The Half-Hitch, just a single wrap of rope around an object, is a basic building block of many other knots. It is commonly used on its own to lock off a part or the end of a bondage tie. It can be used to attach the free end of a rope to some object.
Pros: It is fast and can be slipped for easy removal.
Cons: This is a sliding knot and will collapse down if used for dynamic tension. It will also bind while under tension. You need to reduce/remove tension to untie it. Therefore, this knot should never be used directly on a human and should not be used to anchor a suspension.
This is one of the fastest and easiest ways to lock a tail off to a hard point. Perhaps you want to tie a cuffed wrist or ankle to the bed posts, or maybe to some overhead hard point. There are many ways to do that, but learn this one and then grow from there…
I recommend learning to tie this friction using either hand and when tying to something horizontal or vertical.
Important Safety Tip! This example shows a wrist being attached to an overhead point here. Wrists are sensitive, they must be handled with care.
- They have a lot of nerve and blood vessels near the skin on the inside of the wrists. Too much pressure there can impact blood flow or nerve conduction. Cuffs should never be too tight; you should always be able to run two fingers under a cuff.
- The wrist joint itself is also fragile. If you pull on wrists too hard, you can damage that joint or even push some of those small wrist bones into the wrong position. NEVER suspend someone by the wrists alone. Never tie someone in a position where rope is a applying heavy continual stress on the wrists.
- In this example below, the tie looks too tight up on my partner’s wrist. This was done during filming for dramatic effect, but a member wrote me to rightly point that that readers might get the wrong idea. You would never want to have an overhead tie actually be as tight as this appears to be. In reality, my partner had several inches of slack when the tie was complete. They were able to move their hand around to adjust how the ropes of the cuffs lay on their skin. They were also able to grab the tail for additional support. You want to make sure they have enough room to make adjustments like that.
This Video Includes:
- Locking a strap with a Half-Hitch, reverse tension style
- Locking a strap with a Half-Hitch, forward tension style (1:50)
- Locking off *to* a strap using Two Half-Hitches (2HH) (3.17)
When locking off a band or strap of rope, you can use a Half-Hitch on either side of the junction point. In this case I am going to do it on the side in which the tail is already naturally flowing. This is called “forward tension”. If I were to reverse the direction of the rope and lock off on the other side of that would be called a “reverse tension” style. See the section below to see how that one is done.
This version features an attractive triangular pattern and is less bulky. It does, however, take a bit more practice to get the lines making up the strap to have even tension. So be sure to practice it.
When locking off a band or strap of rope, you can use a Half-Hitch on either side of the junction point. In this case I am going to reverse the direction of the rope and lock off on this side. This is called a “reverse tension” style. If I were to do it on the side in which the tail is already naturally flowing, it would be called “forward tension” style. See the section above to see how that one is done.
This version adds more friction in the knots which makes it easier to keep even tension in the lines making up the strap. But the downside is that it is a bit bulkier and a little less attractive (IMHO)
2HH used to attach a rope to a rope belt. (Inverted Technique)
This version is upside down from the one shown in locking off to a hard point. In that version (which is faster), we ran the rope up in front of/over the hard point as the first step before doing the Half-Hitches. In this version, we run it behind first. While the first version is faster because there are fewer tail pulls, there are sometimes reasons you want the standing line running up behind the thing you are tying to.
When there are multiple lines coming into a lock off point, you can often “lock off” your tail with a single Half-Hitch. Here is one way of doing that
Core technique applied to a pole.
Typically you will be tying off with two strands, but I am showing it with one for clarity of the core technique.