Learning to walk on stilts brought to you by

A basic circus skill

View the video (3.4 m), pause it, read this, repeat.

Beginning stilt walking reminders (watch the video first)

  1. Using one stilt:
    • Pole under/behind the arm - foot on the stilt step
    • Step up on the step and over
    • Straighten the knee fully
    • Do not fall over sideways
  2. Solo mount:
    • Get against a wall
    • Set the poles shoulder width apart about a foot from the wall
    • Step up, bracing against the wall
    • Walk backward until you are falling forward - start walking
  3. Assisted mount:
    • Teacher holds poles shoulder width (of student) apart and nearly vertical
    • Student mounts in front of teacher facing the same direction
    • Bring the student up to vertical with a very light grip on the poles
    • Student begins walking
  4. Whichever way you start:
    • Good posture - not leaning forward
    • Grip the poles with your hands and arms
    • (pinch the poles against your body with your elbows)
    • Keep the body straight and fairly stiff
    • Do not try to stand still (very difficult)
    • Keep your feet shoulder width apart and take small steps
    • Do not bend your knees (foot will come off of stilt)
  5. Construction:
    • Build your own stick stilts (pdf 20k)

After mastering stick stilts strap on stilts are very easy, albeit more dangerous.

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