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Page: 1234
Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Best ones to get or make?
How do you feel is the best way to get up on them? I have learned a few ways but want opinions on the safest.
Any other advice is appreciated!

Hugs to all!


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Xtremely Flameable


member
Location: Cairns, Queensland

Total posts: 95
Posted:I haven't used stilts much but I can keep my balance. I haven't heard any real safe way of getting up onto them I normally just stand up from where I put them on.

The thing I'm still having trouble with though is sometimes since I'm really only a beginner at using stilts and unicycles. With stilts I still do lose my balance not often though. I got told the best way to go down is to try and land on your knees or something like that. I haven't fallen down backwards I have been told that it don't happen all that much.

Sorry If I didn't give ya any help or advice Pele.

XF


When a man lies, he murders some part of the world.

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Puk
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

Puk

Sweet talented nutter
Location: Brisbane Oz, Australia

Total posts: 2615
Posted:I've got one's made for me by a performer (with lot's of stilt walking experience). They're made to my size so they are easier to walk on.

There are also one's made by juggle art (melbourne) which are quite good as well . Bec and Moonpixie use them.


that shrewd and knavish sprite

Called Robin Good Fellow ; are you not he that is frighten of the maidens of the villagery - fairy

I am the merry wander of the night -puk

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 3989
Posted:Xtremely Flameable - Please be very careful giving advice that you aren't certain of. People can get seriously hurt.

You can actually get quite badly hurt by falling onto your knees WITHOUT waering stilts...try it on a wooden or concrete floor and you'll see what i mean (on second thoughts, please don't, )

Landing on your knees is a great way to stuff up you future walking ability.

The procedure I think you are refering to is where you fall forward with your knees bent, and twist at the hips when your knees make contact with the ground, so your side takes ome of the impact, then you roll onto your back and (if you can) kick the stilts up into the air a little.

The whole point of this (and all other falls on stilts) is to prevent any single part of your body being the bit that absorbs the impact energy so you don't end up with horrendous injuries.

And, of course, NEVER using your hands or wrists. A student at school out west broke both her wrists after falling in a gym on 4 foot stilts. Kinda stuffed up her life for the next year...

Anyway, Pele, the way I was taught was to find a place high enough for you to sit on and strap them on. If you are learning, jungle gyms, schools and playgrounds tend to have a large selection of things at different heights that can be useful...does that help?


HoP Posting Guidelines
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Achluophobia
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Magical Sock Dancer
Location: Newfoundland, Canada

Total posts: 255
Posted:Any advice on making home made stilts?

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Puk
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

Puk

Sweet talented nutter
Location: Brisbane Oz, Australia

Total posts: 2615
Posted:Good point charles i forgot that . I usually wear knee pads for this reason . I was luckly enough to have a crash mat to learn this trick.

Stilt walking is easy to pick up (for example i taught brainstormer in 20 min's the fundamentals).

Also unless you like vertigo don't look straight down.


that shrewd and knavish sprite

Called Robin Good Fellow ; are you not he that is frighten of the maidens of the villagery - fairy

I am the merry wander of the night -puk

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:I have the blueprints around here somewhere for making a wooden set. They require really strong, non-knotty wood which can be just as expensive as purchasing some of the sets I have seen for sale.
That is one of the reasons I am asking is to figure out my best path.

Thanks Charles and Puk, it does help. Someone mentioned to me sitting a few stairs up and making sure your stilts are on ground level but...it seems the incline would make it a pain to get up, or down for that matter.

I understand the learning to fall correctly bits, that is important anywhere. But falling as a mode to actually get them off doesn't seem so...well, good for the body, in the long run. Finding a place high enough to put them on would give you a place to take them off...no?

Now...next question. I have seen stilts with broad bases, and those with narrow bases (balancing points) and have heard/read arguements for both. The thin ones are harder to get accustomed to balancing on however, end up being more "stable". The broad ones are easier to get used to because they have more contact with the ground, but are easier to tip over on because of uneven weight distribution.

Thoughts and comments?
Thanks all tremendously!


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Puk
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

Puk

Sweet talented nutter
Location: Brisbane Oz, Australia

Total posts: 2615
Posted:Ohh i like this thread

Pele the Broad base one you talk about are actually Plasters boot's (illegal in Australia Don't know about America ) but you would be capable of getting these off plastering tradesmen (the older one's).

The thin one's you talk about do take a bit longer to get use to . And you will find these one's tyersome (sorry bad spelling ) cause of the fact that you have to keep moveing to a degree.


