Crash Restraint News & Updates

Reverse Somerville Bowline for Resistance Play

Topologist

I mentioned when I first posted the RSB that I considered it particularly useful for tying someone who was struggling, because it didn't require leaving room to pass a line under the cuff. However, if you're going to leave someone in a tie for a while, or if you're going to suspend with it, you don't want the cuff too tight. I recently had exactly this situation come up in preparing my performance for Citadel's post-pride party/demos, where I wanted to do a "take up", tying a struggling bottom into a puppet suspension.

It turns out, you can actually tie the RSB onto a moving target in a way that maintains space between the cuff and the limb. Here's a quick, unscripted video, just to show putting a bunch of column ties onto someone who's resisting:


And here's an illustration/explanation of what I was doing, there:

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Reverse Somerville Bowline

Topologist

I've been sitting on this for a while, mostly because I'm not set up to do video, and people seem to prefer that to photos, but I finally gave in and just shot something off quickly with my phone gaffed to a tripod:

This is a fairly tricky knot, and finicky even once you know it, but in certain situations it is invaluable, most especially this one:

You might ask "but why can't I just do half hitches around the leg, like everybody does?". And the answer is that, if you really load that, from the standing line end, it tends to pull on just the first wrap, and cinch down -- it's not a real column tie. You'll notice that the tutorial I linked that image from then goes on to run the line back up to the harness, which is the usual way to avoid the issue; but with the RSB, you don't have to go back, you could end your rope at the cuff, or do another cuff further down the leg.

When I demonstrated this a while back at the last CT Grue, someone asked...

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Reverse French and Portuguese Bowlines

Topologist

There's been some discussion recently of reverse bowline column ties. Jack has long had posted on his site the Reverse French Bowline, a knot which I never paid much mind on account of his warning that it can collapse when the standing line is loaded (as one would expect, from the construction of the knot). However, WykD Dave points out that this is actually a very appealing way to begin a takate-kote.

Further, it turns out that this is actually the same as David Lawrence's Reverse Portuguese Bowline -- a knot I've wondered about for some time. So that begs the question..is it French, or is it Portuguese? For reference, here are the French Bowline and Portuguese Bowline.

I'd argue that Jack is correct in his naming -- the reverse bowline he demonstrates shares two key properties with the French Bowline -- only a single line passes behind the cuff, and the whole cuff is bundled together. A Reverse Portuguese Bowline should pass both sides of the bight under the...

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