Anchoring, tying off, and wot knot.



  • @murryneill: You have some wonderful photos of the Nelson Kite Festival!

    I like the ones with other kites in the foreground!
  • Can I attach my kite to my rock climbing harness? The purpose of tying off the kite is so you don't have to hold the reel and let out more cord?
  • edited January 2007
    Hi bend!

    You wouldn't want to tie your kite to your rock climbing harness while you're climbing rocks, would you? I could imagine a strong gust of wind, and "wheeee!".

    That is correct, though, to tie down the kite so that you do not have to hold the reel. Otherwise, what if you are kapping and your kite fails (falls suddenly), and you want to focus on either regaining control or catching your camera rig without worrying about the kite flying off into the wild blue yonder?

    Also, please have a look at the Jargon List. Over a dozen members of this forum have contributed to it. There's you will find info about anchors, tie-downs, and knots used to tie down your kite line. (I'm still working on some sections of that those topics.)

  • Bend,

    Sometimes you want to tie off the kite so you can walk down the line. If the line is anchored to your person, you won't be able to do that. Attaching to a climbing harness for other reasons sounds fine to me.

    Dave Wheeler
  • edited January 2007
    A climbing harness is fine as long as you use the right size of kite. The one that you can manage and that has the pull to lift the rig. That's why KAPers should have more than one kite (and a sharp knife to cut the line in an emergency).
  • edited January 2007
    Harness and "eight" in full function.
    I love the eight for the fact that it's very easy to let out more line in a very controlled (and save) way.
    As Peter says: Do make sure you have the option of "quick releasing" your kite!
    Although a smart knot might be faster than finding a knife in your pocket.

    I always carry a short sling(120cm) to be able to switch from harness to a fixed point (e.g. fence)
  • Peter Lynn advised us to carry a parachute knife when flying large kites. It is basicly a handle with a hook on one end that shields the blade, but still allows you to cut the line. The last thing you need to do is cut or stab yourself in a panic situation.
  • I guess a so called "safety hammer" for your car will work too. You wouldn't need the side that can break a window but the other end is able to cut the seat belt. That should cut a kite line too and is probably much cheaper than a parachute knife.

    This one costs less than $2:

  • I got 50 of these ( )donated from work to take over to KAPiCa to give out but for various reasons, mainly luggage space, rather than security, didn't end up taking them. I've been wondering what to do with them since. Maybe if I send them to Peter, he can distribute one with each of the next 50 orders from KAPshop.... Peter, OK by you?
  • edited January 2007
    We are going to soon be offering what we call the KAP Strap which is a simple belt with D rings and adjustments for fastening your kite to a fence, tree or other such object. You can attach it to yourself as well provided you have a knife handy to cut the line if you need to. KAP Strap is also designed for comfort should you prefer to use it around your waist or shoulders. It is not intended for strong pulling kites. A rescue 8 with a biner attaches to the adjustable KAP Strap for easy line management. I like a rescue eight better for a kite anchor because it has 'horns'.

    David: Cool knot. Red Braswell had a knot that behaved in the same manner but I think it was a bit different from yours. It's been a long time.

    Edit: another option you can use for a kite line cutter is a scuba line cutter.
  • saF
    edited January 2007
    There is also something called a Chicken Loop that is used in Kite Boarding. It is used as a quick release to let go of the kite in emergencies. I suspect that from the name it is only used by "chickens"....


    Hope that image shows. If not you can go to here and scroll down to see the setup :

  • So far, on the Jargon List, I have not distinguished between loops that are knots and loops that are not knots.

    So far, everthing is a type of knot, whether it's on a tie-down or connected directly to another line. Ooops.

    We haven't yet addressed kite line cutters yet either...or harnesses.
  • I use a sailboat racing safety harness quick release attached permanently to a wide web belt I wear. The release end has a loop that I attach to an eye bolt in the end of my Henry's Handle. A string of 1/2 inch beads threaded on the release line allows me to quickly locate and pull the release line therefore disconnecting the Henry's Handle and kite line from my person. In heavy winds, I usually have the kite line also anchored to whatever is handy and work with a lot of slack line between myself and the anchor. In other words, when I pull the release, I am taken out of the system and hopefully the slack is not taken up so fast as to break line. However there is usually not much slack left a in a dragging situation I would be almost to the end of the slack before I pulled the release.
  • I often use the stainless 6" cleat on the Land-Rover for controlled release and anchor, as I can get to many places I need to shoot from, or an identical cleat on a handle that has the option of hooking onto an eye-bolt in a spare diving weightbelt (sans weights) that I can wear. In an emergency I could use the weightbelt quick-release buckle.

    I haven't had an emergency but I worry about the helicopters that obviously ignore the low fly limit here.
  • I'm amazed at the various means of anchoring--either to a body harness or to something hopefully stationary that people use.

    I might consider a harness if I can find out that fits around my belly.

    Here is my dumb noob question of the day:
    With a quick release, I guess y'all are letting your kites fly away--with the rig? (At least a framed kite would have a tendency to fly off.)
  • A quick release is simply that - a quick release. It undoes the knot that is holding the kite attached to the anchoring system. You fasten the kite to something, you undo it, that doesn't mean it is going to fly away. If I want to work on the rig while it is attached to the line, I can anchor with a quick release knot. When finshed I undo the quick release knot which then allows me to pay out line, move around etc again. So no we are not all letting the kite fly away with the rig, simply regaining contol from the fixed anchored situation.
  • The kite will only remain flying if there is sufficient pressure on the sail to keep it aloft, otherwise it will eventually come to earth. So depending on the load it is carrying, and the design of the kite, it will:
    stay aloft
    drift downwind and float to earth
    continue flying in exactly the same way that a brick doesn't ;-)

    So how far you have to go to retrieve the kite depends on these things (and whether the kite line gets caught on anything in its journey which causes the pressure to stabilise the kite in flight)

    Power kiters use kite killers for safety. Single liners just let out lots of line rapidly to release pressure on the sale and allow the kite to recover to "normal" flight.

