The Loop Knot

Variations And Applications

Any Loop knot can be used for forming a Lark's Head at the end of a flying line. The simplest version will weaken the line somewhat more than the others.

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

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







The Loop Knot

Knot Tying Illustration - The Loop Knot
The Loop Knot - 3
The Loop Knot - 21
The Loop Knot - 42

Now, the simple loop on the end of a flying line is fine for small kites, where the line usually has ample strength. However, for much bigger kites, it's a good idea not to weaken the line unnecessarily. In particular, there are 2 knots which offer greater strength than the simple Loop - the Double Loop and the Figure Eight knots.

Other uses for this knot include...

  • The bow-line loop through which you insert the toggle, to bow the spar. This applies to my Dowel Series of kites in particular.
  • A handy large knot to stop a Lark's Head from slipping off the bridle line. I put a short line with a Simple Loop at the end on just about all my kites except the Deltas.
  • A knot with a very small loop is handy to stop Slip Knots from slipping through. The loop itself doesn't do anything, but the double-size knot in the line sure holds the Slip Knot securely.

If you're in the habit of using a Truckie's Knot to pull some bow into a spar, then of course, that uses the Loop Knot as well. No need for anything fancier there.

The Dowel Sode uses 2 long loops of flying line to tension the bowed horizontal spars away from each other. The simple Loop is adequately strong in this situation too.





The Mid-Line Loop Knot

No pictures for this, since it is essentially the same as the Simple Loop Knot at the top of this page. Instead of going to the end of the line before forming the knot, just go somewhere further along...

Draw a short length of line into two side-by-side strands with a tight U-turn. Just like photo 1, except the free end is much further away. Pass the 2 strands around and through just like the Simple Loop Knot. Except now you end up with a loop tied in at any place you need, somewhere along a flying line.

Here are a couple of uses for this knot...

  • You can pull the tip of a small parachute through the loop - just enough to hold fast as you fly the kite up. A good shake will allow the parachute to slip free and descend back to the ground!
  • While I was doing KAP (Kite Aerial Photography), two Mid-Line Loop knots with a large paper-clip through each allowed me to suspend a camera cradle from the flying line. The two paper-clips acted as the pulleys for a Half-Picavet suspension line. Haven't lost a camera yet!

What other uses can you think of, for the Mid-Line Loop knot?





The Double Loop Knot

The Double Loop Knot - 1
The Double Loop Knot - 3
The Double Loop Knot - 5
The Double Loop Knot - 2
The Double Loop Knot - 41

The Double Loop is significantly stronger than the Simple Loop. That is, it does not weaken the breaking strain of the line as much. However, it's almost as easy to tie as the Simple version. Just wrap the loop around twice instead of once. That's it. Use this knot on the end of your flying line, so it can be attached to a kite bridle with a Lark's Head.

This knot is also worth remembering whenever you want to tie a large knot that will not pull through another knot. For example, near the towing point of a keel. Or perhaps to make completely sure a Slip Knot doesn't slip undone! In both those cases, the Double Loop looks neatest when the loop is tied as small as possible. After all, the loop itself is not being used for anything.

I guess if you are using a tent peg as a ground stake, it would be handy to just slip a loop over to hold the line. In that case, you would have a loop tied into both ends of the flying line.

A double-ended flying line would also come in handy for attaching 2 kites together in a train. If the kite closest to ground had a short line out the back, with a large knot, the line to the second kite could just be Lark's Headed on. Quick and simple.





The Figure Eight Knot

The Figure Eight Knot - 1
The Figure Eight Knot - 3
The Figure Eight Knot - 2
The Figure Eight Knot - 4

The Figure Eight Knot is another loop variation which is significantly stronger than the Simple Loop. It's a fishing knot, and just a little trickier to tie.

Many kite people use this knot on the end of their flying lines, which is then Lark's Headed to a kite's bridle. One day I'm going to get around to doing some tests to see if it really is stronger than the Double Loop Knot. The results will be reported on this website!

I suppose the Figure Eight could be used as a large terminating knot like the Double Loop, but the latter is much quicker and easier to do.

How about a loop tied into both ends of the flying line? Like the Double Loop, the Figure Eight could then be used for tethering a kite to a ground stake. Just by slipping the loop over, as long as the stake was shaped or angled to ensure the loop doesn't slip off.

Also, with the right bridles, flying lines with a loop knot on both ends could be used to hitch together a train of kites.





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




What's New!

  1. The Dowel Rokkaku Kite

    Oct 17, 18 06:00 AM

    This previously published page is a flight report featuring the 1.2m (4ft) span Dowel Rokkaku kite. Read how the kite performs in light winds and thermals...

    Read More





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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