The Slip Knot

And Its Kiting Applications

A small knot in the end of the line prevents this Slip knot from coming undone. At least in theory! In practice, the loop can still loosen off with handling, allowing even a large knot to slip through.

A tiny dob of glue will make the knot permanent after it is first tied and tightened. Alternatively, you can simply check all the knots before each flight, re-tightening where necessary. They are less likely to loosen in-flight.

Knot Tying Instructions - The Slip Knot - 1
The Slip Knot -
 The Slip Knot - 2

For a Double Wrap Slip Knot, just wrap the line around the spar twice instead of once, before slipping the Loop knot through. Not surprisingly, this version stays tight a lot longer.

I have used this knot many times for securing bridle lines to spars. If you keep the Loop knot as small as possible, it doesn't look too untidy. It's a good idea to not fix the knots with glue until after the kite has had it's first test flight or 2. Just in case you decide to make any changes!

For a Barn Door kite which stays rigged, this knot can attach the bridle lines to the frame and hold the spars together where they cross. However, I soon discovered that fixing the knots with glue was necessary. The constant flexing of the spars in flight tended to quickly loosen off the knots!

For a time, I experimented with using the single-wrap knot to secure the sail corner ties of the Dowel Roller and Dopero to the horizontal spar. You have no adjustment though, so I'm sticking with Half Hitches now. Not the most secure, but at least you can adjust the length of the tie, if you don't get it right the first time. It's just a matter of unpicking the knot and re-tying.

One last tip... It is simpler and neater to use a Simple knot instead of a Loop to stop the line from pulling through. However, it is not as reliable due to the much smaller size of the knot. It just might be suitable for some applications though!

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!

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…

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Kite-making e-book: Simplest Dowel Kites

This one's FREE
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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