The Simple Knot

Variations And Applications

Since the single-strand simple knot is so simple, this is more about usage than how to tie it! The main use I find for it is to prevent fraying near a free end of kite line, in just about any situation.

Of course, for nylon or polyester lines there is also the old kite-maker's trick of melting the frayed end with a flame. The gas stove lighter can come in handy for this.

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 Simple Knot - Single Strand

Knot Tying Illustration - The Simple Knot.
The Simple Knot  - 32
The Simple Knot  - 2

Another handy use for the Simple knot is to fine-tune the amount of bow in a horizontal spar. Wait, I'll explain! The MBK kite designs use fixed-length toggled bow-lines to put some curvature in horizontal spars. To increase the amount of curvature, you can put knots in the lines. One at a time, until the amount of bow is where you like it. Actually, it's surprising how much difference just one knot makes!

I tried using this knot to prevent Slip knots from pulling through, but it's not really big enough. More recently, I have been using the Double knot instead - which is much bigger but far neater-looking than the small Loop knots I used to use! As long as you don't leave too much line hanging free from the knot.

Oh yes, one more situation... The shoe-lace ties used by the kites in the Dowel Series fray really badly where cut with scissors. A tight knot near the cut end of the shoe-lace will stop the fray from getting worse. Quick, easy and effective. The specified length to make the ties takes this shortening of the tie into account.

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!

The Simple Knot - Multi-Strand

The Simple Knot - Multiple Strand - 1
The Simple Knot - Multiple Strand - 3
The Simple Knot - Multiple Strand - 2

The main use for the Multi Strand Simple knot in an MBK kite is tying off the lines that have been taped to either side of a plastic keel. The nice thing about a double-line knot is that you can adjust it to an exact position along the line, before you tighten it fully. It takes some practice, but it feels good when mastered!

With a little care, this is a great knot to use along the edge of the keel that touches the vertical spar of a kite. If the knot is adjusted too far one way, you'll crush the keel edge out of shape. Too far the other way, and there will be an untidy gap between the keel edge and the vertical spar when you finally attach the keel to the spar with Granny knots.

This knot is also handy at the Towing Point corner of a keel, defining the spot through which the flying line tension acts.

Need winders, reels, flying line?

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What's New!

  1. How To Build A Barn Door Kite

    Jul 18, 18 06:00 AM

    This previously published page provides step-by-step instructions for making a Barn Door kite from bamboo skewers and plastic. Other tape-able materials such as paper or Tyvek could be substituted, al…

    Read More


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Return to Knot Tying Instructions from The Simple Knot, Variations...

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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