The broad base one's you would be able to stop and stand.


that shrewd and knavish sprite

Called Robin Good Fellow ; are you not he that is frighten of the maidens of the villagery - fairy

I am the merry wander of the night -puk

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bec
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

bec

member
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australi...

Total posts: 521
Posted:Elke & I have been stilt walking for a number of years now, but everything we do has been learnt by trial & error and experimentation... so needless to say it all works for us but may be very different for you...*

Our stilts are the "unicycle" brand - made in France. They are lovely to walk in once you find the balance... they have the foot plate welded directly above the stilt (compared to some others that are on the side) and a brace around the back of the calf (some stilt walkers don't like this style since it is uncomfortable if you crouch/squat/do stilt acrobatic stuff...)
I really like them and were worth every cent (around AUS$500 or so) - but I've never tried any other type)..

oh, and they are adjustable (from 50cm to 1m), which helps while you are learning and also gives you the option of performing in lower ceiling heights (although it follows that then you also need adjustable costumes)...

best way to get up? *not* sitting on wheelie bins! (although we have spent half our stilt walking life using them cause there is just no other option - yuk!!)
now we request chairs on tables (ie we put a really sturdy chair on a really really sturdy table (which is against a wall so it won't slip) which works well...
(but you might like to make a little sign saying "please don't take this away, or put on ground, or tidy up..." cause chances are it may not be there when you return )
particularly at first it may be a good idea to have something very strong to pull yourself up with or get some help standing... but it does get lots easier over time...
and obviously getting down is just as straightforward if the chair/table/wheelie bin (!?!) is still there when you get back..
falling down would definitely be my least favourite option! ouch!

and re. falling - only did it once and didn't like it at all so decided I wouldn't try that again! (and it was really boring sitting at the hospital on a Sunday afternoon waiting to see if my swolen arm was actually broken - blerrrrr)...

oh and we always wear knee pads too - I like my knees way too much to shatter them..

it may seem obvious, but a few nasty things for walking on are -
twirling fuel (easy to go from a fire-loving twirler to a "get-those-nasty-fire-splatterers-away-from-my-floor-surface-stilt-walker" when your safety is at stake)
sand - kind of fun when you have lots of experience but kind of scary when you are just learning..
wet tiles/grass/concrete - obviously not fun in the rain...
fine gravel - like millions of tiny ball bearings under your feet - eeeek!

oh dear - I think that's enough from me... I have to run away and play fire at moonfest...

have fun and take care
Bec


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PK_
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

PK_

Lambretta Fanatic
Location: , United Kingdom

Total posts: 4993
Posted:a good investment in a medium set of dura-stilts, they are dirt cheap in the US, how could you go wrong! i go running in mine, serious they are the best things i own.

tips for falling to your knees when on dura's is to point youtoes outwards knees bent and almost touching each other and YOUR BACK STRAIGHT if you twist when you hit the ground your going to twist your spine! charles i know this i have a 3 knackard lower vertibrea [sp?], this is the best method i find as with a back injury anyway, it causes no discomfort. if you trip however thats a different technique all together, if you do! [unlucky!] you want to land with your arms in front of your face with your palms down and elbows pointing out to the sides, this will break your fall and stop you breaking a few teeth!, this is an old judo "breakfall" technique i was taught when i was a wee'one but at least it taught me a safer way to fall and not hurt myself.

so yeah...............get the dura's!!!!!!!!


PK.

"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."

*Francois Couperin.

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PK_
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

PK_

Lambretta Fanatic
Location: , United Kingdom

Total posts: 4993
Posted:and the best thing about stilts is?


you get to make some shithot costumes to wear!

Non-Https Image Link

edited for costume credits.

both costumes above made by pete [noona's bloke] me one the left and pete on the right in the birdboy costume.

[ 14. August 2003, 21:50: Message edited by: Trait Of One Eleven Two ]


PK.

"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."

*Francois Couperin.

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DeepSoulSheep
GOLD Member since Sep 2002

DeepSoulSheep

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Berlin, Ireland

Total posts: 2617
Posted:I dunno, I can't really afford to be buying more stuff but I've an itching now so I'll try make these (possibly this w/e) and let you know how I get on....

home made ones...

My friend has similar home made ones she straps on with masking tape that she uses all the time, though I haven't a notion whether bought ones are easier to use.....


I live in a world of infinite possibilities.

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:DSS That is really close to the design I have. Through reading into it, you have to use a good hard wood in making them to keep from splintering or breaking under pressure from use.
Currently I am hell bent on making a rola-bola, so that comes first on the construction list.
When I was pricing wood to use for stilts, vs some stilts...wood was coming to over $100 USD and so were the metal stilts, which is why I posted here. Let me know how it goes if you do it please!

