Many of you posted questions about the best type of rope to use for TACFIT ROPE training.
I’ve experimented with many types and thicknesses of rope over the years, in multiple training environments, and I’ve narrowed it down to several optimal choices. I rank them from “best to least” according to how well they meet the versatility needs of the tactical teams I train.
My first choice is always 1″ to 1.5″ diameter nylon rope in a 20 foot length.
Manila is sometimes easier to find, but it tends to splinter in arid environments and to absorb fluids and oils in damp ones. Splinters tear up your hands and forearms, and oils make gripping problematic. Both of these things can get in the way of your training.
Climbing rope works, but at diameters of less than 1″ it can be too much of a grip challenge, especially if you’re just starting out.
I’ve also used braided paracord when I wasn’t able to find anything else. It isn’t ideal, but you can make it work, especially if you create handles out of old bike inner tubes. Wrap them with grip tape, or even duct tape – that’s always easy to find.
30 feet of rope is all you’ll ever need for anchor points 12 feet high or less. This length will be highly adjustable when it comes to moving the hand loops, and there’s plenty of rope to ensure a secure attachment.
It’s always nice to have a bit extra of course, but I usually carry exactly 20 feet to my sessions. I like to save space and pack light, and I know how to manipulate the length very precisely when it comes to anchoring. Until you get really good at knot tying, you’ll probably want a bit of extra length.
I demonstrated the type of knot I like to use in the first ROPE video we posted (reproduced below), but of course there are other choices, each with their own set of advantages, disadvantages and specific uses.
Practice the basic ROPE tie until it becomes second nature. When you’ve got it down and have been training for a while, we can discuss more knot craft. It really is an art form all its own.
My knot tying experience grew out of my work with the Russian Spetsnaz, who used ropes as snares, weapons and hostile subject restraints. I adapted the combative aspect of those skills to our field conditioning needs as we traveled from the icy Baltic to the subtropical Black Sea.
Working throughout such a wide geographical range meant that the art of knot craft became as sophisticated as some of the exercise examples I demonstrated in our TACFIT ROPE videos.
I look forward to sharing these skills with you.