I am trying to make my own wrecking ball since buying one is expensive and making one is also more fun.

My idea was to use 2 cricket balls that I have and tie monkey fist knots around them and finish the knot with a hook.

I just wanted a recommendation for the better choice of rope type with a gauge of around 8-10mm. I weigh about 80kg at the moment.

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Any 8-10 mm nylon rope will hold many, many times more than your body weight. Climbing ropes are designed to hold dynamic falls, not just static body weight.

You could easily get away with 6 mm accessory cord, which is a lot cheaper than a climbing rope. It holds about 700 kg.

  • Thank you for your clear reply, it is indeed a lot cheaper and nicely sold by the metre. I found a Mammut one for £1 a m. – Fiztban Jul 16 '14 at 7:25
  1. As Ben Crowell already noted you are not going to be taxing a rope very much in this application, and unless you are planning acrobatic moves off of these holds (which you very well may be) there is little danger even if the rope (or cord) fails.

  2. Unless you happen to get a very good deal even 6mm accessory cord, the real UIAA certified stuff, is quite expensive, especially when viewed from the perspective of price per mass or volume.

  3. Using a thinner cord will result in you using more feet of it to form your monkey's fist than would using a thicker cord. You may actually end up paying more to use accessory cord!

For these reasons I do not agree with the recommendation to use accessory cord. Quoting your comment for reference:

... it is indeed a lot cheaper and nicely sold by the metre. I found a Mammut one for £1 a m.

A price of £1/meter for accessory cord is really quite high as rope goes, especially if it is 6mm. I regularly find factory-short lead ropes for that linear price and it would take a much shorter length of 9mm-11mm rope to complete your wrap than it would of accessory cord. (On the other hand the last time I bought 6mm Accessory Cord I got it for less than 20¢/foot which would make it more practical.)

  • Why even bother with climb-certified rope or cordage for such a project? Any braided nylon rope or cord should handle well while making your wraps, and people seem to make these just fine out of three-strand rope so even that is probably overkill.

  • Consider also how the size and type of cord will affect the "grippiness" of the holds. You might actually prefer the friction of natural fiber rope or the slickness of polypropylene for example.

  • As a point of reference there is currently an eBay sale ("Buy it now") for 620 feet of 3/8" polyester double braid at under 21¢/foot, assuming local pick-up.

  • You probably want to size the rope or cord to the size of the object being wrapped. Too thing a cord will result in a lot of wraps and a lot of work, while too thick a rope and you won't be able to complete the knot very well.

  • If I had the right lengths of used rope or cord on hand I would just use that.
    In fact this is probably a great answer to the old question of what to do with retired climbing rope:
    a DIY monkey's fist Cannon Bomb.

  • I agree with your points made, the Mammut rope I bought wasn't exactly cheap but it was a lot cheaper than what I originally found. I did look around for simply nylon ropes but I wasn't sure of any of their tensile strength over a long period of usage. I knew they would hold the wrap but in the end the monkey's first hangs from 2 threads alone and that's where I doubted it's long term durability in what is most probably an ignorant and wrong guess. As far as grip texture I quite like the way chalked up accessory cord works for now, I may likely do these again at a later stage when I improve. – Fiztban Jul 23 '14 at 7:56
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    @Fiztban After posting this I found your other question. I think the grips you made look quite nice, and the cord seems well sized to the balls. I've never played cricket and I was imagining a larger ball. (Your picture inspired me to add the second to last bulleted point. I can't imagine 3/8" rope working there for example.) I'm glad you like the result. I do think you paid more than necessary for cord that will never be used for climbing however. Which grips are you exercising with the ones you made? – Mr.Wizard Jul 23 '14 at 8:21
  • I am not a climber but I am taking a page out of the climbing book as far as training is concerned. I like to train using bodyweight as much as possible and focusing on a whole body workout over isolated ones, I found using pinch grip a great opportunity to work the arms and shoulders more as a whole rather than separately or secondarily. I don't have the strength yet to do a specific exercise so my aim is to start holding the wreckingballs with a lateral grip and slowly move my grip to below the sphere and then towards the mid line as is advised for climbing strengths. – Fiztban Jul 23 '14 at 14:27
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    @Fiztban I see. :-) Don't forget to train the opposing (antagonist) muscles, e.g. reverse wrist curls and hand expansion. – Mr.Wizard Jul 23 '14 at 14:33
  • That is a good point I generally do handstands and train other gymnastics movements that require a lot of straight arm technique but I suppose doing some hand expansions wouldn't hurt. Thank you. I'd be more than happy to know if you have other exercise suggestions with wrecking-balls. – Fiztban Jul 23 '14 at 14:39

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