Who needs hooks anyway?

To quote Allen Falkner:

Hooks are such the Holy Grail of the suspension community.

It seems like everyone is always trying to replace the standby fishing hooks commonly used by the suspension community with different alternatives.  One idea that was tossed around a bit was using cables rather than hooks.

Obviously, using the cables in place of  hooks has many drawbacks and it is not something I would personally recommend doing. That being said, it does make for some spectacular photos such as this one.

Edit: Apparently the first pic was featured previously here.


Suspensions by Dana Dinius -Zuul, and Daif Hahn.  Photos by Circle 23 Photography.

26 thoughts on “Who needs hooks anyway?

  1. I’m actually amazed that it took that long for those pictures to appear on here! And I’d absolutely agree with you – beautiful to look at, but nothing I’d personally do…

  2. Thats nuts! Never seen a suspension like this before. Seems like they would pinch the skin much more than a solid hook that doesn’t flex.

  3. Bastian – phewwww wow, when i first I couldn’t tell and so my first thought was the threading around the cable and I just couldn’t imagine how bad that would hurt.

  4. @iris, good catch! It didn’t show up when I searched “cable suspension” or “ritual arising” so I thought it was a safe bet. Anyhow, I linked to the old entry for the first picture if anyone’s interested.

  5. Thanks for posting this!
    Its not about trying to replace hooks, its more about a different avenue of innovation.
    Andrew Stanton (swingshiftsideshow) is the first person I had seen using cables and a few of us picked up on it from him. Coming from an artistic viewpoint i wanted to see what could be done with it.
    These images were done in an artistic environment not in a ritualistic or live performance.
    Its is approx. 6 guage plastic coated cable.
    Gravity does all the rigging for you. perfect weight distribution once you settle in.
    Hooks are rigid and make the shin conform to its shape, the cable is ergonomic allowing the skin and cable to meet halfway.

    here is a full shot of the suspension if inclined http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4208831235/

  6. I don’t know a ton about suspension. While I find this photo to be aesthetically really interesting, I certainly wouldn’t want to suspend with anything but hooks.

  7. ouch. As someone who, in highschool, once thought it would be a good idea to weave woven cable through the piercings on my ears, all I can say is ouch. That “ribbing” pattern totally rips the hell out of the tissue and led to a lovely infection. Lets just hope they followed better hygenic standards than I did.

  8. wait a minute, Im not sure why it says suspensions by Ritual Arisings???
    they are from MN. and Im in Oregon,
    Piercings by Dana Dinius -Zuul, and Daif Hahn

  9. if you look exactly you see preety fast that they are plastic coated so i dont think that there would exist any problems with the material

  10. Haha, the funny thing about this is that we discover that Rachael hired Sean to write for ModBlog, and until now, HE DIDN’T EVEN READ THE SITE. Too funny.

  11. Can’t really imagine that would feel so hot being basically sewn in. I could imagine it doing more damage to the tissue than a quick stick and a quick release?

  12. i love cables for suspension. they dont hurt going through, they are vinyl coated. they actually slide smoother than hooks. Andrew Stanton (swingshiftsideshow.com) was the one to turn me on as well.

    id like to here some drawbacks about them? it cannot be the strength…

    i hung a very good friend of mine by cables. a 300 lb guy did a lotus for over half an hour. the piercings in his back were almost 3 in deep. no way could i have gotten hooks in them….

  13. @Jasn
    with cables, cross-contamination is a monster but if you do it in a controlled environment taking all the precautions you can its about the same level for hook work.

    The clamps have to be done right or else the cable can slip out . I have seen a performance where the cable slipped out in a chest (cable oki-pa) and the amazing thing was that no ripping or tearing happened. the cables flexibility let it slither right out.

    Im glad i saw that happen as now the clamping gets the most attention. The cable is only as strong as the clamping system you use. there are a few different styles of clamps make sure and do weight tests.
    and keep the cables lubed (used to use teknacare )

  14. how did they put the end of the cable through the skin? i’m assuming it was inside of a needle that was a larger gauge? the freyed edges on those cables, even when you trying to clean them up and even with the vinyl coating around them, can be crazy sharp and pokey (i use them where i work and poke the shit out of myself all the time on them when i’m not paying attention)

  15. when you strip the cables, the vinyl coating butts up to the needle perfectly, and the transfer happens effortlessly. the cables i use are exactly 8 ga. you cant get thicker, but i dont see the need. i did see a cable lose transfer the frist time i saw the cables being used on andrews back. not quite sure how that happened. wasnt the one doing the piercing…

    crimping IS essential. that is a given. the right size of the sleeves are also a must. if you get the correct size, and crimp it right, the cable maintains its max weight load.

    i have poked my self a few times as well with the frayed cables, i learned to strip a good amount of vinyl off, so if it does fray, it twists back up rather easy, the stripped part could be as long as the needle minus a about 1/2″… with a 3″ needle, no problem

  16. ImpressiveNads: First it’s spelled Rachel. Secondly, Sean is a volunteer. He wasn’t “hired”, he volunteers to help me out with Modblg, along with Bluestar, Lexci, Jen (updating modblog isn’t part of her job) and Lilly who was helping out until recently.

    These are all people who are volunteering to help keep modblog running while I’m trying to do the 100 other things I have to do behind the scenes.

  17. I think after the not so nice placement of the cables (lot of work), then it’s quite nice to hang from them (form and skin adapts to each other)

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