TA all...I really appreciate it! Besides, I always love talking this stuff!


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Xtremely Flameable


member
Location: Cairns, Queensland

Total posts: 95
Posted:Na I know what I'm talking about I just got told by someone falling on your knees was the way to get down. I have never gone to my knees because I know it can do serious damage. I'm only a begginer at stuff like stilts and unicycles so take it easy on me.

When a man lies, he murders some part of the world.

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Noona
BRONZE Member since Jan 2002

Noona

Cake lover
Location: Button Moon, United Kingdom

Total posts: 258
Posted:ooooh stilty stuff woowoo

bec I had a look on the unicycle website www.unicycle.fr/one_fr.htm and their stilts look lovely. I've been wanting some pegs for a while just to skip about on. Durastilts are great for working in clubs and festies where you're constantly tripping over empty bottles and stuff but they get so heavy if you're on them for a while.

I had a go on some gorgeous 5foot(ish) pegs last year that were specially made for the Millenium Dome performances. They had a moulded plastic 'binding' that totally encapsulated your foot and lower leg. I don't think you can buy them but I'd love some

I'd be interested to know how your stilt-making goes, DSS.

Fortunately I've not fallen off yet and I don't intend to practice (too many knee operations to make it worthwhile) and I always wear kneepads.

Probably the most fun I've ever had on stilts (apart from terrorising Sheffields shopping centre that day, PK!) was skipping through a stream at a biker festival in front of loads of leather-clad hells angels


Oh. I've just written a load of totally useless drivel again haven't I? This always happens. Sorry

[ 16. August 2003, 02:32: Message edited by: Noona ]


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DeepSoulSheep
GOLD Member since Sep 2002

DeepSoulSheep

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Berlin, Ireland

Total posts: 2617
Posted:These look even better though a little complicated.
Hmm....

It never occured to me that the wood could cost a lot of money.....hmm....we'll see anywho...


I live in a world of infinite possibilities.

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arashi


arashi

Pooh-Bah
Location: austin,tx

Total posts: 2364
Posted:well, i started stiltwalking on $3 pine 2x2 wood boards from home depot. they will work fine if you are careful but could break if you get overly long with them, or walk with a wide girth so the weight is not straight down. of course using a hardwood like (ideally) teak would be preferable, if you have the money. now i use drywall stilts, cause you can put them on in under thirty seconds, stand perfectly still while in them, and do puppets or even belly dancing.
as far as the footprint goes, it depends on what you want to do. a thin footprint allows for faster running, spinning, and obviously lighter weight. but i can do that stuff all right in mine, and i don't do much running... spinning is sort of tricky, ytou have to go up on your "toes" and for that you need good balance. wide foot allows for more stability and standing still. i can squat down and relax if i want to. if your stage room is tight i would use wide feet. if i didn't have my drywall stilts i would go with a design i saw that was aluminum square piping with a semi concave 4 inch disk at the bottom. the disk had tire tread attached for grip. they are fairly stable, don't require too much "hopping" back and forth.
i learned in a playground that had pebbles on the ground.


-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.

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Puk
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

Puk

Sweet talented nutter
Location: Brisbane Oz, Australia

Total posts: 2615
Posted:Oh and STILT WALKING KICKS ASS!

that shrewd and knavish sprite

Called Robin Good Fellow ; are you not he that is frighten of the maidens of the villagery - fairy

I am the merry wander of the night -puk

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ElectricBlue
GOLD Member since Feb 2002

ElectricBlue

Now with extra strawberries
Location: Canberra, Australia

Total posts: 810
Posted:the stilts that i made were kind of like the ones in the second instructions.
Although you do have to get fairly good wood you need it most in the food plate. beacuse one day i was a wlaking and the foot plate of my stilts cracked and i fell luckly i didn't hurt mys self but it did giv me a shock. another thing with the foot plate is make sure the suppoert under neath is long enough.

oh yeah when choosing stillts it is best to make or buy the best ones are where the leg support poll and the one you walk on are staggerd (like the second instructions) so that the pole under you is in the middle of your foot, this will make it much eser to balance and less hard on your knees

missie


I {Heart} hand me downs and spinning in the snow.<br /><br />

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Noona
BRONZE Member since Jan 2002

Noona

Cake lover
Location: Button Moon, United Kingdom

Total posts: 258
Posted:cheers PK

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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:WEll,

Katinca and I have tried TePookas stilts, and loved them! were hooked and will be buying a couple of sets as soon as we return to Oz. I really want to do twirly stuff on stilts and I think the extra stability you get from the Duras is perfect.

