General Rope Care

One of the key's to rope safety is remembering to inspect your rope before and after each use. You can do this by running through your hands and look for nicks, cuts and abrasions. You should also be aware of laid rope ‘opening up’ (untwisting).

  • Use a rope bag; this will protect from dirt and abrasive particles that can reduce the strength and performance of your rope. (Remember to clean your bag regularly).
  • Carry some cloth with you that you can wrap your rope in and use to place your rope on, as apposed to placing it straight on a floor. (Remember to clean your cloth sections regularly).
  • If your rope starts to twist in on itself regularly, let it hang free so that that the twists unravel naturally.
  • When storing your rope for long durations it is better to use a loose butterfly coil.
  • Avoid marking your rope with pen, or inks as many of these contain solvents which can damage your rope.
  • Avoid stepping on rope, this grinds dust and dirt into the fibres, reducing the life of ropes.
  • Use suspension points that do not have sharp edges. This includes avoiding cheaper carabineers that do not have rounded edges on the gate.
  • When using suspension rings, select ones that are at least twice the diameter of your rope to avoid unnecessary strain as the rope turns back on itself.  
  • Wash your rope only when you need to. The less you wash your rope the longer it will last, but washing your rope is better than letting dirt, chemicals and acids obtained from people’s skin build up.
  • Store your rope in a cool and dry place away from chemicals either in a rope bag or in a non-exposed storage space hung up from a smooth wooden or plastic dowel that is 3-4 times the diameter of your rope.

7 different kinds of natural fibre rope

When do you need to replace your rope

You should never use damaged or old rope for suspensions. If you have become emotionally attached to a particular rope, put it aside and use it for building on your nawasa (floor techniques) or save it for the bedroom.

A rough guide for when you retire a rope is:

  • Heavy performance rigging with regular suspensions: 3-6 months
  • Regular suspensions and or vigorous high friction ties: 6-12 months
  • Weekend fun only: 1-2 years
  • Occasional use: 2-3 years


  • The above are only generalisations, and all assume that you store your rope correctly and care for it regularly.
  • Always inspect your rope prior to any suspension or risky tie.
  • It you have ‘shocked’ your rope a number of times, with any close calls, you should consider retiring it even if it is new.