If you are using ropes on the water then there a number of knots that you really should know. This edit from Jez Jezz gives a run through the basics and possible applications.
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Firstly I strongly suggest that everyone who paddles complete a rescue course to get a better understanding of how to help themselves and their friends on the water.
The Figure of 8 has a few different adaptations. The figure-eight knot or figure-of-eight knot is a type of stopper knot. It is very important in both sailing and rock climbing as a method of stopping ropes from running out of retaining devices.
The figure of eight on a bight is a type of knot that forms a loop on the rope. It allows you to create a loop on the rope that can be used to attach carabiners and equipment. This is a fast and easy way to create a loop in the rope.
The figure of eight follow through or retraced figure of eight variation of this knot exists, known as the double figure-eight follow through that creates another loop below the bulk of the knot, a feature that is useful for clipping safety ropes into.
The water knot allows you to make a sling or webbing into a loop and can be used for anchors around trees. First tie a simple overhand knot. Next place the other end into the overhand knot and trace the overhand knot all the way around. Pull it tight and make sure all the webbing is totally flat.
The Alpine Butterfly. This is a way to create a loop in the middle of the rope and allows you to attach a carabiner to this for z-drags and other uses. Start by grabbing a bight on the rope and twist it and place your finger on top of the twist, then twist it one more time. Now with the bight place it under the rope and push it through where you have placed your finger.
The double fisherman’s is a way to tie together two ends of rope and allows you to create a prusik loop which can be used for creating a movable anchor on a rope. To tie this first place both ends of the rope parallel to each other. Now place one end of the rope over the other, loop run it all the way around the rope and then loop it over once again to create an x. Next place your finger under the x and then pass the end of the rope behind the x and pull tight. Now flip the whole rope over and do the exact same knot on the other end. Now pull them tight and both knots should slide together.
The Prusik knot allows you to tie a prusik rope to another rope which essentially allows you to create an anchor on a rope that can slide and move when you want it to, however when weight is applied to the prusik rope it will night and hold. First place your prusik loop over your rope, bring the bight back around and place pull the night under the loop, do this again and the. Pull the bight of the rope tight. Work the knot to dress it right.
Remember to practice these knots often as you want to be able to tie them in a hurry especially if you are in a rescue situation. Even experienced kayakers should practice these knots. It might be a good idea to have a small piece of rope handy to practice your knots, it is a great thing to practice on shuttles with your crew.
Thanks and I hope you enjoy playing around with these knots.