The Zeppelin Bend (Rosendahl Bend) might be the only knot you ever need again for joining two ropes. It is easy to tie, jam resistant, jerk resistant, and easy to untie even after being under heavy load. And don’t be fooled by the seemingly complex method for tying this knot — it’s actually very, very easy and quick.
There is a rather complex way to tie this knot, and people learn it because it’s easier to teach by this method, not because it’s easier to learn. In fact, the common way of doing this is a bit ridiculous, as it requires you to lay out the two ends of the ropes on the ground and contort them into shape. But when you’re tying two ropes together, you need to be able to hold both ends and whip them together right quick. This video will show you how.
Photo instructions for tying the Zeppelin Bend
I know this looks like a large number of steps, but it’s not. The other methods teach you how to tie the Zeppelin bend by laying out your ropes on the ground, but if you learn my method, you’ll do it standing up in under 10 seconds.
Zeppelin (Rosendahl) Bend history and trivia
Remember the Zeppelins? These were hydrogen-filled aircraft like the Goodyear blimp (which is filled with helium). It is said that the Zeppelin Bend got its name because it was the only knot authorized by Commander Charles Rosendahl to tie down his dirigible, the Los Angeles. It’s a cool story, but it authenticity is disputed by some. Whether or not it’s true, the story does illustrate what is so well appreciated about this bend — it’s the fact that even when you put it under tremendous tension, it still unties very easily. In any event, this knot has recently surged in popularity, and you need to know it because it really is exceptionally useful.
Further reading on the Zeppelin Bend