How to: Western Rope Twirling

How to: Western Rope Twirling thumbnail
Rope twirling is popular at rodeos.

When you think of rope twirling, you probably think of cowboys and rodeos. Rope twirling can be fun, but mastering the skill takes practice. Your rope is also called a lariat. Sometimes, you will erroneously see it referred to as a lasso. However, "lasso" is a verb and correctly refers to the act of throwing the rope around an object. Most cowboys just call their rope a rope. Try simple rope twirling, then see if you can add some tricks.

Things You'll Need

  • Rope
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    • 1

      Tie a small loop at one end. Do this using a basic overhand knot to create a loop just big enough for the rope to pass through. Wrap wire around the knot and loop to make it more durable, if desired.

    • 2

      Pass the rope through the small loop to make the bigger loop of your lariat that you'll twirl. Lay this out flat on a clear spot on the floor or outdoor surface, such as a patio. Having a smooth floor or surface will help when you start. Ensure there is plenty of space when you practice so you don't tangle the rope or break anything.

    • 3

      Hold the rope about three feet above the loop on the ground. Twirl the rope by making circles with your hand. Keep your wrist loose and relaxed as you twirl. Twirl the rope in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. Try both and see which is easier for you. Attempt different speeds until you find the one which gives you the best control.

    • 4

      Try simple twirling tricks. Lift the loop up while maintaining the twirl then lower it down while keeping the loop spinning in the air. Once you've mastered the basics of twirling, try more complex tricks.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images

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