The Half Hitch Knot

And Its Kiting Applications

The simple Half Hitch has many uses, but I have just a few for the MBK Kites. In particular, the Roller and Dopero kites, where this knot is easily unpicked to adjust the wing-tip ties where they attach to the lower horizontal spar. However, this is also it's main disadvantage in that it eventually comes loose! It's fine for a single long flight though.

Another very handy application is attaching a plastic ribbon tail around the lower end of a vertical spar. A single hitch is quick and easy, yet sufficiently secure. The crushed plastic helps to prevent loosening, and the forces on a tail in flight are very low anyway. I have never lost a tail this way!

Now, if you really want to go overboard with knot-tying...

The book Knots: The Complete Visual Guide has an amazing average review score of 5 stars from 12 reviewers - the last time I looked. If it's a more general knot-tying resource you need, this would definitely be it!

Back to the Half Hitch...

Tying the Half Hitch knot - step 1.
Tying the Half Hitch knot - step 3.
Tying the Half Hitch knot - step 5.
Tying the Half Hitch knot - step 2.
Tying the Half Hitch knot - step 4.
Tying the Half Hitch knot - step 6.

Actually, there is one other use for the Half Hitch in the Dowel kites... The nose of the Sode has a loop tied around it, when rigged ready to fly. The loop is Lark's Headed around the upper horizontal spar's bow-line. Effectively, it's just 2 lines side-by-side, which are then hitched around the nose of the kite to hold some tension in the sail. Because of all the insulation tape over the nose, just the one hitch seems to hold fine! A bit surprising, but it sure is handy since it's very easy to unpick before packing down the kite.

If multiple hitches are used in any situation, the top one will quickly loosen off unless it's secured with glue. Eventually, the next hitch starts to loosen too, and so on down the line...

You can use a couple of hitches to attach a bridle line to its spar, as long as a drop of glue is added. In this situation the glue can also be used to prevent the knot from shifting along the spar. These days I prefer to use a Double Wrap Slip Knot here.

E-book special of the month...

Barn Door is a traditional American design, and this MBK version has delighted many of this site's visitors over the years.

If you have made Diamonds before, this kite is only a small step up in difficulty.

Get the e-book for making the MBK Barn Door kite. Down to a mere $2.95 for this month.

The MBK Barn Door is a reliable flyer over the Light to Moderate wind range. Tail(s) are entirely optional, if the kite is made according to the instructions.

The e-book is a PDF file - which means printable instructions to refer to while you make the kite. It also means convenient off-line access if that suits you better.

What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Parachute Flaw Discovered

    Oct 24, 16 12:49 AM

    I was looking for slightly stronger smooth winds today, but instead learned another lesson from the Parachute kite...

    The idea was to see if greater wind speed - say in the mid-twenties (kph) - would p…

    Read More


Plenty of fun kite info, photos and videos - there's definitely too much here for only one visit! Feel free to leave your impressions of this site or just this page, below...

Return to Knot Tying Instructions from The Half Hitch Knot

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Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
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More E-books...


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Very satisfying making your own and watching them get air-born for the first time."


"I've just bought your super e-book and spent most of last night pouring through all the great stuff in it!

Very detailed and USEFUL information - thanks for such a great book."


"30+ years ago, I tried making a kite using the 'instructions' in a free kite-safety booklet. What a disappointment for a young boy.

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"omg i made a kite from this site and i fly it ....... booom i didnt expect this bc in the other sites instuction are trash

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Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
Download it now!

More E-books...

Wind Speeds

Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4    

Fresh breeze
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5    

Strong breeze
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7