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Results: R6R4
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Top tips about Prusik knots

By Mark Hirst

On my travels working and teaching raft guides & safety kayakers around the world I have noticed a reoccurring issue. When under pressure most people struggle to correctly tie a Prusik knot. I have devoted this post to providing some hints on how to tie the Prusik first time every time. I am going to divide the post into a few key areas.

  1. What is a Prusik & what is it used for?
  2. Prusik choice
  3. Prusik knots  (3 wrap, French, Klemheist)
  4. Summary

1. What is a Prusik & what is it used for?

Prusiks allegedly first appeared  in an Austrian climbing manual in 1931 as a way to ascend a rope on a climbing route. The Prusik hitch was first used by Karl Prusik.

In a whitewater & rope  rescue background the Prusik is mainly used as a rope grab to attain progress capture in a rope system, normally a Mechanical advantage system. A Prusik is simply a thin piece of chord or webbing tied into a loop normally with a double fisherman’s knot. The Prusik is then tied onto the thicker rope in such a way that it will not slide down the rope when loaded by pressure.

2 Prusik loops both tied with a double fisherman’s knot.

2.Prusik choice 

A selection of different Prusik loops

Prusik loops can come in all shapes and sizes. Some are joined with a knot, some can be pre-sewn.

The thickness of the chord you use to make you Prusik loop is quite important though.

The chord you use to tie your Prusik loop with needs to be thinner than the rope that you are tying the Prusik to. So its a good idea to know the thickness of your throwbag rope or other ropes that you normally  carry on the river. An ideal thickness for a standard Prusik is between 6-8mm.

A good way to test this is by using the Pinch test. Simply pinch a section of your Prusik into a loop. The diameter of the loop should not be thicker than the line in which you would like to attach the Prusik too.

8mm chord for thicker ropes greater than 8mm.

7mm chord ideal for all ropes greater than 7mm (most throw ropes).

Sterling ropes 6mm flat sewn sling. Ideal for thin ropes. The sterling Prusik also has a massive 22kn breaking strain.

3. Prusik knots 

There are many different way to tie a Prusik knot. I have chosen the 3 most popular methods. A working knowledge of these 3 methods will help you in most situations.

A: The 3 wrap Prusik

The 3 wrap is probably the most widely used Prusik knot. It is simple to tie and can be used in most applications.

Simply hold the rope with the double fisherman’s knot close to the rope.

You then need to make a girth hitch with the Prusik making 3 turns on the main line.

Prusik with two turns

Prusik with three turns. Be sure to dress the knot to make it work first time every time.

B: The French Prusik 

Perhaps the most simplest of Prusiks to tie. Simply wrap the Prusik 3 times around your main line and clip the ends together.

French Prusik with one turn

French Prusik with two turns

French Prusik with three turns & clip into your carabinner.

C: The Klemheist Knot

The Klemheist is a variation of the French Prusik and can be tied with webbing too. The Klemheist is best located at the load end of your system closer to your load (pinned kayak or raft) as it is hard to work with a Prusik minding pulley.

Keep your webbing as flat as possible and make 3 wraps around your mainline.

Leave a shorter loop at the end closer to your load (pinned raft or kayak).

Pass the longer end of your loop through your shorter loop and clip in.

4. Summary

a. Check the diameter of your throwbag. Your Prusik chord needs to be thinner in order for it to grip the rope.

b. Make sure that your Prusik knot is dressed properly and tightened before you use it.

c. Don’t make your Prusik loop to long as you will lose any progress capture during a system re-set.

Having your Prusik too long will result in a loss of progress capture.

A snug fitting Prusik will prevent you losing progress capture during a re-set.

5. Practice, Practice, Practice

See you on the river


Further reading can be found at Animated Knots. 

Final overall results of R4 Euro Cup 2015

EC season has officially finished with the last R4 race on the Tacen artificial course in Slovenia. (EC R4 Tacen results).

R4 3An incredible 101 teams took part in this season’s R4 series. This was made up of 76 men’s and 25 women’s teams. Four R4 Euro Cups were held: Austria, Turkey, Czech Republic and Slovenia. Two R4 EC were cancelled: France and Germany.

This year we had the opportunity to enjoy a new country on the series, Turkey, and the beautiful Firtina river (storm-in-turkey-ec-r4-2015). The most challenging R4 Downriver was definitely Devil’s Stream, Czech Republic.

