Durban - Five years ago, personal trainer Alet Kruger enjoyed watching a video about aerial silking while on an ocean cruise from Durban to Portuguese Island.
“I became hooked on it,” said the 52-year-old grandmother.
“Back home in Centurion, I saw a kit in a mall and I immediately bought it.”
Having relocated to Durban, she has transformed silking into an outdoor rather than an indoor activity, hooking her silks on trees in the city’s parks, from La Lucia, where she attends a gym, to the Bluff, where she lives. She’s looking for her perfect tree in the latter suburb that can act as a home base.
Aerial silking involves climbing and performing acrobatics on a suspended piece of fabric, without safety lines and relying on one’s own skills for safety.
Giving her activity an arboreal bent has meant carrying a light hammer around so she can climb up trees and check they are not rotten before setting up.
“It’s not just a case of get up and go,” she quipped.
Kruger added that aerial silking was very good for flexibility and core strength, especially in the upper body.
It involves all sorts of knots.
”You need to know your knots before you climb up,” said Kruger, before rattling off the positions she displays: flamingo, diamond, and cat’s cradle.
“It can actually be very dangerous. If you climb up and get yourself tied up, who is going to get you down?”
That said, the self-confessed adrenalin junkie loves the moments that she drops down, letting go of the fabric, knowing that it will catch her.
In addition to the trees in the city’s parks, Kruger also enjoys rigging up her silks on the beachfront, at places like the railings bordering the promenade on Point Beach, where she also makes training videos for her Facebook-based fitness enterprise, Train to gain.
The Independent on Saturday