    Hope this helps
  • I think I'm just genuinely confused as to the process of how to get the rig and everything up in the air, as I've only flown simple kites before. I've seen all sorts of stakes for setting up the kite pre-launch.
    Is there a way to put the RC around my neck so I have another hand free?
    If I am using a sand anchor and I launch my kite...I tie off the line to say, a gamma hook so no more line is let out and the kite is at a fixed height. The, I attatch the gamma hook or I-bolt to my sand anchor, and the spool of line is at my feet. I can substitute the sand anchor or spiral stake, for my rockclimbing harness as the fixed point correct?
    However I could see this being unsafe b/c I'll be continuously jerked around. I'm not really sure that the Gamma hook would be the best idea, becuase if the kite started to go out of control, I'd have to take time to unhook it and wind back in some line to bring it down a few hundred feet if the wind died.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • edited January 2007
    I cannot answer all of your questions, but I always have a buddy with me, so I'm replying with that perspective:

    Typically, after the line is connected to the bridle and any tails are connected to the rear of the kite, one person will hold the kite up while the other manages the line to try to catch the wind on the kite while gently tugging the line to encourage it to go up. Leave a lot of room to back up as you tug. Some kites go right up; others may require more coaxing if the wind isn't all that cooperative.

    Only after getting the kite up at an elevation I'm comfortable with, I'll gauge the kite's performance to ensure that everything is set OK and the kite is fairly stable, and the wind is manageable. (Sometimes, I'll bring it down to adjust the bridle or spars or something. In the winter, we get abrupt weird wind sometimes!)

    Only after I'm satisfied with the kite's flying performance, I'll typically anchor the line to something very heavy and stationary: a strap affixes (loops) to stationary object. Between the strap and the line, my tie-down connection includes redundancy: That is, I'll use a carabiner between the strap and line, AND I'll take some extra line between the spool and the tie-down and attach that, if possible, to a post or something like a post or fence, if available. If one thing fails, there's a backup.

    I'll walk part of the line in--about half way or a little more--and then attach the rig's two lines to the main kite line. (I use Brooxes Hangups.) I'll do a quick verification that the r/c unit and rig are turned on and working OK (shutter, pan, tilt).

    Then, I gently let the line back out.

    It's good practice to attach a neck strap (camera neck strap?) to your r/c unit. That way, if you need to free up your hands, you can let go the r/c unit and focus your attention to the line, the rig, or the kite. That reminds me that I need to find a neck strap.
  • edited January 2007
    Ben - as an antidote to worry about struggling to control a kite, I suggest you watch this video of Simon Habord, demonstrating AutoKAP (and making it seem effortless and stressless).

    No stake, no sand-anchor, no harness, no worries!
  • Thank you Dave, I was just wondering whether to gird up my loins and start off... You saved me the effort !
  • I'd love to watch Simon's video, but it won't play on my Mac. How about posting in another more universal format, Simon?
  • edited January 2007
    Brooks - this is not a perfect solution (and should be avoided by those who don't have broadband) but this version of Simon's video can be played on both PCs and Macs. It's in a format called DIVX - you may have to download the Mac version of Divx (freely available) before the Quicktime player will play it.

    Apologies to Simon for messing with his video.
  • On my web pages there is description of several anchoring devices, some like the anchor plate especially for beaches.
    The reels that I use and describe have two handles so that I put it between my legs an let my hands free.
    The radio control set support all the video equipment on it and has a strap. There is a pic of it there:
  • Sorry Brooks you were the first to say they couldn't view it. Thanks for the conversion Dave.
  • Broox - I didn't bother to check if I could view Simon's original video on our iMac. It turns out that I can, though I had to wait quite a while before it appeared - looks like it had to buffer the whole 7MB before it would start.

    We're running OSX 10.3 and I have installed some Quicktime add-ons and plugins, but the video runs fine.

    PS The iMac is actually my wife's though she hasn't yet used it much - she's still using my old Windows laptop.
  • I still can't see either one, but will look into plugins. Thought I had one for DivX; will explore. Thanks for your efforts, Dave.
  • blbarnes-
    Thanks for your detailed reply. Also, thanks for the poster of this video, splendid. I have an extra camera strap lying around so that will work wonderfully.

    My final question is how should I attatch the gameboy to my RC FM transmitter? Thanks.
  • Peter, Thanks for photos of the eight - they are very helpful. I just got one and used it today for the first time. It worked like a charm.

    I'm also going to try and make a "Henry's Handle" - I picked up a couple of cleats for $1.50 so I might as well try.
  • A new thread about kite tuning got off on a tangent about tethering. Here's a better place for it, and here are my further thoughts about tethering the kite to yourself:

    I wouldn't use that technique with a kite that has the potential to drag me around, but I generally try to avoid using kites that do that. Craig Wilson has said that one should use a kite that is strong enough to lift the rig in current conditions, but not much more than that. If you use a light rig, you shouldn't need an over-powerful kite, which is a main reason I advise against using SLRs until you really know what you're doing.

    Another point that seems minor but isn't: if you tether a line to, say, a cleat, you should wind the loose end, not the kiteward end which is under tension. Then if you need to release the line, you aren't fighting the tension of the line.
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