A case can be made that the most important person in the creation of the modern suspension is Allen Falkner (see his earlier 2008 interview here or download the MP3 of his audio interview from the BME/radio archives), now of suspension.org (and fadefast.com, his tattoo removal company). Ego-popping arguments aside, it is completely without debate that he has dedicated a significant percentage of his life to the art and science of skin, flesh hook, rope, and air, and he already wears a number of suspension-themed tattoos, and has for as long as I’ve known him. Most recently he’s added a beautiful realistic portrait of a woman doing a knee suspension — knee suspensions being a style that is generally credited to Allen’s invention, and some people go so far as to deservedly call this style of suspension a “Falkner suspension”. The tattoo isn’t complete yet, and is still having a background added, so I hope he doesn’t mind me jumping the gun and sharing it now. The work is being done by Jamie Mahood of Suffer City in Dallas.
For their 35th free-fall suspension, The Sinner Team changed things up and attempted a difficult six-point free-fall knee suspension, pierced with six hooks, three horizontal placements stacked vertically over each knee (and a back-up safety harness in case of failure of course). There were 10m (32 feet) of free-fall, with the exit point at 25m (82 feet), and Stanislav says he was quite surprised with the amount of stress it put on his leg muscles even though the jump was perfectly staged to minimize this. That said, he was able to walk just fine the next day, although he only weighs 67kg (150 lbs) and warns that if anyone heavier were to attempt this that he feels there is a good chance of injury. Note that the stress on the legs is more because of the jump itself, not the hooks per se, which are of course not passing through muscle tissue!
Amazing, forward thinking, and most of all, responsible work as always. I say it every time, but to me The Sinner Team really does it right, and it makes me so happy to see the way they operate. Following are some screen-caps from the video, and then the video itself on Vimeo. If you haven’t already done so, browse all their videos here. Be sure to note a few things besides just being wowed and writing September 1st, 2012 in your body modification almanac as the first ever free-fall knee suspension — for example, the fact that the hooks didn’t tear at all, the incredibly complex and professional rigging, the many small details to ensure safety, to say nothing of the beautiful documentation they keep. My hat is so far off to these guys that I’m pretty sure it’s colonizing Mars right now.
You’ve probably noticed that when I share suspension photos, they tend to be the outdoor, overflowing with nature, because that’s the suspension environment that gets me off ritually. Of course it doesn’t matter to many people if they’re suspending in a piercing studio instead, because they get sucked into their own world a la DMT and when the Faberge elves are jumping in and out of your chest in the fractal temple beneath the facade of the universe, it really doesn’t make much difference that your body is sitting comatose on your couch with a glass pipe in its hand. That said, these great warehouse suspension pictures from Matt Kirk (a Christchurch native, now of Fool’s Gold in Tunbridge Wells, Kent) hanging care of Muffe Vulnuz’s Extrema Corporis are some of the first indoor suspension pictures in a long time to really strike me as visually powerful and emotive. Superb setting, very profound and beautiful yet dystopian and modern.
There’s a second photo after the break (they’re so tall I didn’t want to put them both on the front page).
When it comes to spiritual suspensions, no team does it better than Rites of Passage. Every member of their team has a passion for suspension that can’t be put into words. Through their efforts, countless people have been able to suspend in some of the most beautiful spaces across the country. Evan’s knee suspension is no different, and through the photography of IAM:xwinterhalox, we can get a glimpse of that experience.
Make sure to visit the knee suspension gallery to see more photos from this beautiful suspension.
As often as we see Supa here, he’s not the only one who suspends when the Kaptive8 Suspension Krew get together. Here’s a 4pt knee suspension using elongated hook positioning, making it almost a knee and shin suspension.
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I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like
You say black I say white
You say bark I say bite
You say shark I say hey man
Jaws was never my scene
And I don’t like Star Wars
You say Rolls I say Royce
You say God give me a choice
You say Lord I say Christ
I don’t believe in Peter Pan
Frankenstein or Superman
All I wanna do is
Bicycle bicycle bicycle
-Queen – “Bicycle Race”
Three little devils, hanging by their knees.
A triple knee suspension, as special as can be.
Diablos Mutantes Suspension team put them in the air,
And there they hung peacefully, without a single care.