What type of rope is used for abseiling?
In its most simple form, abseiling involves descending on a rope, with the aid of a harness and belay device. It is used when it would be too complex or time-consuming to descend on foot. Abseiling may also be referred to as rappelling; both terms mean using a piece of rope and a control device to descend. Linguistically, the words have different heritages but they have the same meaning.
Abseiling Rope is any cord or line used where there is a vertical incline or decline of a person or item. This can be ascending/descending buildings, cliffs, offshore structures, trees and caves.
There are three main types of rope that can be used for abseiling; Static Rope, Dynamic Rope and Arborist Rope. The best option to use will depend on the situation in which you are operating and choosing the right equipment can prevent serious injury to a climber.
All our abseiling ropes have been selected for their excellent technical specifications and uncompromising safety standards. They come with free delivery in the UK, have a very reasonable price point and the rope length can be custom cut according to your requirements. Get in touch with us today to order the perfect line for you.
Static rope is designed so that it will not stretch under load. It is often preferred for abseiling and as caving rope because the low stretch properties will give you a bounce-free descent that is easier to control. Elongation with low stretch and semi-static lines will be under 10%. A static cord will usually have an elongation of under 6%.
Our static ropes all have kernmantle constructions, whereby the interior (the kern) is covered by a strong woven sheath (the mantle). With this construction, the nylon core provides a high level of strength to support heavy loads, while the polyester sheath is resistant to abrasion, which is essential when abseiling. Our Hotline rope has an aramid sheath which has an even higher level of abrasion resistance compared to other low stretch rope and can withstand exceptionally high temperatures.
If you are planning on rappelling or abseiling in low-light conditions, then products such as the Reflective LSK Static Line are highly recommended as they incorporate a reflective strip in the fleck to enhance visibility.
Dynamic rope has a much higher degree of elasticity compared to static lines and is used as a climbing rope. To be classified as a dynamic rope, elongation must be higher than 10% but under 40%, although they will typically be between 25% and 35%. This elasticity ensures that the length of rope can absorb energy more readily and cope with a sudden rise in its load, such as your body weight. This reduction in peak force will cushion a fall by absorbing your weight, reducing the risk of serious injury. This makes it a popular choice for climbers.
While static and semi-static ropes are preferred as an abseil rope, dynamic ropes are still commonly used. If you have not carried a static rope in your equipment with you during your ascent, then it is still possible to descend with your dynamic line. Just expect that there will be more bouncing, so it may be harder if you are inexperienced at rock climbing, and you must ensure that the climbing rope won’t feed through your belay device too quickly.
Never be tempted to use a combination of rope types when rappelling. Static and dynamic ropes have very different friction and stretch properties. These differences can cause the knot at the anchors to creep so you will get to the bottom of one rope ahead of the other. If this creep is significant, you may fall the remaining distance. Although this can be avoided with adding a number of knots and careful positioning, it does complicate things for the climber. It is better to plan ahead and bring the right range of low stretch rope and dynamic rope with you.
Our dynamic ropes also use the kernmantle construction concept, although they have brighter colours and a higher elongation percentage. These products still maintain a nylon core and polyester braid on braid sheath.
We stock several dynamic lines, all available to order in custom lengths, including the 11mm diameter dynamic 100% Nylon Kernmantle line, which has an elongation of 26.89% and a braid-on-braid construction. As with all our ropes, it is CE certified and complies with EN 1891 requirements.
Read more about the difference between dynamic and static lines.
Arborist ropes are specifically designed to withstand the friction involved in climbing trees and must be both durable and flexible. They come in a range of colours to ensure good visibility when working at height.
Arborist tree climbing ropes may also be referred to as low stretch or static lines, as they have minimal elongation properties to ensure you get the support you need when ascending or descending trees. A static or semi-static cord will minimize bouncing, help you move in a more controlled manner and therefore preserve your energy.
We offer a range of fantastic arbor lines, all which come with free delivery within the UK. One of the most popular choices is the Donaghys Cougar Rope for Arbor and Climbing, which is CE certified and complies with EN 1891 requirements. This is a lightweight, low stretch, easy to handle abseil rope preferred by arborists and sports climbers around the world.
Contact our highly experienced customer service team today for more information on our quality products, their applications, or for advice on which is the best rope to order for your climbing and abseiling use.