Knot Tying Instructions

Kiting Knots Used In MBK Designs

There are knot tying instructions here for any stage during the construction of an MBK kite. You can make do with just a few simple ones to begin with, but eventually you will discover the convenience and satisfaction of using all the 'right' kiting knots!

Knot tying instructions for these and more.

The bigger the kite, the more important it is to use the right knots. Often this relates to strength, since safety margins can be slimmer with bigger, stronger-pulling kites.

All of these knots have been used in the MBK kites, particularly the larger Dowel designs.

In fact, my e-books have sections devoted to these knots. So, you can print them all out if you want.


Alternatively, the book Knots: The Complete Visual Guide is an excellent more general guide to knot-tying.




My Kiting Knot Collection...

There's a separate page for each knot, or class of knot, since I have added a few comments on their usage. Talking about usage, these kites have logged quite a few hours over the years!

The Simple Knot

The Multi-Strand Simple Knot

The Multi-Strand Double Knot

The Granny Knot

The Loop Knot

The Double Loop Knot

The Figure Eight Knot

The Lark's Head Knot

The Half Hitch Knot

The Prusik Knot

The Slip Knot

These instructions have been long over-due. I used to get comments like 'The kite-making instructions are great, but I have trouble with the knots...' It was time to fix this problem for good! Of course, some of the simplest knots are just here for the sake of completeness. Yeah, I can be a touch academic at times...

Hopefully, my approach of using multiple close-up photos in each knot tying illustration has made them easy to follow.

There's no completely standard naming system for knots. However, I hope the names used here prove to be both simple and descriptive!

I hope you found these knot tying instructions useful.





Some Rather Vague Knot History

The Simple Knot, and its multi-strand variants is so simple that it is impossible to know for sure when it was first done, by whom or for what purpose! Agree? Heck, a chimp could do one eventually, by fiddling around with a short length of rope.

The Granny Knot, is also known by such names as the Booby Knot or Lubbers Knot. These terms have a not-so-complimentary feel don't they! It seems that sailors and other knot experts :-) look down upon this knot. It probably doesn't appear in too many nautical manuals of knot tying instructions. For good reason, it turns out...

The Granny is not a safe way to attach 2 ropes together, for example. However, it does have its uses in kiting, and you can always apply a small drop of glue to fix such a knot permanently.

By the way, this is also a very old knot, with some examples in museums which are thousands of years old. It goes back a lot further than grannies in the 1940s or 50s!

The Loop Knot and its variations seem to have a nautical origin. Various kinds of loop knots come from European countries like Spain and France, both of which once had great numbers of sailing ships on the sea. For military, trade and fishing purposes.

Even ancient Egyptian ships have been found with intact loop knots in the rigging. These were quite similar to the modern Bowline loop knot!

The Lark's Head Knot is also known as the Cow Hitch, not to mention about a dozen other names! This knot first appeared in manuscripts in the 1st Century, and has been used extensively on land and sea ever since.

I find it's a bit tricky to undo a Lark's Head when it's used on 20 pound Dacron line, but this gets much easier as the line weight goes up. A piece of cake with 200 pound Dacron!

The Prusik Knot is definitely a climber's knot, since it can be traced back to it's Austrian inventor and keen mountaineer, Dr. Karl Prusik. That was back in 1931. Dr. Prusik also authored a book of knot tying instructions for mountaineering.

I use this knot extensively in the bridles of most of my kites, both Skewer and Dowel. No set of knot tying instructions for kites would be complete without it. Unlock, shift it along a bit, lock it again - works great!




That's our Dowel Rokkaku kite below, which owes its steady flight mainly to the 4-point bridle. Getting it all secured and adjusted requires 4 Double Wrap Slip knots, 3 Prusik knots and a Loop knot. Plus a Loop knot on the flying line to Lark's Head knot it to the bridle!



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What's New!

  1. Flight Report:
    Using A Kite Log

    Aug 20, 14 03:30 AM

    A new page going up soon on this site will feature some discussion on using a Kite Log. Just as pilots of all types of aircraft log their hours, so do some fliers with kites at the larger end of the scale. According to one site visitor who contacted me, more of us should be keeping logs!

    Accordingly, I have put together a small PDF and called it a Kite Log Book Sheet. Today, with a log sheet printout in a pocket, I went out with the Multi-Dowel Diamond kite to test it. The log sheet that is, not the kite ;-)

    The breeze was very light to begin with and the big Diamond had a brief flight to about 100 feet before sinking back to the grass.

    On a second attempt the kite managed to stay in the air. But not without a lot of help from the guy working the line down below! With plenty of weak convection going on, there were periods of faster air and areas of rising air coming through occasionally.

    Eventually I worked the kite up higher and managed to get 75 meters (250 feet) of line out.

    Some video was taken as the Multi-Dowel Diamond kite drifted slowly this way and that at about 50 degrees of line angle. A tension test revealed that the kite was only pulling 2.5 kg at most.

    In fact, on my first attempt to measure the tension, the kite sank out to within a meter (3 feet) of the ground. I promptly put down the scales and hauled the Diamond back up again!

    Time was limited, as usual, so the kite was soon being pulled down. Otherwise, it might have stayed up for another 20 minutes or so without any intervention.

    About This Post: These days, most flight reports are in the short format you've just seen, above. However, longer format reports are done occasionally, which also feature photos and video taken on the day. Here is a link to all those full flight report pages on this site.

    Read More





New! Comments

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