Hi! It’s Sonia and Amanda here, welcome back to our lyra blog series. We are here to answer some of the most common questions when buying your own aerial ring, especially if it is your very first one. In our last story we have covered the first and most fundamental question – solid vs hollow ring (read the article here). Today we are going to tackle the next big decision: Single point vs tabless vs double point?
First of all, let me spend a little bit of time explaining the difference between the three configurations (skip to the next section if you are already familiar with the differences).
Let’s start with the most traditional configuration: single point. A single point lyra has a small steel tab professionally welded around the bar of the hoop. This tab has a small hole in it to attach your rigging gear to. We have designed this lug to be as small as possible in order to keep the lyra looking sleek and graceful.
Tabless: a tabless lyra has no tabs welded into the hoop. It has a smooth surface all around, with a very clean, professional weld that closes the circular steel piece.
Double point: a double point is exactly what it sounds to be – this ring has two ‘mickey mouse ear’ looking small tabs welded on the outside of the hoop exactly 40cm apart. Each tab again has a small hole in it for the rigging attachments. Instead of having your lyra hanging from one point, it will hang from two attachment points, generally using two slings.
Now that we are all on the same page with the different lyra rigging setups, we can explore the various aspects of each configuration. Once again there are a number of factors to take into consideration when choosing the setup of your lyra. Let’s look at them one by one…
As discussed in our last post, all of our products meet and exceed Australian safety standards. Trix Circus goes beyond what is required of equipment for live performers (human load). Our equipment is destruction tested on a regular basis by an independent third-party specialist company in Brisbane, Australia to ensure your safety.
The discussion of different ratings is a very long and complicated one, but for the purpose of this article, we are going to approach it from the simplest angle. (If you would like to find out more about how the equipment is tested and how well it performed in the test, please see our product information sheets for each product).
The strongest of our lyras are the tabbed lyras. They have the highest Minimum Breaking Strain (MBS), however, the point at which the metal rod deforms (Point of Deflection or PoD) is the same, whether the lyra is tabbed or tabless. In consideration of the different MBSs and PoD of the tabbed and tabless/solid and hollow lyras, the User Load Limit (ULL) on all our lyras is virtually the same. The only exception to the statement above is a tabless solid ring, which has a slightly lower rating than the other set ups.
So what should you take from that? If you are planning to use your lyra for trios, quads or very high level dynamic duo work, we recommend purchasing a tabless hollow or a tabbed solid or hollow hoop.
Lyra is not a comfortable apparatus! There is nothing that is going to stop it being a very “bruisy” apparatus. However, there is one thing worth noting. Because there is no rigging lug on the tabless lyras, they are dramatically less painful in certain positions where you put your body around the base of the sling. This is not a Princess and the Pea situation. It is more like the Aerialist and the Sharp Pointy Piece of Steel. It is worth considering how you are going to use your hoop when you buy it. If you are planning on doing a lot of moves inside your sling, on your rope or on top of the lyra, a tabless one will be the better option.
Rigging: What do you need for each configuration?
The next important factor to consider is what rigging accessories do I need, which ones do I already have and, if I have none, what is left in my budget for rigging equipment? Your rigging equipment should in fact be one of your top priorities when buying any aerial equipment. If your equipment is top quality with the highest rating, having inferior rigging equipment still means you could end up hurting yourself! Your setup is literally only as strong as the weakest link in your system. Trix Circus sells only reputable, highest quality, internationally recognised rigging equipment, such as Rock Exotica, Petzl and Kong. Check out our range here.
Single point: there are many ways to rig up a single point aerial ring. The simplest way is to get a quick link (oval maillon), a swivel and a carabiner. This system will allow you to safely rig your equipment to a rated point and let you spin. However, if you are too close to the rigging point, it will cause the hoop to swing and fling about, making it unstable. In fact, if you are too close to your swivel, long hair can also become trapped inside the swivel and be a potential grave injury. To avoid this, we recommend also getting a 1m sling to lower your ring away from the rigging point and swivel (if your ceiling height allows this of course) plus two quick links to complete the system (see image for full set up). This also gives you the option to adjust the height – you now have 3 different heights available – no sling, 1m sling and 0.5m sling if you fold the sling in half (yes it is ok to do that, in fact this makes the sling even stronger!).
If you are working in a higher ceiling height studio, you might like to add a “ring rope” above your lyra to lower it from the rigging point. This version also allows for wider variety of tricks, especially above the ring for more advanced students/performers (but more on that later).
Finally you can rig a single point lyra basically as if it was a tabless lyra by ‘choking’ one of our ring ropes around the bar (silky ring rope, corde lisse lyra rope, or a lyra strap). This option is great if you have the budget, as the different ring ropes are designed to be not only functional, but also beautiful and comfortable. Ideally, these accessories are for tabless lyra but they still work well on a tabbed lyra.
Tabless: tabless lyras have become very popular in the last few years, as it takes away the small lifting lug, making the connection between your lyra and the rigging accessory smoother and therefore less painful. You will need a sling or one of our ring ropes to be able to set up this type of ring. The only drawback of this setup is your ceiling height limitation. If you have a very low ceiling, the better option for you would be a single point lyra directly onto your rigging point. The tabless lyra must always have a sling or ring rope connected from the lyra to the rigging connectors and then to the rigging point. This means that you will always “lose” about 70cm of height due to the necessity of the sling connector.
To complete any lyra set up you will also need a swivel (assuming that you want to spin!) plus the other connectors such as carabiners, shackles and quick links.
Double point: a double point lyra is almost like a different apparatus. Whether you choose to use slings, or ring ropes you will need two of each. This type of lyra is rarely rigged onto two points (as a trapeze would be). Instead we “bridle” two slings (or ring ropes) going from the two lugs on the top of the ring and rig them up to a single rigging point. If you wish to spin, you will still need a swivel, just like you would for a single point or tabless ring.
A double point lyra is an unusual apparatus now-a-days, which makes it exciting and fun but if you are buying your first lyra and don’t have a lot of experience, we recommend beginning with a single point or tabless lyra.
So to sum up this section – single point and tabless are the most popular choices, both can be rigged using various ring rope options, but if you have a very low ceiling, your best bet is a single point lyra 🙂
As discussed in our previous blog, price should not really be your main decision tool, as you really want to get the safest and best possible apparatus for you, not the cheapest. (Always remember, we do offer Afterpay :)) That said, there is no price difference between tabless or single point ring! Double point are more expensive but if that’s what you want, a Trix Circus double point ring is an excellent choice! For once, price is no issue…!