Hey Girlss ! First of all I want to say thank you for all the positive feedback about my articles ! This means someone is actually reading my mediocre attempts of being funny and creative, so that’s really cool ! I hope you keep doing that, so I can hold on to the thought that I’m not a completely crappy writer. Thank youuuu !
Ok, let’s get to work, S-bend time!
An S-bend is one of the first unhooked tricks you want to learn. It is a base for a whole bunch of harder tricks such as S-bend to blind, S3, Double S-bend, Double S3, and so on, and so on. Which is a good reason to get it dialled in ! It also happens to be my favourite rotation, so I will be happy to introduce you to this trick and give you some tips on how to get it done !
First of all, there seems to be a lot of misconceptions about what an s-bend actually is, and what it is not. In general we like to differentiate two main types of front rotations, and these are – The Frontflip, which is what you do when you go for a front blind, and it’s where you pop and flip over (like whole body upside-down thingy). The second one is an S-bend – a raley with a horizontal 360 frontside spin; this means you need an actual raley before the spin, and that is the tricky part !
A lot of people call the simple dangly front spin an s-bend, but that is something that we like to call a “Fresbend”, because it’s not a fronflip, and not an s-bend. In other words, you want to avoid those !
Of course it may be the good place to start, or an easy way out, but let’s not take easy ways out, and learn the trick properly !
So as an S-bend is a raley-based trick, you want to have a proper raley dialled in before you go for an s-bend. You can read more about how to do a raley in my previous article over here -> How to Start Doing Unhooked Tricks. It also helps if you can already do a hooked-in frontroll, this will get you familiar with the front rotation, and make you more in control in the air.
So let’s get to it !
1. Decent speed
So to start you’re going to need decent speed. The more time you have in the air, the easier it will be to complete your spin ! In the beginning you may want to keep your kite a bit higher to avoid unpleasant edges, but in general you should aim to keep your kite at 45 degrees.
2. Load a strong pop
To do an s-bend you will need a strong edge. The one thing I really love about this trick is that you can really let the kite stretch you out, I like to keep my arms straight as i edge and really make myself long !
3. Go for a big railey
So at that first phase, you basically go for a nice big railey, which you can likely already do, so easy peasy. The difference is that you should keep your body a bit more tense to be ready to initiate a rotation as soon as you complete your railey !
4. Initiate the rotation
This next point is the key element of the trick. You will need to initiate the rotation, and you do so using your head and upper body. As soon as you feel the kite is about to slack, you look over your back shoulder and start spinning.
Note that to nail a sick s-bend your legs should still be above your head at that point, but you can polish that later. Nevertheless it is something you should aim for !
Upper body initiates the rotation, legs follow!
5. Don't stop the rotation
At this point you’re already spinning, so the only thing you should concentrate on is not stopping the rotation ! This is the portion of the trick when you can’t see the water, or the direction you’re flying in, so some people tend to just block the rotation and get out of control. So Remember, as soon as you start the rotation, pretty much everything happens by itself and the rest of your body should naturally follow your head.
So don’t stop looking over your shoulder until you see the water again ! You still want to try and have your legs above your head at this phase !
6. Look for the water
This is the last phase of an s-bend, and that is when your upper body has nearly finished the rotation, and legs are about to catch up.
This is also a point where you can see the water again, so you can already spot your landing from here ! Also if your rotation is kinda slow, you can help it a bit and kick your legs so that they end up in the right place together with the rest of your body.
While it feels great to be stretched out through the trick, this is the point where you should try and regain your tension, and pull the bar back towards yourself to have control over the kite when you land.
If you fail to do this, chance is you will continue being stretched out, your kite will go up, and you will catch a nice front edge, the worst of the edges. So if you don’t want to have water coming out of your nose until dinner time, pull that bar back !
7. Prepare for landing
Now we’re home ! By now you should finish your rotation, have a full control of the kite, arms bent and the bar close. The only thing left to do is land ! Remember to position yourself downwind, and bend you knees !
And that’s how it’s done !
Remember nothing comes easy, and practice is the key, so practice practice practice, until you have it looking the way you want to ! It is great to watch some footage of your attempts, and see for yourself what you like, and don’t like about your trick. In the end, this is a freestyle sport, which means everyone has their own way of doing the trick, and everyone does it differently. So find your own way, and perfect it ! Most importantly have fun with it ! ;)
Don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have any questions, or if I have forgotten something important. Also it would be sick to know your progress, so let me know how it goes !
Good luck !
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