**I am NOT an aerial instructor or rigger. I am NOT a professional. My ideas on safety may not be the same as yours or what a professional aerialist/rigger/instructor recommends. Please refer to a professional if you have questions. Facebook Safety in Aerial Arts Group is a great resource.**
Just over 2 years ago (2013) I bought a new house. In my search for a house I was looking for tall ceilings or large trees (this was before I knew how difficult and unsafe rigging from trees can be). If you are thinking about rigging at home please read this article by Steve Santos.
My new home doesn’t have ceilings or trees able to rig on. I decided I needed my own rig. Two years ago I sent Ludwig, Damnhot.com, an email with a dozen questions about portable rigs and his rig. He answered me right away but soon I realized how expensive owning a house can be and it wasn’t time for me to buy a rig.
So 2 years later, my aerial training and knowledge has increased. I own my own hoop and fabric…then stars aligned: I came into some extra money, my Honey Bunny agreed a rig would look great in the backyard and he’d help me with it, and finally my schedule was making it difficult for me to get to the studio to workout. I also read this article by Delbert Hall about Portable Aerial Rigs. I want to share the info I’ve gathered in my search for an aerial rig.
*Now that I have my new rig and its up in my yard. I’m going to use it for a while and eventually write review blog for it. So far its great and I love the pulley… If you are considering a rig, get a pulley. It makes life SO MUCH EASIER!
Ludwig Portable Stand Alone Rig
- 21 ft Quad Rig Copper Vein-$1780 (4ft header)
- X4 -4ft extension feet ($160) (website says “$1920 if in stock” – it was in stock but I did not get this price)
- X4 -more eyebolts (5 total= needed 4 more, $14 each, x2 trapeze & x2 corner for pulley, like in photo = $56)
- X2 Tie-off cleats ($13 each =$26)
- X4 extra screws ($4) (just as a precaution. There are more extra screws included)
- $365+ $18 shipping (residential shipping to Tampa, FL)
TOTAL: $2409 ordered 1/9/2016, shipped 1/15/2016, arrived 1/21/2016
These are a few reasons I decided on this rig:
- Ludwig was quick to respond to all my questions. Very knowledgeable and was highly recommended. Plus a friend has one of his and loves it.
- Stability of a quad vs tripod
- Options in height: this rig can go from 7 to 24ft high & doesn’t need different size cables on the legs (it uses straps that can be tightened)
- Footprint: at 24ft it still fits in my yard (19ft = 17×20′, 21ft = 19×22′, 24ft = 21×24′)
- Powder-coating color options (my Fiancé was against this rig because it’s steel and he was concerned about rust. He really wanted me to get an aluminum one. I don’t always listen to him). I chose Copper Vein. *It is VERY dark…almost black.
- You can get a pulley to change out apparatus.
Next was the pulley system. I knew I wanted it so I could change apparatus easily and quickly put up and take equipment down. I didn’t want to leave my equipment outside because we have a lot of random rain in Tampa (plus the sprinklers come on at night).
Aerial Animals offers the entire pulley system at $260 + shipping $20 Total $280.
Ludwig also has a lot of info on the right and wrong way to install a pulley and recommends Aerial Animal’s pulley. The Aerial Animal’s website spells out what the system includes and Patti was quick to answer all my questions.
As I was researching her system. (I wanted to verify all the ratings) I found I could buy the components for less. I grappled with using Patti’s info and then not buying it from her but I wanted additional hardware and I saved over $90 by buying from other resources. Unfortunately, I’ve found with purchasing from other sources, I’ve had to do a lot of manual work: phone calls, pricing, looking at ratings, calculating shipping, etc. Then once I ordered, some of it wasn’t in stock and that delayed shipping. If you want it right away go with Patti.
*I will likely buy a trapeze from Patti. Hers are beautiful and have a ton of options.
*I’ve done some additional research on carabiners and am rethinking using the D-shaped 50kN biner for the top connection. I’m looking into a shackle or heavy duty Quick Link so the carabiner isn’t overloaded.
- Pulley Fusion Strux: $18.69
Blue, single wheel, aluminum, 34kN, 2″/16mm, L 4.25×3.25″
- Pulley Fusion Secura: $29.15
Purple, double wheel, aluminum, 25kN, 2″/16mm, rope max <15mm, L 5.5″x3.25″
- X2 Pulley Fusion Micro: $10.73 each = $21.46
Orange, aluminum, 20kN, L 4.0×3.3″, rope max 11mm
- Carabiner Fusion Tacoma Triple Lock: $23.80
D-shaped, 1″ opening, 50kN, black
- X4 Quick Link Maillion Rapide: Rigging Warehouse $1.70 each = $6.80
WLL 700kg (1550lbs), 5/16″, steel
(FYI: 7/16″ 2425lbs)
- Static Rope New England KMIII Max: Rigging Warehouse $117
100ft , 11mm/ 7/16″, Black/yellow, weight 5.8lbs, tensile 8,000lbs
Total for pulley: $216.90 + shipping $14.92 = $231.82
*Fusion’s shipping would have been around $16 for just the pulley hardware (I ordered additional hardware for myself plus they waived shipping for my order due to some miscommunications.)
*Rigging Warehouse’s shipping was $14.92. Rope was back-ordered and took about a week extra to ship (but they should have an entire spool now to cut from).
NOTE: The rope I ordered is black and yellow but the same make & model as Patti’s. Patti’s rope is black. Please consider that if aesthetics are important. I had a difficult time finding this rope in black…and finding it in 100ft lengths. If you know more about climbing rope than I do (I know nothing) then there may be another 11mm static rope that can be used equally well.
2nd NOTE: I would have preferred a pulley system that was black or a neutral color. This one is Orange/Blue/Purple. I think if my rig were being used to perform and aesthetics important I might have looked for another system. Or when I eventually need to replace parts I may change them out for something else. Anyone have other pulley suggestions:
Other Portable rigs I considered:
These are my personal notes and many of the rigs (including Ludwig’s) come with several different configurations and options that can increase or decrease prices.
- ~$2750 (free shipping) for 18.5ft
- Quad. Foot pads for concrete or wood floors.
- Footprint looks extra wide. I could not find specs. (Update: The FlyWire article says footprint is 24×26′)
- I heard this comes with a ladder for changing out apparatus. I’m not sure if its extra or not.
- ~$1968.23 for 24ft (unknown shipping)
- A lot of extras: pulley, trapeze spreader, extra cables for changing heights, etc.
- ~$1499+250 shipping = $1749 for 20ft
- Extras: need different length cables for changing heights, carry bag (I think this is awesome!) (for all total $153.99)
- Check out the website and call/email for more info. This wasn’t what I wanted so I didn’t look that far into it. But you may like it!