How to Tie a Retraced Figure Eight Knot

Since it doesn't include any sharp angles, the Retraced Figure 8 is one of the strongest knots known to man—which makes it a rock climber's best friend.


  • Step 1: Make "Q" shape Cross the end of the rope over the top of the remaining rope, making a "Q" shape. Be sure to give your "Q" a very long tail—you'll need some extra length to complete the knot.
  • Step 2: Twist loop Pinch the top of the loop and twist it around once, away from the tail of your "Q."
  • Step 3: Pull end through loop Pull the end of the rope, or the tail of the "Q," up through the upper loop from behind.
  • Step 4: Loosely tighten Loosely tighten the knot by pulling both ends of the rope, forming a figure 8.
  • Step 5: Retrace end Take the end and retrace it back on itself, following the pattern of the existing figure 8, and leaving a loop at the end.
  • TIP: The finished knot should be as compact as possible, rather than flat, so "dress," or adjust the knot accordingly.
  • Step 6: Tighten knot Tighten the knot by pulling at both ends.
  • FACT: The first World Championship Figure-8 endurance race was held in 1977—the winner ran 253 figure-8 laps in three hours.

You Will Need

  • A single length of rope

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