March 16, 2009
The "Spanish" Anchor Knot

Someone asked on the Show Kite Forum last week about the anchor knot I demonstrated at my Big Kite Workshop in Gettysburg. I call it the “Spanish Knot” because the Gonzalez Brothers showed it to me – and because I don’t think it has a better name.

If you let all your line out, then it is easy to attach the end loop to the anchor. But usually, we don’t commit all our line and need a different knot system. Generally, I’ve been using Larksheads to connect a line to a carabiner. But they tighten down or may slip if you don’t add a second knot to hold everything. Undoing the knots can be tedious.


The good news with the Spanish technique is that it is easy to take a kite off the anchor, and the knot slips free to completely disappear. The bad news is that it’s a little bulky. So if you plan to attach two or three kites to one carabiner, this may not be the way to go.

Here’s how the knot works. Give it a try and decide for yourself.

If you know how to “Daisy Chain” a line, then you know the basics of the Spanish Knot. You make a loop and then pull a second loop through, and then pull another loop through that to shorten up bridles or loose line.

Spanish Knot - Step 1 Spanish Knot - Step 2 Spanish Knot - Step 3

For anchoring, start with a line folded where you want the anchor to connect. Let’s call the connection location “Point A”.

Make a loop about a foot above Point A.. Then pull a second loop through that. The center of the second loop will be “Point B”.

Spanish Anchor

Note that Point A is in one strand of line, and that Point B is in two of them.

Even up the three loops and slip all three strands that make up Point A and B into a biner. Notice that the line holds efficiently without sliding up snug on the metal.

Spanish Anchor

When you have the kite down and are ready to disconnect your anchor, simply slip the three lines out of the carabiner. If you then pull the single line at Point A, it will undo the slip knot and disappear!

Spanish Knot - Step 4 Spanish Knot - Step 5 Spanish Knot - Step 6
I’m still trying to get into the habit of using a Spanish Knot on my large kite anchoring. And I’ve found in some situations, that the knot can tighten under pressure and needs to be pulled hard to be undone. But it is good to have options and different ideas when working with larger kites and this Spanish Knot is a good alternative.

Zimmerman Sale!

Rolf Zimmerman makes some great kites, and we’re pleased to offer a few of them. Order an Owl or Star between now and the end of March and we’ll take off 20% when you mention the Update.

At the Dieppe International Kite Festival, we asked Rolf about his inspiration and construction techniques. It was windy but you get a good sense from Rolf about how he approaches a new design..

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