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.

The Lark's Head knot.Lark's Head knot

Knowing your knots is particularly handy if you make your own kites at home...

The Big MBK E-book Bundle is a collection of downloads - printable PDF files which provide step-by-step instructions for many kites large and small.

The Lark's Head starts with the Loop knot.

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

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 natural vision improvement techniques 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.

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 Cinch

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

I once called this one the Anchor Loop, before discovering that it was more properly known as the Cinch. 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!

As you will soon find as you look around flying fields, other objects besides knotted sand bags will offer themselves as handy cinch points. A tap, a short pole with a cap on top and so on.

Don't forget to have a look at all my kite designs...

The Big MBK E-book Bundle is a collection of downloads - printable PDF files which provide step-by-step instructions for many kites large and small.

You might like these...

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P.S. Keep an eye out for books by kite author Glenn Davison, a prominent kite person in the USA.

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

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

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

Strong ...
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

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