The Larks Head Knot

And Its Kiting Applications

The Larks Head Knot is an amazingly simple yet useful knot! The great thing about this one is that no matter how tightly it gets stressed while holding all the tension of a flying line, it is fairly easy to remove. The thicker the line, the easier it is to loosen the knot.

This knot starts with the Loop knot.

Knot Tying Illustration - The Lark's Head Knot
The Lark's Head Knot - 3
The Lark's Head Knot - 2
The Lark's Head Knot - 4

Regarding getting this knot loose again, here are a couple of tricks I have discovered from experience...

  • Grab the line to which the Lark's Head is attached, on either side of the knot. Loosen the line, then ping it tight again by separating your hands, several times. Often, the Lark's Head will loosen just a little, making it easier to unpick.
  • Get a finger-nail in between the 2 strands of the Lark's Head, right where it is sitting on the other line. Work the 2 loops apart a little. This also can make the knot easier to unpick.

The lighter the line, the more useful those tips might prove to be! When you need reading glasses, 20 pound Dacron line is pretty hard to work with. Personally, I use eye exercises to improve the situation a lot, but that's another story...

Just about every MBK kite uses a short connecting line between the bridle and the flying line. It's part of the bridle really. The flying line is attached to this connector with a Larks Head Knot, making it easy to swap the line from kite to kite.

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!

Where else might you use a Lark's Head? Well, I use it to connect the lower bridle lines of the Roller and Dopero kites to their keels. In those cases the knot stays done up all the time. That's because the kites can be packed away after carefully pulling some of the lower bridle lines' length through the slits in the sail.

One more application. I use the Larks Head Knot to attach tensioning lines to the upper and lower horizontal spar bow-lines of the Dowel Sode kite. What a mouthful that was :-) With the 2 bowed spars tensioned away from each other, the kite has a tighter sail and flies much better.

One last point about flying line attachment. For smaller kites, the Larks Head can be done with a Simple Loop Knot - as in the illustrative photos at the top of this page. However, you can get a significantly stronger connection between a flying line and a BIG kite by using a Double Loop or even a Figure Eight Knot instead.

The Anchor Loop

Knot Tying Illustration - The Anchor Loop.1. Make a loop
The Anchor Loop - 3.3. Pinch and pull
The Anchor Loop - 5.5. Tighten
The Anchor Loop - 2.2. Fold loop down
The Anchor Loop - 4.4. Insert strap

I've called this one the Anchor Loop for want of a better or more official name. However, this really neat method of attaching a kite line to a sand bag anchor belongs on this page, since it resembles the Lark's Head knot. It's even simpler since you start with a loop in the line that is not already knotted!

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This printable e-book takes you step-by-step through making a 119 cm (4 ft) wide Parachute kite. It's not quite that wide in the air since the canopy takes on a distinct curved shape when inflated. This 14-cell kite performs best in moderate to fresh wind speeds. That's 20 to 38 kph or 13 to 24 mph. In gentle winds, this kite will hang in the air at fairly low line angles. In fresh winds, it pulls firmly for it's size, so small kids should only fly it while supervised!

Every kite design in the MBK Soft Series satisfies the following points...

  • Materials are plastic sheet, tape and line – and nothing more!
  • Tools are a ruler, scissors and a marker pen - and nothing more!
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For the greatest chance of success, I make recommendations regarding the materials. For example, the type/weight of plastic, type/width of tape and line type/strength. Close enough should nearly always be good enough, since the design is well-tested and should be tolerant of small differences from my original.

Get the e-book for making the MBK Parachute kite. After making your first one in plastic and seeing how it performs, you can try soft Tyvek or rip-stop nylon for your next build.

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.

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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