Tips by Mark Griffin
Video : Sze Wei
Photo : Max Christian

The cable S-Bend is a really fun trick that should be part of every serious cable riders arsenal. This is the first of the advanced air tricks most people will want to try after having mastered the basic air inverts. There is a learning curve to this trick and even more than the air raley you really need to commit to it 100%. The trick basically consists of an Air Raley combined with an overhead two-handed BS 360 spin

In order to achieve this trick I would recommend that you first are completely comfortable with your air raley. You need to understand edge control and be able to throw a nice floaty air raley consistently and comfortably. If you cannot do this, do not even THINK of trying and S-bend. It is not necessary to learn backrolls prior to learning the S-Bend however I would suggest you do so you can get comfortable with the feeling of rotating in the air.

Approach this trick in exactly the same manner as you would your Raley. As you get the snap and move into your regular stretched out raley position immediately tuck your head under your trailing arm. Ie. if you are throwing the trick right foot forward you will look under your left arm, and vice versa for left foot forward. This action will start your rotation. You will very quickly rotate upside down; at this point it is absolutely critical that you continue to look under your arm! Keep your head position fixed right until the moment you spot the water. As you maintain your body and head position you should rotate all the way back into your original starting position, at which point all that is left to do is spot your landing and pull in just like your regular raley. After you land feel free to scream in delight and let all your buddies know about it!

Common Mistakes

1. There is a tendency when learning this trick to pull out early. Meaning as soon as people get upside down they remove their head from the looking under the arm position. What this does is completely kill the rotation, leaving you at the peak of your trick facing skywards. At this point unless you are a ninja and you are going to take a pretty meaty fall. Bracing for impact is about all you can do.

2. Not pulling in at the end of the trick. If the s-bend is too low, or too slow there is a chance of not pulling in the handle in time and catching a front edge, this is very painful and is the reason many never even try the s-bend or give up after a few painful attempts.


1. Keep your head locked under arm, I like to think of it as looking through the V of your armpit as the keyhole, do not lift out your head until you spot the landing.

2. Stretch your arms above your head during the trick, this will increase the speed of your rotation and give you more time to spot your landing.

3. COMMIT COMMIT COMMIT!! This trick even more than the raley is a total commitment trick. There is no half s-bend, or trial s-bend. Give it everything you’ve got from the very first time you try it. This is the safest way to approach this trick.

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