What Is a Kinetic Energy Recovery Rope?

Shake N’ Bake but in rope form.

byJonathon Klein| PUBLISHED Nov 16, 2022 2:00 PM
What Is a Kinetic Energy Recovery Rope?
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One of the worst feelings is laying on the throttle pedal, but going nowhere. Yep, you and your convoy’s butts are stuck. And while you were having fun deep into the woods/dunes/snow/mud hollow, cell service isn’t a thing. You’ve also put off getting yourself a satellite communicator or traction boards, so whatcha gonna do?  

Luckily, the lead machine got through whatever mess you now find yourself trapped in and they brought one of the greatest offroad tools money can buy: a kinetic energy recovery rope. You might now be asking, “But, Jonathon, why not use my old trusty recovery strap? It’s worked before.” Because, silly offroader, a kinetic energy recovery rope is designed to help you work smarter, not harder.

“Cómo?” Mira, mira! Let’s talk about what a kinetic energy recovery rope is, what it’s made out of, and how it works. By the time I’m finished with you, you’ll have yourself untrapped and back out on the trails. 

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What Is a Kinetic Energy Recovery Rope?

People have been looking for better recovery methods since the days of covered wagons. And for a long time, recovery was handled either through recovery straps attached to unstuck vehicles, traction boards, or winches. While not necessarily removing the need for some of those other recovery methods, a kinetic energy recovery rope is one of the latest and greatest advancements. 

A kinetic energy recovery rope is a type of recovery strap designed to actually stretch as you put load onto it, i.e. as the pulling vehicle stretches out the rope, the rope actually stretches, unlike a standard recovery strap. 

What Is a Kinetic Energy Recovery Rope Made Of?

A kinetic energy recovery rope can stretch due to its construction, which is a combination of durable nylon and some sort of urethane polymer coating in order to protect against water, abrasion, and the sun’s harmful UV radiation. 

That nylon, however, is made and braided in a way that allows the rope to stretch around 2x its static length, but it can store and release up to 4x to 5x the energy of a standard recovery strap, which brings us to how it works. 

How Does a Kinetic Energy Recovery Rope Work?

The biggest issue with standard recovery straps is that they don’t stretch. You need to remove all the slack from the strap, then start trying to pull the trapped vehicle out of whatever medium has them stuck. There’s no momentum, no kinetic energy being used from the tow vehicle, which reduces your ability to get the trapped machine out. 

A kinetic energy recovery rope allows you to leave the rope slack, jam the tow vehicle either into reverse or drive, and gas it without the risk of damaging either vehicle when the rope goes tight. That initial momentum, or rubberband/Shake N’ Bake effect, adds inertia to operation and actually helps pull the stuck vehicle out of whatever they’re stuck in. Like I said, working smarter, not harder. 

So throw out those standard straps and get yourself a kinetic energy recovery rope. 

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