OK, if you're squeamish, you may want to bail out now.
"Now, sometimes skin does tear itself, usually because the hook was placed somewhere the skin was too thin (e.g. the forearm or knees). If it happens, depending on how serious the injury is, people will stitch the skin back together using a thread and needle (sterilized, obviously), or the person will be sent to the ER."
"The worst I ever saw was a poorly rigged-up guy having a wad of skin rip up like paper for four inches -- in fact, from over a decade doing this, I only saw two go wrong. But one of my friends in Basel, on a trip to Germany, saw the 'Superman' style (hooks are in your back so you are floating up) go wrong. The hooks on his shoulders failed and he hit the ground from the chest up -- only the hooks were still holding the skin. They rushed him to the hospital, the skin was easily sewn back on, and he was back to suspending within a month."
The fact that the guy didn't immediately find another hobby says something about the allure. We'll have more on that in a moment. But this does require a professional. A Florida man nearly fell to his death during equipment failure in the rigging. Ripped wounds may not close properly, forcing the need for emergency care. Gifted suspenders can actually tell when their skin is tearing and how much time they have until stitches are required.
"It's safe," says Tiax. "It's like flying. People have been doing this long enough that all the kinks have been worked out and we know what to do and what the warning signs are if something is about to happen. It's why it's so rare nowadays. We've practiced it so much. No one has died from this. [True.] To us, that tiny risk is worth it for what we get back."
And what is that, exactly?