Anchoring, tying off, and wot knot.

edited January 2007 in Technique
I need some advice on basic technique. I'm wondering what the best way to tie off my kite is. I've scaned old disussions and it seems most people use some kind of strap and a carabina for this. I am having trouble picturing exactly what you do with this aparatus. I assume you tie the strap off to something solid, then attach the line to the carbina somehow. But what knot? Can anybody describe, or better yet, point me to an illustration, of how to do this. I don't want to learn this one by trail and error.


  • This is what I use:



    Kite handlers

    A set containing an 8, a carabiner and a strap will be avialable on KAPshop soon.
  • Hmmm. We have some more terms for the Jargon List!

    Is there a name for that "8" thing?

    It looks like we have multiple spellings of the other device: carbiner, carbina, and carabiner.

    Anything else? I guess anchor is a good term for the List too. Newbies might not be aware of having to anchor some kites.
  • Peter,
    I have a figure eight decender, but have never taken the time to try it.
    Would there be any advantage to tying the flying line to the smaller end using
    smaller diameter lines?
  • As mentioned in another post I use an industial lifting strap instead of the cord shown in Peters photo above. It has a wider bearing surface and I feel it is friendlier to the bark of trees, especially with a large, hard pulling, kite. One advantage of the cord is it packs away better in a small pocket.
  • Brad:
    The 8 is called an 8 or Eight. See: .
    The right "Carabiner" is mentioned in the Wikipedia.

    I've tried the smaller end with kiteline but for some reason (unknown to me) it doesn't work.
    You're right about a wider kind of strap or tape. It is better for the trees and your own back....
  • An alternative to the 8 is the "Henry's Handle". It's basically a cleat attached to a piece of wood with a short line attached. The line can be hooked to an object or wrapped around a tree to fix the handle to the earth. Then the kite line is wrapped in a figure 8 pattern around the cleat to hold the kite. When pulling down the kite it can be handy to have two cleats instead of one:

    New Henry's Handle

    P.S. The name is from Henry Jebe who first described this device in the Aerial Eye.
  • David,
    I made a Henry's handle a couple of weeks ago, but because of light winds haven't realy had a chance to put it to the ultimate test. I looks like it has good potential in cold weather when wearing leather gloves. The cleats were purchased from a local boat works for $1.50 US each. Using some water proof glue I built up the end that the rope passes through. I also added a little more lenth between the knob on the end and the cleat so I can grip it with my hand.
  • edited January 2007
    Holy Cow! Have a look at the chap in the photo on wikipedia:

    He must be weighed-down quite a bit with those...err...things. I guess a rock-climbing kapper would need extra gear. :-)

    (I was looking up Figure Eight, which referred me to descender.)
  • I use the Gamma Hook invented by "Guru" Becot
    KAP Bora May 07, 2006-17
    Simple & reliable, a great tool to stop the line and hold the kite. The red mark on the line indicats 100 meters. The stronger the pull the tighter it gets on the hook.
  • Brad,
    Gamma Hook is a "must" in the jargon list, check Christian's web site for more info at (it's in French but well documented) or check on the French Forum at an other option is and this link is really interesting
  • Thanks Pierre, and your photograph is much better than the one on my web page.
    All my site is bilingual, so check the gamma hook here.
    There are instructions to make it yourself. With the gamma hook, there is no knot, which is highly appreciated when kite is pulling over 20Kg.

    Besides, what means "wot" ? Is it the same as for engines, which is abbreviation of Wide Open Throttle?
  • I'll try and take some photos to illustrate, but no knots are needed when using straps, figure-eight descenders and carabiners. They are all designed so you can just use a "lark's head" loop. For example you just take a loop of line, put it through the large hole in an eight and push the loop over the small end. The result is that a strong pull on the line from the kite can be balanced by a very small pull the other side. You can then clip the 8 to a strap using a carabiner. If you put the loop through the 8 twice or three times, the line is firmly in place no matter how hard the kite pulls.

    I typically have a strap round my waist, fastened with a carabiner to form a belt, with two or three other carabiners and an 8 dangling from it. It's a matter of moments to unclip the 8, insert the kite line, then clip it back on the 'belt'. That makes me the anchor.

    Alternatively I fasten the strap round a post and clip the 8 to it. Undoing all this is as quick as doing it.
  • Wot? Wikipedia shows only something called "Wheel of Time" for wot.

    Google search comes up nearly empty with Wheel of Time and some Firefox plug-in that provides Web site reputation.

    Perhaps it's a typo?
  • I think it was a pun on the word "whatnot" - a "A minor or unspecified object or article".
  • I've put some photos illustrating how to fasten a figure-8 to a kite line here
  • I have a standard cleat on my flat reel, cleat the line to it and then use a clmber's carabiner strap to fasten the reel to whatever part of the scenery I need to. That said, I can't remember the last time I anchored a kite this way . Most of my KAPping is done with low line pulls and for quick anchoring I just put a wrap of line over my foot while tinkering with the rig. Works perfectly.
  • I need help with a generic term for all of these devices that we use between the anchored strap or line and the actual kite line.

    Do we have a collective term for these things, whether it's an Eight, a Gamma Hook, a Henry's Handle (would that be after Alaskan Henry--Hebe or Zebe?). Any more?

    I'll be working on the new Jargon entries today.
  • Brad:
    You have met Henry Jebe at KAPiCA/06. He invented Henry's Handle. See some of his KAP work on: and
  • Thanks guys. Being a visual learner I just needed to see it, so the pictures you have posted have been a great help.
  • I use a carabiner and attach the kite with a munter-mule knot
  • edited January 2007
    My apologies to Henry for misstating his family name. I knew it sounded like Hebe or Zebe.

    I've updated--actually rewritten--the anchor definition. I wasn't at all pleased with my first draft. It still needs some rework, along with some fresh material on the Gamma Hook, Henry's Handle, and so on.

    Is the Henry's Handle named after Henry Jebe or some other Henry, please?
  • My goodness! That animated knots Web site is something else!!!

    I'm really awkward with knots. It's a miracle that I ever became a Boy Scout way back when.

    Must link to it from the Jargon List.
  • Henry's Handle is named after Henry Jebe. The one and only ...
  • Ah, thanks, Peter. I had a hunch.

    Some day it would be nice to profile some notable KAP people on the wiki, but of course, we would not want to violate anyone's privacy.
  • edited January 2007
    I've always been a little nervous about tying off the kite. If the kite were to take a sudden dive or some other situation arose that required playing out more line, then you don't have time to fumble around with knots or loops on a cleat, I use a knot that requires only one quick pull to release the line from the tie off. It's my variation of a knot I used to use in falconry.

  • Interesting knot, David. Does it have a name?
  • edited January 2007
    "Does it have a name?"

    Not sure, but Highwayman's Hitch springs to mind.

    - Maybe knot! See this link for a highwayman's hitch
  • It doesn't appear to be a Highwayman's Hitch. As far as I know it is a knot of my own design, I call it a KAPer's Knot. The closest knot that I have found is the Sliding Butterfly
  • @David:

    That's sounds like a handy knot if one can keep the folded over two sides together.

    I would be happy to make a new entry in the Jargon List for your knot. I'm confused about whether it is a variation of a known falconry knot, or one of your own design, or if it is based on the Sliding Butterfly.
  • Just thought I'd let you all know that thanks to the advice in this thread I went out and bought a climbers figure eight like the one in the first picture posted. I used it in conjunction with the backstrap that I have for kite buggying to anchor the kite to myself and it worked great.
    Thanks again for all the great advice.
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