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Tying off with figure 8


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I'm a newbie. I bought a figure 8 from Gomberg because it looked like a good way to tie off a SLK but still allow for fairly easy adjustments. When I tried to approximate the wrapping method they show in the product information, the figure 8 just kind of spun around until the line was running slack through the ring ... not effective.

Could be I'm doing it wrong. 🙂

But looking for tips, tricks, warnings. I want to be able to adjust while the kite is in the air, but I'm mostly solo. I fly on a beach using sand anchor(s).


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I have a big figure 8.  I don't use it to tie off.  I actually use it to clip carbine in on the large end and I used a climbing strap through the smaller end and to the sand anchor.  It spun on me too and I seemed to have to wrap around many times to get the line to stay put.  I've found it more effective just using a bunch of carbines.


The picture I have is without the 8.  I have a carbine and a climbing strap through the sand anchor.  This is simply to place the carbines at different lengths so its less confusing which line is which.  The 3rd carbine is just hooked onto the first.0930191506b.jpg

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Googling led me down some interesting rabbit holes, but no real info I could use there.


What I'm looking for is a secure connection to my anchor that is also easy to adjust. I don't always have 200+ feet of beach to lay everything out before launching. I want to get it part way up (safely) and then be able to go up higher (safely). And same thing in reverse: walk it partway down, reel in some line, repeat (safely).

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Yeh a climbing "figure 8" is used with the rope doing a 180 degree bend round the centre with 10mm thick dynamic rope. So smaller line doesn't work at all well. (I use the small end towards the pilot kite and give it an additional wrap through the big loop. I only use the 8 on my pilot kite.)

I then anchor it to my vehicle and using plastic boat mooring cleats I can adjust my kites/laundry by running them up the main lifter line. My main lifter/pilot kite is 12m2. (130 square feet)

By leaving a wrap on the cleat I can adjust the pilot kites height very safely in our sometimes strong sea breezes towards the end of the day.

The 50mm grey webbing I use to attach to the towbar of my 4WD. The red roll of webbing on the top one is for tying round logs/ trees  or fence posts.


The webbing is 25mm with 6mm aluminium bolted between it. Sorry I cant find the original website I got the idea from.




I use this to walk the laundry down, lowest first and then I can easily retrieved the lifter the same way by walking across the wind window as I walk it down to depower it.





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That rig is what "Whatakite"  used to use.  It will work well. My only concern would be the plastic cleats but only for the reallllly big kites.

I launch kites on the beach with ppl all around me.  Give me 25 feet and I'm good.

Here is what I do when I race to the flying field/beach

1.  Dig hole for sand anchor or pound stakes

2. Hook quickdraw carabiner to sand anchor or quickdraw carabiner to a rock climbing sling to stakes

3.  Pull 15 feet of line through carabiner and wrap it off.  (Sometimes my bridles are long and there will only be a couple of feet of line)

4.  Pull kite out and larkslead bridles to line.

5.  Inflate kite 

6. Unwrap all but 1 or 2 wraps of line on the carabiner.  Slowly control and let line out.  (Too fast and kite may deflate or not have enough lift and you'll hit bystanders)

7.  Tie off kite once you reach desired altitude.

Taking down the kite is similar:

1. Unwrap lines till 1 or 2 wraps left. 

2. Hold the line and walk towards the kite.  (Basically just strip the line by walking towards kite.)  You only need to walk a couple of feet then pull yourself back to the carabiner and walk the line again.

3.  Eventually the kite will be right at the anchor and you'll have all the line on the ground.  

4. Tie off line

5. Collapse kite.  (I do this by placing another carabiner on the bridles and walk it up to the kite.  This squeezes the bridles closer and closer together and starts closing the kites intake areas.)

6. Through some sand or hammer on kite to keep it from inflating and flying.

7.  Untie larkslead.

8. Daisy chain bridles for easier packing.

9. Store kite tails first into your bag.

10.  Roll your line back into a bag.  (I use a large chalk bag as its rim is stiff.  I do not wind line anymore)

11.  Pack up all your wife's stuff.

12.  Call it a day.


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  • 1 year later...

The more equipment you use, the more points of potential failure! I fly huge kites using only a climbing carabiner, sand anchor, and heavy line. The tugboat hitch uses no knots so you can let out line easily and under control, even under full load. Check it out!


Hmmm, this link will get you to the Facebook post, but won’t show the the commentary on each photo. Open it in the Facebook app/website to see it all!

UPDATE: I created an article (Tugboat Hitch on a Carabiner) and posted it in GENERAL SINGLE LINE so that you don’t need to mess with Facebook unless you want to!

Sent from my iPhone using KiteLife mobile app

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figure 8 tool is a special design (old but secure) made for a certain kind of climbing lines. the two 0 what create the 8 figure are meant to be putted on to a certain direction depending on what to do, go up or go down. also there are if i am not wrong in 2 dimensions to cover all thickness of climbing lines. if you will want to use a figure 8 for kite lines you will need to build one what will accommodate less tick kite lines  

 usually used for fast descending but controlled speed may be also used to go up in line if you do not have the special tools for that (belay)

use GammoRay method or semicabestan knot on regular carabines and you should be good 


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