Each contest was fantastic and very demanding, the competition was very strong, because the teams in the EC turned more to R4 than R6 category. It is definitely more economical, but the ERC and WRC in R6 this year, more than meet the needs of R6.

R4 1We wrote about the winners in the R6 category already, and now it’s time to see who collects the most points this season in R4.

Among the 76 teams in the men’s competition, CZE “Hiko” team won first place with 1852 points, confirming them as the best R4 team in Europe for the last few years and so we will watch them at next year’s R4 WRC competition. Second place was won by CZE TR “Morava” with 1514 points, while third place went to SLO “Gimpex 2” team with 1324 points. Congratulations to the winners!

R4 2In the women’s competition first place went to the SVK “Vopicky” team with 1509 points, second place was Dutch National Ladies with 1000 points, and third place team Italy 4 Seniors with 988 points. I had the opportunity to see them all this year and hang out with them at some competitions, I can say that there is no doubt that they can achieve success outside of Europe. They just need to stay persistent and because they are still fresh teams waiting to mature, they are on the right track. Patience and perseverance. Congratulations girls!

Once again thank you to the organizers, competitors, sponsors and our dear Stan Hajek.

We are left now to wait for the 2016 Euro Cup calendar so as to plan for our new adventures, to keep in shape during the winter and to sharpen our paddles to cut waves. And to look forward to celebrating at parties when we meet again at an EC in 2016!  😉

Final Results EC R4 2015 Men

Final Results EC R4 2015 Women

Costa Rica Open men’s team

Since 2003 (R6 WRC in Czech), this R6 team has only missed WRC 2007. The team now consists of eight members: Manuel Segura Amador , Bustos Marlon Araya , Juan Carlos Loaiza Jimenez , Walter Alvarado , Davis Oviedo Ortega , Daniel Bustos Araya Araya , Pablo Leiva and Walter Centeno Brenes.

CRC OM3Being successful in going to the WRC means they were successful in winning their local selections each time which makes them one of the most successful Costa Rican teams. In 2006 and 2008 they also participated in the Pan American Champs, taking third and second place.

Since most of them come from Turrialba and Sarapiqui they train on the Pacuare River. This country, as well as rivers, are well known to us after two WRC competitions there (1998, 2011). Their next goal is to go to WRC R6 Indonesia and so we speak to Walter Centeno Brenes about their preparations and expectations.

CRC OM5Walter, how is your team preparing for the WRC?

“We are trying to train as much as we can…4  Mornings in a lake from 5 to 7 am… Down River on Pacuare River once a week…”

Do you find it difficult to balance your personal duties with training and going to the WRC?

“Yes, year after year it’s been so difficult to deal with our jobs and families.

As soon as we get the qualification for the WRC our big challenge starts! Trying to get the money for the tickets, hotel, visas…

We need to sacrifice our sleep time, wake up early (5 am) to go to train, come back home to help our wives to prepare the kids for the school, (Pablo, Juan, Marlon, Daniel),  set up the rafting trips and go to work (rest of the team) around 8 am.

In 2005 the WRC was in Ecuador, but often it has been far away (Korea, Bosnia, NZ, now Indonesia..). We couldn’t get to Korea (2007)  but since then we thankfully have friends all around who help us to find cheap places to stay or to camp.”

CRC OM2Which discipline does your team like the most or you feel you are best at?

Our favourite one is the Down River, it is where we feel strongest.”

How do you get information about the rivers you are going to? 

“You tube is our huge friend. Of course, we must thank the IRF and the teams who load videos and pictures of the rivers. As soon as we see the rivers and their different features we will get ready for that.”

Since none of you have been to Indonesia before, do you have any expectations?

“Knowing how the other teams work,,, our goal is to be in the top ten…”

Which team do you see as a potential first? – We talk about the other teams, and we try to learn from the best of them and improve. We regularly look at Brazil, Japan and the Czech Republic – the top three in our personal opinion.”

Will you be able to stay after competitions?

“October is when our high season starts, so we cannot stay too long in Indonesia, we need to come back to our jobs”

But when you are back on your home rivers – it’s not so bad?! 😉

“It is not bad at all .. We will come back to the best job at the most beautiful office we can ever have.. Pacuare River! :)

CRC OM1You work as raft guides, but in addition to that you have a professional MMA fighter in your team and you also spend your free time riding mountain bikes, kayaking, doing crossfit…. active in all respects.

