

Do you research when seeking a free-standing rig, not all rigs are made for all things.  Reputable companies who sell rigs are X-Pole, Vvolfy, Juggle Gear, and Circus Concepts.

And don't forget mats! ALWAYS use a proper mat. This goes for at home, and when doing aerial at studios and performance spaces. As we all know, aerial can be potentially dangerous. While mats cannot fully protect you from injury, they can definitely lessen the impact of a fall or mishap.


Here are some mat purchasing tips:

  • We recommend opting for mats that are at least 8 inches thick. 

  • Mat options in the USA: Rubber Flooring Inc, We Sell Mats, Mats Mats Mats

  • When ordering mats, plan ahead and expect high shipping costs. Due to the large size of mats, they are not shipped by regular mail. They typically need to be delivered by freight which can result in a pretty hefty delivery fee.

  • Many mat manufacturers do not have every size and color in stock. Instead, they are “made to order.” If you want something other than the standard blue color you may have to wait 6-8 weeks.

  • If you are on a budget, we have seen aerialists use mattresses or futons in lieu of mats. While this is better than nothing, we still recommend the standard crash mats due to the manufacturing specifications.

We STRONGLY advise against rigging from trees. 

Here are just some of the concerns when it comes to rigging from trees. 

  1. The tree and branches need to be able to take a LOT of weight to be safe. When you simply climb, your weight doubles. When you do dynamic skills such as beats or drops the sudden shock load can be many times your body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, at the bottom of a dynamic skill you could generate 700+ lbs of force. In aerial rigging, we aim for a 10 to 1 ratio. Meaning, whatever you’re hanging from needs to be 10x stronger than the max force that you’ll be generating, not just your weight itself. 

  2. The amount of weight a tree can take is affected by many variables that are difficult if not impossible to control and quantify. These variables include age, species, soil conditions, insect infestations, disease, root systems, bark and circulatory system, internal conditions of the trunk, and weather conditions. Plus, rigging on a branch damages the internal circulation of the branch, so even if the branch is safe at the outset, by using the rig, you are damaging the branch’s connection to the trunk.*  In addition to hiring a structural engineer and professional rigger, you would need to hire a professional arborist to inspect the tree’s health and would need to do this frequently for maintenance. The cost of all of this will likely be in the thousands so you’re better off just getting a free-standing rig. 

  3. Several fatalities have been attributed to Sudden Branch Drop Syndrome. A tree will shed large limbs and branches without warning when stressed. The high risk is just not worth it! 

  4. After all your research and money spent, the tree could be dead in side and will still break.  

bottom of page