How to Stop Your Carabiner From Spinning and Cross Loading When Belaying.




About: The team behind Sugru, the mouldable glue that makes fixing and making easy and fun. Do-ers of the world it's time to get excited.
When you're belaying for someone who is climbing, you want your complete attention to be on what you're doing. One annoyance that can distract is your carabiner spinning around when you make the transition from slack to tension.

This hack prevents that, as well as cross loading - which is where force is distributed down the minor axis (short edge) of the carabiner, rather than the much stronger major axis (long edge). Although the type and strength of the force exerted on carabiners usually means this isn't a big deal, this can be dangerous in extreme circumstances.

So avoid the headache of spinning carabiners with this quick hack!

Sugru is great for this project because:

- It's flexible when cured
- It is durable, and great in the outdoors
- It bonds really well to metal

All you need for this project is:

- A carabiner
- A minipack of sugru.

If you need some, sugru can be bought here.

We've also made a tutorial video for this instructable - watch it below!

Lets get started!

Step 1: Attaching the Sugru

Open up your minipack of sugru and kneed it in your hands for about 15 seconds, until you have a nice smooth ball.

Squash this onto the carabiner. 

Start by wrapping the edges around the carabiner, eliminating any gap between the metal and the sugru by working the edges down with the tip of your finger. This'll minimise the points that the sugru could tear at, ensuring your hack keeps on going. 

You can use the edge of your finger as a roller to ease the sugru down onto the carabiner. This also provides the right kind of curve for the hooks base. 

Step 2: Extruding the Hook

Once you've got a solid base of sugru on your carabiner you can start to create the actual hook. 

Start to ease the sugru into the shape of a hook. Do this by gently pinching and smoothing the sugru through your fingers, whilst moving them out from the wall of the carabiner. This'll slowly pull the sugru into the correct shape. Keep doing this until a hook is formed.

You want the hook to be thin enough to be flexible when cured to allow the belay loop in and out, but thick enough to withstand continuous use. Similarly, it should be long enough to keep the belay loop at bay, whilst allowing enough of a gap to easily remove the hoop when needed.

Step 3: Cure Time

Lean it up against something heavy, like a stack of books, without disturbing your sugru hook.

During the first couple of hours, the hook might start to slowly straighten itself out thanks to pesky gravity. To counteract this, gently encourage it back into the required position. You shouldn't need to do this more than 4 or so times. 


Here's our resident climber, Mike, used his:

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    10 Discussions

    Niii Pawww

    2 years ago

    The videos are private.


    3 years ago

    The videos are private...


    Reply 5 years ago

    sugru flexes under load, it works surprisingly well in this application.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I personally wouldn't modify any of my own climbing gear, and since I work at a notable outdoor retailer I wouldn't advocate it either. But that being said, I think this is a pretty neat idea!
    I too would like to know how to find that climbing spot!!!!!
    Are "the lakes" in the U.S.? California maybe? It looked like it has a gorgeous approach too!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Nice Instructable, I saw this writeup in the Sugru newsletter :D You should change the picture in the first step to the finished crab so that people can see what you mean more clearly :)

    3 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    PS Where were you climbing? Was that the lakes?

    This reminds me, I need some black sugru to fix my Katanas. The velcro strap has been wearing down from scraping against the rock, it's going to break through soon :(


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    It was indeed somewhere in the lakes. I'll ask Mike exactly where it was when he gets back in the office and get back to you. :)

    Let us know how the Katana fix goes!