Stilts are poles, or pillars used to allow a person to stand above the ground. Walking stilts are poles equipped with steps for the feet. Stilts have been used for many years. The first step in being able to walk on stilts is balance. Balance is a key factor of stilt-walking. If you feel your balance is adequate enough to walk on stilts try these steps:
- Select a low pair of stilts (6 inches to 1&1/2 feet) and find a smooth, even surface.
- Have a friend nearby to "spot" you, someone that can hold all of your weight, and knows a little about stilt-walking if at all possible.
- Grasp a stilt in each hand. Place one foot on a peg and straighten out your other in order to place in on the other peg with the help of your "spotter." ( A small step or ledge is very helpful in getting onto the stilts)
- Walk in place at first until you feel comfortable lifting the stilts up with your feet. ( Getting comfortable walking in place can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 days. Do not give up!)
- Learn how to fall off of the stilts. This is done by falling forward and letting the stilts hit the ground first, followed by the bending of the knees to absorb the impact. You may need to use your hands, but be sure not to lock them in place. doing this correctly will prevent injuries and get you back on your feet sooner.
- Begin walking as soon as you feel comfortable stepping in place. Keep moving, in order to maintain balance, and step high like you are marching in order not to trip on any bumps on the ground.
- Practice getting on and off the stilts on your own, and waking continuously until you feel comfortable. A spotter is very important for this step.
- After your are comfortable with the items in step 6, gradually increase the size of your stilts, practicing more and more as you do so.
As you continue to progress in stilt walking, many variations of stilt-walking, such as running, jumping, and dancing, will open up. These variations should be learned in a way similar to regular stilt walking. By having a spotter, and gradually increasing difficulty until you feel comfortable.
If you are having trouble, find some sort of circus/carnival (located in most major cities) that provides stilt-walking lessons. These venues can be very helpful, and are usually not very expensive. This is a great option for anybody who wants to take stilt-walking to the next level or is having trouble. Other helpful sites for stilt-walkers are ehow.com, and juggling.org.