I think we will probly make a couple of lightweight sets for our interaction / stilt monster stuff.

Go the stilts!

Josh


--
Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!

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Maximus


member
Location: Upland, CA., USA

Total posts: 250
Posted:Hey stiltwalkers,
Gina and I wear stilts I made based on plaster's boots. They were dirt cheap to make. They are extremely stable. You don't have to shift back and forth. I can hula hoop and spin staff simultaneously on them:

Non-Https Image Link

I made them by taking tall plastic trash containers, turning them upside down, bolting a piece of wood on the bottom, and then bolted and nailed boots to the wood. Then I reenforced the rim.
To put them on, tilt one stilt back and stick one foot in. Put the stilt in the upright position and just stand up (putting a hand on a friend's shoulder helps the first couple times). Then slip on the other boot. My boots have velcro, Gina's zip up. Cover it up with costuming, and let the magic begin.

peace,
Maximus


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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted:I've got 2 sets of dura stilts - spent 2 hours in a pair on saturday - they are sooo comfortable.....

we've also got a dodgy set of wooden ones that I don't go near now that I've got my duras.....



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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 3989
Posted:Maximus...I'm very interested in these stilts of yours, but the description doesn't make much sens to me...any chance of rewording it for dummies like me?

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DeepSoulSheep
GOLD Member since Sep 2002

DeepSoulSheep

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Berlin, Ireland

Total posts: 2617
Posted:Ok, well I started working on these on sunday.
This design

I've all the woodwork done and just need to make the bits that attach the things to my legs. The design is easy to reproduce and the stilts themselves are looking and feeling realy sturdy (in my opinion). The design pays special attention to centre of balance and loads bearing. I'll let you know once I've the rest of them done and given them a shot.

Word of advice though. Don't try make 'em without a jigsaw or you will be sawing forever


I live in a world of infinite possibilities.

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Maximus


member
Location: Upland, CA., USA

Total posts: 250
Posted:Charles,
What part was unclear? The design is dead simple and very strong. Here's a photo. They aren't much to look at so costuming is necessary.

Non-Https Image Link

Those are dirt bike racing boots with stiff ankles and velcro straps. They are bolted onto the wood. The wood is bolted on the trash can. The donut at the bottom lets me operate on all surfaces: sand, dirt, grass, sidewalks, etc. (Although uneven asphalt is a real bitch.) The pair I made for Gina use taller trash cans and her boots have four inch soles, so she is taller than me on my stilts. (A fact she seems to like very much.) Her boots zip up the inside.
The next pair I make will use semi-circular trash bins with the flat sides facing each other in the middle.

peace,
Maximus


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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:That was extremely inventive Maximus!

Thanks all for all the suggestions and info...much to think about!


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 3989
Posted:quote: What part was unclear When you said plastic trash bins, i was thinking of this
Non-Https Image Link


Those skinny one make much more sense...


HoP Posting Guidelines
* Is it the Truth?
* Is it Fair to all concerned?
* Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
* Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

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Maximus


member
Location: Upland, CA., USA

Total posts: 250
Posted:Charles,
Ever seen the musical production "Stomp!"? At one point these guys walk out on stage on top of full sized metal trash cans like you depicted. Somehow their boots were attached to the bottoms. They could even dance. Very impressive.

peace,
Maximus


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DeepSoulSheep
GOLD Member since Sep 2002

DeepSoulSheep

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Berlin, Ireland

Total posts: 2617
Posted:Err, I'm kinda stumped on this stilt design cause I can't seems to get my hands on aluminium to buid the top part of the stilt. I have all the wood done but I still haven't figured out how to attach the things to my legs. I know a friend of mine uses masking tape to strap the wood to her legs but I'd like to avoid this if I can since I stopped shaving my legs when my dad threatened to disown me... Anyone have any ideas?

I live in a world of infinite possibilities.

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Yeah Stilts! I'll be ordering mine this week, that is if PK or Bluecat ever return my PMs as to which SIZE Durastilts I should get.

So what do you guys think?

14-22" seem too short.
24-40" seem too tall and heavy.
18-30" seem JUST right.

Right?

Also, I'm thinking of getting volleyball kneepads and was puzzled by Charles' comment of falling on one's knees. Volleyball players dive on hardwood floors hundreds of times a game. I think that one 30" fall (that isn't a straight fall) wouldn't be that bad on the knees. I know that accidents happen and freakish falls can break bones too. Were you talking without serious kneepads Charles?


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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