How to Set-up and Use the SAKA® Self Advancing Knee Ascender

The SAKA® (available at many retailers and can be used straight out of the bag but also has no limitations on how it can be adjusted for the individual. Imagine buying a climbing harness that does not adjust. Rope stepping (walking) is something most have never done before and some modifications to the way we move with our feet need to be learned.
In this video I have tried focus on how to setup and use the SAKA, Self Advancing Knee Ascender. As many of you, I’m hoping this to be my last knee ascender video!
The comments below have time stamps and the videos progress bar will also show these same navigation points.
00:00 Introduction The SAKA is simple to use right out of the bag but does not have limitations of other knee ascenders.
01:19 Why adjustments are important?
01:53 Length of the stride.
02:14 Travel height of the ascender.
02:27 Bungee attachment.
02:49 Comes configured for straight out of the bag use.
03:43 Adjusted for high bungee attachment or no chest harness.
04:29 Adjusted for a low attachment point or no tending device.
05:10 Adjusted for maximum stride, win that race.
05:53 Adjusted for child size or shorter legs.
06:43 Why adjust the stride or length of the bungee?
07:33 Why do I adjust the bungee?
09:32 Two ways to shorten the bungee guide.
11:00 The components explained. 11.07 The footloop, various ways to attach it and adjust it.
13:30 The ascender, made for the SAKA, not like other ascenders.
14:55 The SAKAmini vs SAKA™ and the SAKA NG with pulleys.
16:40 The adjustable tether.
17:20 The bungee guide.
18:20 A quick way to fine tune the length of the bungee.
19:13 Demonstrating stepping up the rope, it is not a natural thing to do.
20:10 SRT without any tending.
21:06 Why a safety check is so important.
22:59 Storage options.
24:18 Traditional SRT.
25:28 Practice with your feet next to the tree, it is more efficient and helps develop good form.
26:18 Doubled moving rope, climber has both anchors within reach.
28:27 Left or right foot is not important.
28:55 Which way should the ascender face?
29:42 Using a single 100’ climbing line with both SRT and Doubled moving rope configurations.




SAKA ™  a brief explanation.

Some people, maybe 1%, report that their SAKA is ripped the first time they used it. It is built that way.

With any skill, proper form and tool use is important.  “Rope walking” sounds easy enough but it is not, years of learning to use your feet for balance, riding bikes and taking steps with forward motion must be overcome.  Use your feet like pistons, straight up and down.  You will be efficient and have success with the SAKA.

This is the most efficient motion for your feet on a rope.  Side by side and straight up and down like pistons.  Let your knees, hips and ankles learn to move up a rope.  Learn this early and you will be successful in the long “run”.

The impoved footloop explained.

There are many ways to configure the length of the weight bearing tether on both the SAKA™ and SAKAmini.  This is one suggested method and the way it comes packaged.  Keeping the crabiner oriented correctly to obtain the 4kN rated strength is important.  

A couple of storage options.  My preference for end of ascent is around my leg and under the pad of my climbing harness.


Any questions can be address to