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Gently Used or Badly Abused? What You Need to Know Before Buying Used Equipment

So. Your best friend’s aunt’s veterinarian’s beautician has a cousin who does some aerial stuff. He’s looking to sell some equipment he no longer wants, do you want to buy it? Um, no, friend, you do not. I don’t care if he’s selling 25 swivels for a dollar. Say it with me: no. NOOOOOO.  Here’s why.


You Don’t Know Where That Thing Has Been!

The number one reason not to buy used rigging or equipment is that you don’t know its history. Variables such as weather, light or heavy use, improper maintenance, whether it’s been involved in an accident, and a host of other things affect the strength and integrity of the goods. When I buy new, I know exactly what I’m getting – and I just can’t get enough of that new trapeze smell!

Seriously – someone’s hairy boyfriend could have rubbed his sweaty body up and down that equipment, licked it, frolicked nekkid on it, thrown it off a cliff, and YOU WOULD NEVER KNOW. I’m just sayin’.  It could have happened.


I’m Going to Sue You And Laugh All the Way to the Bank

It’s one thing to buy equipment for you; it’s a whole other ball of wax to buy equipment with the intention of teaching (torturing?) other people on it. Aside from the shady ethical issues, the liability is a whopper. If there was ever an incident, and your tush was dragged into court, they would want a solid history of that rigging. If they find out you bought it second hand… well, just don’t drop the soap.


The Exception to the Rules

Goodness, I hear you! Deep breath. I know most of us have bought used stuff, and there is always an exception to the rule. Here are mine:

  1. I will purchase gear from professional, certified riggers I know and trust. If, for example, Tracy Nunnally from Hall Associates Flying Effects tells me a piece of equipment is sound, I’m good with that. He knows rigging (and the care and inspection of said rigging) better than I could ever hope to.
  2. For personal use, I’m OK with easily inspected equipment from people I work with closely (steel rescue 8’s for example).

Bottom line? If you don’t know how to inspect it (for realz inspect it, not just look at it, turn it around a few times, stretch it, or thwack it), or there IS no way to properly inspect it, then buy at your own risk. Stay safe, peeps, the world is a better place with you in it and intact. Love and pull-ups, Laura


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2 comments on “Gently Used or Badly Abused? What You Need to Know Before Buying Used Equipment”

  1. Ditte Lill Reply

    Hi Laura.
    Could you help me getting the right hoop size? My hoop is 110 cm, and I’m 174 cm. I got a feeling it’s to big, but I’m not sure about this. I dont have a coach to ask, as I’m practicing on my own. (I send you a personal message, because I plan a trip to NYC to practice with you)
    Thank you for a great page, it helps me alot!!!!
    From your fan in Denmark (therefore my writingskills are not too good, sorry)
    Ditte Lill

    • Lewitwer Reply

      Hi Ditte Lill! Hoop sizing is very much a matter of preference – you have to not only suit it to your size, but for the moves you want to perform in it. I have to confess that I’m AWFUL at sizing hoops for other people. Try contacting Kristin Olness – I think she may be able to give you a bit more guidance! 🙂 Very best, Laura Kristin Olness (message her on Facebook)

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