Materials and Setup

Rope Diameter: approx. 3/8″ to 3/4” (competition is 10mm-15mm)
The thicker the rope, the more comfortable it will be to perform the Greenlandic rope moves. However, as the rope increases in diameter, it also becomes more difficult to grip. We recommend using a 5/8″ rope minimum. If your hands are large enough to grasp a larger rope, move up from there.

Rope Material: nylon or polyester
Choose a soft rope that is not slippery and not too stretchy. You can probably find an inexpensive option at your local hardware store. If you are ready to make more of an investment, theater rope (used to lift theater curtains) works especially well!

Rope Recommendations (from Dubside): Many many years ago allunaariaqattaarneq was done on harpoon line made of bearded sealskin. When it became available various types of rope were used instead. Among the choices of nylon, polypropylene, hemp, cotton, polyester, or other exotic materials polyester is recommended. It has a surer grip than nylon and also stretches less. Hemp and polypropylene should be avoided as they are very rough on the hands. The best rope is a specially formulated type of doubled braided polyester known as “SPECTRUM SHOWBRAID” available from Sapsis Rigging Inc. in Pennsylvania. (800-727-7471) Get about 50 feet of 5/8″ diameter. It sells for a bit more than one dollar per foot plus shipping.

Total Rope Length: approx. 40’-50’
This is doubled over so that two ropes are running between your anchors.

Distance between Anchors:  approx. 10’-18’ (competition is 3 to 5 meters)

Rope Height at Anchors: I set up my ropes about as high as I can comfortably reach. Competition ropes are set at 2 meters (78 inches).

Rope Height at lowest point in center (low ropes): This should be about chest height without weight on the rope, or bellybutton height with weight on the rope. Competition calls for 1.2 meters (47.25 inches) without weight on the rope. The rule changed in 2011 from 1.4 meters.

Rope Height (high ropes): For high ropes, the ropes should be taught between the anchors and should not sag.

What to use as anchors: Trees are the easiest anchors; however any anchors deemed capable of withstanding the stress placed on the ropes during moves can be used. A “ropes rig” may also be built for transportable indoor and outdoor use.

What to Wear:
In general, to be the most comfortable, it is suggested that you wear jeans, a long sleeve shirt, and shoes that cover the tops of your feet. This will help protect many of the areas that will come in contact with the rope. Gloves may also be worn, but note that they are not allowed in the official Greenlandic ropes championship.


For instructions on using trees to set up the ropes, click here.