STAND – specialist’s opinion

Finally! Finally, a positioning device that you just have to get. Or a “cowstail” done the way I like it.

Right, let’s take it from the beginning.

Anyone who does various work at heights, from positioning through fall prevention to rope work, always has to think what they are using to position themselves.

The basic work positions and techniques include something we people like to call a “cowstail”. I need a cowstail to sit up = it is a device (previously loop, tether, lanyard, etc.) that allows me to make a short stable attachment to my surroundings (attaching to a structure or ladder, connecting with an ascender, moving between anchor points, etc.).  I can hardly imagine most work at heights without a cowstail.

The basic problem of all such cowstails for a long time was the difficulty in modifying their length. Yes, you could use a break, positioner or Grilon, but it just wasn’t right. I missed something small and easy to operate…

So I used the IRATA system, where I roped 3.5 m of a single dynamic rope through the abseiling loop of the harness (EN813). And I was happy.

Then “adjust” came along. Our initial enthusiasm was followed by some sober realizations a few weeks later. I couldn’t loosen it under even the slightest load, it slipped when my rope was wet or frozen, it got stuck on the rocks or on structural protrusions and didn’t hold…

A good idea, I told myself, I hope they iron out the kinks.

And then Zbyněk Homola from Rock Empire got in touch. “I have an idea about fixing your feedback on the cowstails,” he said.

The testing started. Then changes and testing again. But when you’re having fun and start to see the light at the end of the tunnel… Well as long as you’re having fun. That’s how STAND came about. And it was worth it.

The STAND positioning and anchoring device. For me it’s mainly a wonderful cowstail.

The carabiners can be fixed in position with the anti-slips, as needed. They don’t slip. I put two STANDs on both my Equip and my Master. And because I don’t take them off, I attached them to the bottom attachment point (EN813) using a Ring Connect (divisible ring [EN362] from Rock Empire, which can slip all it needs to without affecting its safety and strength, unlike carabiners).

Lovely work. The first series only had red rope. If a user had two STANDs like I did, the colours could sometimes get mixed up. Now you can get the STAND with either a red or a black rope. Problem solved, wonderful.

The great advantage of the STAND is that it can be easily loosened even under load. If the load is too great and it’s impossible to loosen, all you have to do is place the end of the carabiner into the loosening knob of the STAND’s metal frame, and loosen to evacuate someone whose full weight is in the STAND. We call this “emergency release” with a carabiner. It’s wonderfully simple and it works great.

It’s also excellent with wet or frozen ropes.

Because the carabiner in the stainless-steel positioning part of the STAND is placed in its axis, the rope doesn’t lock up or slip through on its own. And that’s important, because any extra movement can be exhausting. 

I have to commend Rock Empire for using steel. This allows the STAND to be slight, but durable. 

If that wasn’t enough, there are three variants on offer. A simple “I”, a double “V” and a “Y” shape. The basic functionality remains the same, specific versions matching whatever you prefer.

I think the STAND is a really good product, congratulations to the designers at Rock Empire.


Mgr. Martin Riedl, DiS.

Height specialist, Instructor for work and rescue at heights and above free depths, Special rope technique instructor, PPE engineering inspector for work at heights and above free depths, Assessment and testing climber for PPE producers for work and rescue at heights and above free depths, Development team collaborator, Co-author of several new products , Voluntary fire brigade member, IRATA member (Level 3), Mountain guide, Co-owner of a firm that designs and installs restraint systems,25 years’ experience – including work and internships abroad