The Slip Knot

And Its Kiting Applications

A small Loop knot or Double knot in the end of the line prevents a 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 Double Wrap Slip knot is a better idea and will hold tight a lot longer. 

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.


The Slip knot.Slip knot with Loop knot stop
The Slip knot.Slip knot with Loop knot stop

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.



Slip Knot

Slip Knot - step 11. Start with a small Loop knot in the end
Slip Knot - step 22. Around and across
Slip Knot - step 33. Round the back and through
Slip Knot - step 44. Tighten against loop knot

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.

Another tip... It is simpler and neater to use a single-strand knot such as a Figure-8 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, so it would pay to fix it with a drop of glue. I have discovered from experience that if you use wood glue, the knot can still be worked apart later, if you need to re-use the materials for another kite.



Double Wrap Slip Knot

Double Wrap Slip Knot - step 11. Start with a small Loop knot in the end
Double Wrap Slip Knot - step 22. Around and across
Double Wrap Slip Knot - step 33. Around once more
Double Wrap Slip Knot - step 44. Around the back and through
The Double Wrap Slip Knot - step 55. Work around until tight

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.

The last caption up there says 'work around until tight'. This just means to pull the line back and forth, causing the wraps to slide around the dowel. First in one direction and then the other, back and forth. While this is happening, the Loop knot will creep towards the wraps until it comes up tight. It feels so satisfying :-)



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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