400 Hook World Record Suspension

It used to be that when you thought of insane over-the-top implementations of body modification and ritual, South Americans couldn’t be beat. But lately when it comes to bringing the crazy, it’s been impossible to the Russians, what with things like freefall suspension and now this four hundred hook suspension, facilitated in part by Modblog regular Maxim Yampolskiy, who is perhaps best known for his creative and innovative silicone implant work.


The idea was born in mid-December 2012 in the mind of Artem Kovalenko (of Krasnodar’s ArtMod Team) who went on to do the suspension. After reading about a 220-hook world record suspension (which I haven’t seen, but you may recall the 178-hook suspension I posted back in 2006, and the 296-hook suspension from later that year), he decided not just to break it, but to completely shatter it. He contacted Max (of Moscow’s Brutal Forms Group) and Renat Khalitov (of Astrakhan’s Blood Brothers Team) and since Max already had a hundred small hooks ready to go that he’d been hoping to use on something like this, he bought three hundred more and a plane ticket. They all got together in Krasnodar on February 13th, 2013, and because of time limitations on when they could use the space, Max and Renat began throwing hooks about two hours after their flights landed!


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Having seen some issues with previous high-hook-count suspensions, Max looked at this as a technical challenge, eventually deciding on placing the majority of the hooks in Artem’s back and then more on his legs. Four hundred hooks means four hundred piercings, which is a gruelling thing to go through with or without a suspension — it wasn’t that long ago that four hundred needles would have been enough to land a play piercing world record! The piercings were done like a duet, with Max doing the piercing with the needle, and Renat instantly inserting the hooks, the two of them acting “like a punching machine”. They took occasional breaks, but managed to get all the hooks placed inside six hours. Rigging, using 200 meters of fishing line laid in parallel to save time, added three or four more hours of work.


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Unfortunately by the everything was finished, Artem — to say nothing of Max and Renat — was pretty wiped out so the suspension itself was fairly brief (although it went well). When Artem came down, the hooks came out very quickly, being removed within half an hour. To celebrate their success and record breaking, they took off a couple of days to go snowboarding (Krasnodar is not far from Sochi, where the 2014 Olympic Winter Games will be held). Artem was none-the-worse-for-wear and the suspension experience didn’t limit his ability to enjoy the slopes.

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The sharp-eyed may have noticed the white rigging plate. Unlike the metal rigging plates that are commonplace, Max has been developing rigging plates and even Gilson safety hooks using very hard and strong industrial plastics. When I saw them I asked Max whether he had concerns about safety and what their breaking point was, and he told me he figures these places are capable up to at least 3.5 tons — in his testing the metal components break before the plastic fails! Contact Max via his Facebook page if you’re interested in getting custom plastic suspension equipment.

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Father-Son “Tandem” Suspension

Third Eye Perception Suspension (ThirdEyePerception.com) just hosted a touching tandem suspension for their good friend Joey, who has been with the team since their “very rocky start”, and who recently become father to a bouncing baby boy… “Bouncing”, literally, loving bobbing up and down in his jumper, so they wanted to set up a suspension for Joey and his son, combining their overlapping loves of suspension. Third Eye tells me,

“We rigged Joey into a modified face down suspension so that he could see his child and hold him while suspending, and everything went as amazing as could be. It was very emotional, and we all enjoyed seeing Joey lecture his little toddler as to not rushing into getting any tattoos or piercings until he was good and ready. Little Ward smiled the entire time and seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself, as you can see from the other photos, he was smiling the entire time and seemed to really enjoy getting some air while attached to his father.”

“The adorable climax was when after detaching Ward from Joey, he fell right asleep with the most adorable smile on his face.”

Joey (and Ward’s mother as well) both have “straight-world jobs” and are completely dedicated parents who “have given the entirety of themselves into making sure Ward is loved and cared for from the moment he wakes up”, but unsurprisingly they still got feedback on this suspension telling them that it was “child abuse” (among other criticisms). The unfortunate reality is that there have been multiple cases where suspension and body modification interests have played a role in causing people to lose their children, usually in the case of things like this being used as ammunition in bitter divorces by one parent against another. It’s sad for there to be any criticism of something like this suspension, beautiful from the conception, to the realization, to the epilogue.

There are more pictures after the break (and I should add that Joey’s scars on his shoulder blades were done by Pineapple of Shaman Modifications in Austin, Texas). If you have the bandwidth, enjoy the video in fullscreen, as it’s been posted at HD quality.





A Moment in Zero Gravity

Christiane and Havve (Wings of Desire/Pain Solution) are in Japan giving workshops and helping spread their expertise as always, and Christiane posted this amazing photo from a suspension demonstration at Vanilla Gallery in Tokyo last night. A beautiful and technically advanced example of the cutting edge rigging they’re known for — I really feel like this captures some space station art moment that should only be possible in the absence of the Earth’s damning gravity.