The Prusik Knot

And Its Kiting Applications

The Prusik knot. Where would kite-fliers be without this great shiftable, lockable knot... A bit of a pain to tie at first, but it makes adjusting a bridle so easy!

Pulling the bridle straight unlocks the knot, letting you shift it along the bridle line. Pulling on the lines in pairs causes the knot to fold, locking it in place.

I use the Prusik on horizontal bridle loops to shift the knot left or right across the kite, for trimming purposes. More commonly, it's also used to slide up and down the bridle line of, say, a Diamond kite to adjust the Towing Point fore and aft.

There are other ways, some possibly a little simpler, to obtain a shiftable knot. However, the Prusik has worked so well for me over the years that it's the one I would recommend.

The photo immediately below shows the knot not quite fully tight, for clarity...

The Prusik knot.Prusik knot
The Prusik knot.Prusik knot

Try my Kiting Knots e-book PDF for more convenient access to all the step-by-step knot-tying instructions featured on this site. It's printable and has a clickable Table of Contents.



Prusik Knot

Prusik Knot - step 11. Over the back and down
Prusik Knot - step 22. Around once more
Prusik Knot - step 33. Across and over
Prusik Knot - step 44. Back up behind
Prusik Knot - step 55. Around and through
Prusik Knot - step 66. Down and through
Prusik Knot - step 77. Pull both strands tight, slide across if necc.
Prusik Knot - step 88. Pull all 4 strands to lock

On kites with 4 legged bridles, arranged as an upper and lower loop plus a connecting line, this means 3 shiftable knots. For example, the Dowel Rokkaku and Dopero. At least you only have to tie these knots once.

Although it seemed a little excessive at the time, I took this approach on even my smallest Dopero. A tiny kite with a 30cm (12") wingspan. But it sure paid off, since some fiddling was required to get a decent flight out of it!

More recently, I have also used this knot on the vertical bridle loops of a large Genki. Same deal, tiny adjustments can trim the kite left or right.




This mountaineering knot was invented in 1931 by Dr. Karl Prusik. With one 's'. At least this web-master has finally got it right. Many others still haven't! Prusik later authored a mountaineering manual, which was the first publication to feature this well-known sliding knot.

Tying a Prusik knot actually becomes fun after a while, funnily enough! Be sure to put a Figure-8 knot into the short end of the line though, since constant use tends to pull line through the knot. The short end gets noticeably shorter than you remember tying it originally. Perhaps this happens during locking and unlocking.



E-book - Kiting Knots
E-book - Kiting Knots

Try my Kiting Knots e-book PDF for more convenient access to all the step-by-step knot-tying instructions featured on this site. It's printable and has a clickable Table of Contents.



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