“We all started rafting and kayaking as teenagers. We took it as our job later on because that was what we knew how to do very well. But it is more than a job, it is our passion, what we love to do! That’s why even when we discover new jobs and sports we still do this as much as we can. We just try to find the time and make it work !”

CRC OM4I saw that you made a speech at a school in Mollejones, tell me more about it?

“When the WRC 2011 was at the Pacuare River, we got in touch with the Mollejones people and talking to them we found out they didn’t know anything about rafting being a sport. So, what better way to let the locals know about our sport by talking to the kids and letting them take these new ideas home with them. It was an awesome experience for us as we did some visits to the Mollejones school and had a dinner with the people of the town.  After the WRC 2011 we learnt about the impact of the WRC on the locals and how important it is to let the world know about our sport. That’s why when someone is interested in our sport we offer a speech we titled: RAFTING – NOT A TRADITIONAL SPORT”

Many teams struggle to finance getting to the WRC. Do you have sponsors or others you’d like to thank?

“We have no sponsors for WRC 2015 and haven’t looked for them. One way that we make money is doing rafting trips to the Pacuare River. Thats how we hope to get the money for the registration for WRC 2015.

But we really want to thank those companies that have been helping us through our history, GRACIAS Y PURA VIDA…”

It was nice to talk to you, Walter. We wish all the best to your team, and we hope that you will be able to collect the money for the WRC.

We call all sponsors, and all people of good will in Costa Rica to help the team to participate in the most important and most prestigious rafting competition of the year.

Facebook: Equipo-Rafting-Costa-Rica-459516864085823/timeline/

What to see in Indonesia

17.000 islands make up the archipelago of the Republic of Indonesia. In whichever direction you go, you will not go wrong. This paradise on earth will win the hearts of each of you. We hope that you have enough free time that you can see as much as possible. Prepare your bag and experience . . . → continue reading . . . What to see in Indonesia

Brasil Open Men – defending champions

(Leia o artigo em Português)

This team needs no introduction. Not only are they the R4 and R6 World Rafting Champions, there has not been a World Rafting Champs where they have not climbed onto the podium since they first started competing.

They radiate such positive energy . . . → continue reading . . . Brasil Open Men – defending champions

RIP Fernanda

On Sunday, 13 September, we received the sad news that Fernanda Caroline Cardias, a competitor in the Brazilian U23 and Open Women’s rafting team, died after major surgery to remove a tumour which was diagnosed only a few days before when she suddenly fainted. She was only 19.

Fernanda was a . . . → continue reading . . . RIP Fernanda

“Pushing Rubber Downhill” by Adam Piggott

It is a great pleasure when a riverguide replaces paddle with pen for a moment and share with us his rich experiences which he gained on different continents doing this job. We love these books and so we are pleased to present this one.

If you look at the back cover of the . . . → continue reading . . . “Pushing Rubber Downhill” by Adam Piggott

Dajak team to fly BiH flag at WRC

(Intervju na Srpski jezik)

Before the start of WRC R6 New Zealand 2013 we introduced you to the BIH Open Men’s team. This year the boys have qualified to go to WRC R6 Indonesia 2015 and we will have a quick word with them again to see what’s . . . → continue reading . . . Dajak team to fly BiH flag at WRC

Advertise on the IRF website and newsletter!

If you want to reach rafters then the IRF website is the place to advertise!

With 50 plus country’s rafting organisations following our activities and nearly 20,000 people following us on Facebook we have a far and wide reach across the world.

Adverts can be placed on our . . . → continue reading . . . Advertise on the IRF website and newsletter!

WRC R6 2015 – Australian Open Men’s team

Kris Kingston, Dave Berry, Brenton Morehead, Kye Berry, Denniss Fay, Tarrent Green and Wagner Torress  will be defending the colours of Australia in their neighbouring Indonesia this year at the 2015 IRF World Rafting Champs.

With the aim to make you better acquainted with the teams that are coming to the WRC R6 2015 we contacted Kris Kingston, captain . . . → continue reading . . . WRC R6 2015 – Australian Open Men’s team