Instructables
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.
 
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Step 1: 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.

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.
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dnash29 months ago
the two shorter string weights need to be heavier because these are the weight and force necessary for impact, the longer string must be lighter because it is the tail in flight, acting like a guide, and upon impact, will wrap around the targets legs and body.
dspencer91 year ago
why do 2 of the weights need to be heavier?
ilpug2 years ago
I am definitely going to do this, but, due to laziness, I am simply going to drill holes through the golf balls to secure the cord, and use paracord. This makes the whole thing smoother, which, in theory, makes it go farther.

I made something quite like this a while ago, and it was fun, until it went wild and dented my fence. These things can fly a bit oddly until you get the hang of it. I recommend spinning it only once prior to throwing, not multiple times. This makes it more accurate, and the extra spinning grants no extra power.
finfan75 years ago
I made one of these with a couple segments of rope and three tennis balls. I never got enough practice to be all that good with it. I tried using it on a friend of mine and the ball just whacked him in a back. I later dismantled it and made a toy vaguely similar to an Astrojax to practice double glowsticking.
wal11 finfan73 years ago
what is "double glowsticking"
finfan7 wal113 years ago
Look up glowstringing on youtube and imagine having both sticks on one string.
wal11 finfan73 years ago
hey its wal11 thanks for telling me what double glowstringing is and sorry i hadn't checked my email in a while
Shiraz5 years ago
Nice Instructable, mate. As a side note, I'm from Argentina, and I'd never heard about boleadoras being used by our ancestors. I'm actually pretty sure that the gauchos used swords, and, when they became available, guns. By the way, this thing is quite fun, especially when thrown at bothersome dogs :)
I was born in Entre Ríos, Dpto Tala. I grew up in the field, and I remember when doing the tasks of preparing the field, they found usually stone balls that were slightly flattened, grooved in its equator. That is a clear sign that had been used in boleadoras (rounders). In the field of my father was the Battle of Las Guachas, 13 jun 1820, where they fought Pancho Ramirez and Jose G. Artigas.
mikaelthemycologist (author)  rimar20003 years ago
Very cool.
smorrone Shiraz4 years ago
I am form a Argentina too, i sugest you study your history. Native argentinaeans use boleadoras to hunt and inmovilize animals, then the gauchos use them too.
spylock3 years ago
It would be good for practice,I made a set a couple years ago and knocked the hell outa myself a few time learning to throw.
eulaliaaaa!3 years ago
I just made one, and and six tries later, I successfully roped the flag pole in my yard! These are awesome! But, unfortunately, I only had enough rope to do three wraps, so the golf balls show a lot. But it still works fine!
eulaliaaaa!3 years ago
I LOOOOVE THAT MOVIE!
Oberoten3 years ago
Most creative and economic way to make them, wouldnt think of monkeyfists by my self.
Way to go.
pocholox84 years ago
why is your so called  'lawn'  so small?
pocholox84 years ago
hooray for hairy mushrooms
what sort of practice balls did you use the plastic kind with holes of the foam kind

and does it work better the if the ratio of heavy weight to light weight is larger
I used the plastic balls with the holes in them for the lightweight ball. According to Wikipedia, many indigenous tribes used a smaller weight for the third ball. It may actually work better if the third weight is heavier and the other weights are smaller. But the Natives were doing it to survive for years, so I figured that they would be right.

kyle-095 years ago
whats the distance from the knot to the monkey's fist?
mikaelthemycologist (author)  kyle-095 years ago
1 1/2 feet
Correction. It should be the length of your arm. So hold the monkeys fist in your hand, then measure the rope out to the middle of your chest. When you tie all three ropes together they will all shorten.
I made a cheap set with just one monkey fist one one side, and a smaller knot on the other, and it works surprisingly well. I was trying to do two monkey fists, but I got way lazy and just wanted to see some kinda result for my effort on the first knot. flicked it at my standing lamp and was pleased to watch it wrap around the stem and hold. does it make it better if I do it the three line way?
That's a good question, I've wondered that myself. I've found that the "double monkeys fist" as my friend calls it, Is easier to throw than the traditional (or at least stereotypical) bola. The downside of the double monkeys fist is that It only seems to wrap well around one post (or your preys leg) while the bola can wrap around multiple posts. Having one knot smaller may actually help it wrap around the post better. If you decide to experiment please let me know how it goes.
gamelord1465 years ago
how long does the rope have to be?
it needs to be the length of your arm
Well my ropes were about 1 1/2 feet long, but depending on your size, the lengths may vary.
And that's not counting the monkey's fist
Arbitror5 years ago
Your lawn...
calarata_945 years ago
they are called boleadoras in spanish :)
latinos rule!
I'm about half Latino, does that make me almost rule?
sure, you deserve it, lol
tulekah5 years ago
i've made bolas before and i'm a knotwork fiend but i never thot to combine the two! way cool. btw i always made my bolas with the third ball at the center of the line (three balls, two cords) and held the center ball and swung the other two, it worked rather like cannon chain shot
Ben-Awesome5 years ago
I made a few monkeys fists a while back using golf balls as the cores, now i have something to use them for instead of just sitting in my room, Thanx!
Iridium75 years ago
is there a knot where the central knot gets tighter or something? 'Cause I imagined it is going under a lot of Centripetal force.
Try a triple monks knot. it would work easily enough.
mikaelthemycologist (author)  Iridium75 years ago
I actually considered that when i was making it, but the single/overhand knot worked fine. Tell me if you have any luck with other knots. Thanks
15zhangfra5 years ago
, i like the ashley stopper knot better, its slight less secure, but it's still noce, though you see your weights
mikaelthemycologist (author)  15zhangfra5 years ago
Hmm, the ashley stopper knot, I'll have to try that one, thanks
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