Making a Bola

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The bola (Spanish for ball) is a throwing weapon that generally consists of three weights on the end of three ropes (that’s a good one on one correspondence example for all you people taking pre-algebra). The purpose of the bola is designed to rap around the animals legs and make them trip and fall, this weapon is most famous in Argentina. To make the bola wrap around the animals legs better, one of the weights is smaller and/or lighter.

Many of you have probable seen the move ‘Kangaroo Jack’ were they try to catch the kangaroo using bolas. If you’re like me you would have been amazed and thought about how you could make one.

In this instructable, I will show you how to make a monkey’s fist bola.

Step 1: Tying the Knot

Picture of Tying the Knot
Picture of Tying the Knot

Due to the marriage protection act you can only tie knots with the opposite sex, but monkeys fists (except in a few very rare cases) naturally have no gender, so everything works out……

Now that your all hiped up saying ” I’m gona make a bola!” I’ll have to break it to you, this bola requires a bit of skill in knot tying. This is because monkey’s fist bolas, well…..require monkey’s fists!

To make the monkey’s fists you need rope, I recommend using about 3/8″ rope, and having about 25 feet for this project. One of the annoying things that can happen when you are making a monkey’s fist, is when you are about to finish, when you run out of rope. When you tighten the monkey’s fist, it goes to the end of the rope, so it’s not a problem if the untightened monkey’s fist is not on the tip of the rope. I used sisal rope because I like the natural look and feel. You will also need three weights, If you want to be primitive, you can use two golf ball sized stones, and one smaller and/or lighter weight stone. I live in Florida, the land with no rocks, so I used golf balls. I used two golf balls of the same weight, and one lighter weight, practice golf ball.

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I will separate the steps in making a monkey’s fist into different step sections for better clarity.

1.1 Wrap the rope around your fingers (see picture) I am right handed, so I am wrapping with my right hand.

Step 2: Tying the Knots 1.2

Picture of Tying the Knots 1.2
Picture of Tying the Knots 1.2

1.2 After you wrapped the rope so that there are five (Please ignore that the second picture has only four rings, I’m an idiot like that sometimes!) “rings” of rope, wrap once around your ring finger.

Step 3: Tying the Knot 1.3

Picture of Tying the Knot 1.3
Picture of Tying the Knot 1.3
Picture of Tying the Knot 1.3

1.3 After you have wrapped the rope around your ring finger, wrap the rope around the previous wraps (see pictures) repeat this until you have five rings there also. But wait! When you get two or three wraps, insert the weight.

Step 4: Tying the Knot 1.4

Picture of Tying the Knot 1.4

1.4 After you insert the weight, continue to wrap the rope like step 1.3 described. (Admire mushroom)

Step 5: Tying the Knot 1.5

Picture of Tying the Knot 1.5
Picture of Tying the Knot 1.5

1.5 After you have wrapped the rope like the previous steps described start wrapping in the third direction (see pictures). The third direction should be around the ball in the direction that you haven’t wrapped around before, you might want to think of the three directions as x, y, and z.

Step 6: Tying the Knot 1.6

Picture of Tying the Knot 1.6

Step 7: Tying the Knot 1.7

Picture of Tying the Knot 1.7

1.7 Now that you have tucked the tip under the perpendicular section, press down on it with you thumb. Then begin tightening. To tighten, pull on the loose areas and thread through the knot, this should form a loop.

Step 8: Tying the Knot 1.8

1.10 Now after you have made the monkey’s fist cut it to the right length. I figured that different sized people would need different sized bola ropes, so I cut the rope (with the monkey’s fist on it) to be from my hand to the middle of my chest, after I tied all of the ropes together, this shortened it to my shoulder, this seamed a reasonable length.

Step 9: Tying the Knot 1.9

1.11 Make two more bola weights like the one you just made.

Now that your hands are nice and tired, lets move on to the next step.

Step 10: Tying the Weights Together

Picture of Tying the Weights Together

Now for the easiest step. Tie all of the weights together by their ropes. Do this by using an overhand knot. Make sure it’s tight, or the bola weights might separate from each other and hurt your friends when you showing of you mad skills.

Step 11: Using the Bola

Picture of Using the Bola

Now that you have an awesome bola it’s time to use it. Unlike in the movie “Kangaroo Jack” where as far as I can remember they held it by the the central knot. With this bola you hold it by one of the monkeys fists (I like to hold it by the lightweight fist). Then swing it over your head and let go at the right time during the rotation to hit your target. It takes a bit of practice but after a while (I didn’t say a short one) you might get to be as good as the Argentinians (that’s meant to be optimistic).

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Also, the weights can be made from tennis balls, then you can throw them at you friends.

Good luck! I am a beginner so suggestions are welcome.

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